Wisconsin Water Library

People and Stories of Lake Michigan

People are drawn to water for many reasons – for work, for sport, for play, for spiritual meaning – and Lake Michigan has inspired many to write about those experiences. The library has a collection of some of these stories.

Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes
Alison Swan, editor. East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, 2006.

Fresh Water is a collection of nonfiction works by women writers focused on the Midwest and living with the five interconnected freshwater seas that we know as the Great Lakes. Contributing are renowned poets, essayists and fiction writers.

Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan
By Kevin J. Miyazaki. Madison, Wis.: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014.

Commissioned by the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University to create an artwork reflecting on the importance of fresh water, Milwaukee-based photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki embarked on a two-week drive around Lake Michigan to create a “a contemporary portrait of Lake Michigan.” Residents, environmental scientists, artists, a Native American water rights advocate, surfers and commercial fishermen shared their thoughts with him on why this body of water is important to all.

Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin' Safari
By William Povletich. Cincinnati, Ohio: Clerisy Press, 2010.

Some Like It Cold chronicles the lives of two brothers and the evolution of the unique surfer culture in Lake Michigan they helped build.

The Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Painters, and God-Save-The-Queen Monarchists of the Great Lakes
By Ted McClelland. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2008.

Chronicling the author’s 10,000-mile "Great Lakes Circle Tour,” this travel memoir seeks to answer a burning question: Is there a Great Lakes culture, and if so, what is it?

Please visit the Water Library at http://waterlibrary.aqua.wisc.edu for more information or to learn about more stories of Lake Michigan and all the Great Lakes.

Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow these books. Just email askwater@aqua.wisc.edu.



The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents