BJ Hollars


B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds and From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human. He serves as the reviews editor for Pleiades, a mentor for Creative Nonfiction, and a ...

Content By This Contributor:

Thu. Nov. 7th, 2019

Santa Claus, Childlike Wonder, and Reindeer Poop on the Roof

BJ Hollars

There comes a time in every Santa-believer’s life when that believing hits a snag. Often the seeds of doubt are planted by way of schoolyard bullies, or dream-shattering friends, or one’s own late ...

Tue. Sep. 17th, 2019

Living Strangely

BJ Hollars

Of the many items that have found their way into my basement’s cabinet of curiosities, perhaps my most beloved is a Bigfoot sketch drawn for me by a friend. There he is tromping through the underbrush ...

Fri. Apr. 5th, 2019


BJ Hollars

My neighbors did the logical thing: rolled out the chicken wire, planted the stakes, and transformed their garden into a fortress. Sun and rain still had access, though no longer the rabbits, or the raccoons ...

Thu. Jan. 10th, 2019

I Can (Mostly) Do It by Myself

BJ Hollars

When Stephen Krensky wrote and published his 2012 children’s book, I Can Do It Myself!, 4-year-olds everywhere took the title as truth ...

Tue. Jul. 17th, 2018

Half a Century of Service to Children

BJ Hollars

For Leann and Mel Breed, life’s always been about looking out for our children. “They’re our future and we have to take care of them, and we have to inspire them,” Leann says.

Thu. May. 31st, 2018

Heroics on (And Off) the Tundra

BJ Hollars, illustrated by Janae Breunig

can legendary Lambeau Field compete with the “best night” of teens’ lives?

Tue. May. 8th, 2018

Kid-Less Adventures by the Poolside (a couple rediscovers what actual humans do)

BJ Hollars

My wife and I are sitting poolside at our Puerto Rican resort, and everything is allegedly perfect. The water’s warm, the sun is bright, and the ocean’s just a short walk away. It’s 9:07am, and already we’ve loitered at the gym, made a good faith effort at a beach run, and just wrapped up a leisurely breakfast for two. To our astonishment, nobody is crying and nobody has pooped anyone’s pants.

Wed. Mar. 21st, 2018

Of Mice and Men

BJ Hollars

We’d made it most the summer without the air, but at last we break. It’s August, and rather than another night spent sweating in sheets, I reach toward the register, flick the switch from “Off” to “Cool” and wait for the welcome hum of the air conditioner ...

Thu. Feb. 15th, 2018

Of Mice and Men

BJ Hollars

We’d made it most the summer without the air, but at last we break. It’s August, and rather than another night spent sweating in sheets, I reach toward the register, flick the switch from “Off” to “Cool” and wait for the welcome hum of the air conditioner ...

Fri. Jan. 26th, 2018

Parents Need Privacy, If Only for a Moment

BJ Hollars

The day started off promising enough. I’d just risen from my bed without disturbing the dog, my children, or my wife, a feat that earned me a few minutes of solitude before the day’s chaos began. There, in the ...

Fri. Nov. 3rd, 2017

The Road Less Traveled for a Reason

BJ Hollars

Over the past 72 hours Henry and I’d spent time in Rhinelander, Eagle River, and Mercer, all stops on what I’d vaguely determined was a “book tour,” though the majority of our time was spent playing Marco Polo in the motel pools and combing every antique store we could.

Wed. Jun. 14th, 2017

In Defense of the Video Store

BJ Hollars, illustrated by Janae Breunig

you can have your Netflix algorithms; I’ll rely on a clerk named Keith

Tue. May. 23rd, 2017

The Trail We Know by Heart

BJ Hollars

In the sixth month of my son’s life, I hike him up a mountain. Or at least the closest we have to a mountain here in Wisconsin, which, as it turns out, is the Potholes Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park ...

Tue. Feb. 21st, 2017

Unraveling the Heart

BJ Hollars, photos by Andrea Paulseth

best-selling local author Butler explores fathers, sons in powerful new novel

Thu. Feb. 9th, 2017

Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii)

BJ Hollars

In 1906 the world thought it had seen its last Pinta Island tortoise. That year, the California Academy of Sciences led an expedition that yielded a total of three males, after which the search for the long-necked, leather-skinned species went cold ...

Wed. Sep. 21st, 2016

A Box of Clues

BJ Hollars, photos by BJ Hollars

on a historical hunt, books uncovered, records spun, and a resurrection gone awry

Mon. Nov. 30th, 2015


BJ Hollars

One night when my wife is pregnant with our second child, she asks me for a glass of water. It’s late, and though it is a minor request, I still grumble as I sleepwalk to the kitchen. Who can say what time it is? Even the clocks are asleep. But the water is there, and the glasses are there, and so I fill a glass ...

Mon. Apr. 13th, 2015

What Made a Wisconsin Naturalist Want to Disappear?

BJ Hollars

The hermit had a name but no one knew it, or almost no one did. Francis Zirrer, an import from Yugoslavia, preferred it that way. All he wanted in the world, after all, was for the world to forget he was there. By the 1930s, he and his wife ...

Tue. Feb. 3rd, 2015

Essay: Finding Fannie

BJ Hollars, photos by BJ Hollars, Andrea Paulseth

on an obsessive journey, Eau Claire writer B.J. Hollars roams from antique shop to headstone

Fri. Oct. 17th, 2014

Resurfacing with the Truth

BJ Hollars

B.J. Hollars recreates (and fabricates) tales of death on the Valley’s waterways