Frank Bures

Writer, Editor

United States

Frank Bures is an award-winning writer, reporter and editor based in Minneapolis and author of The Geography of Madness, which Newsweek called one of the best travel books of the decade. He also edited the collection Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology.

His stories have been included in the Best American Travel Writing, selected as “Notable” stories for the Best American Sports Writing, Essays and Travel Writing and won other awards.

Areas of expertise include cross-cultural communication, language, and the science of narrative and culture. He speaks Swahili, Italian and a few other languages.

Bures also works with select companies and organizations to create impactful narratives the people will actually read and remember.

You can reach him at [email protected]. More at frankbures.com.

Portfolio

Magazines

Runner's World
01/01/2014
Runner, Interrupted

When Marko Cheseto disappeared during a run one snowy winter night, he stumbled out of the woods 55 hours later. His frozen feet could not be saved.

Mens Health
12/09/2014
The Donors

Every man makes sacrifices, but some guys give to strangers as if they were family—even if it means losing a piece of themselves.

Belt Magazine/Thirty Two Magazine
06/15/2012
The Fall of the Creative Class

Richard Florida's doctrine - that gays, artists, and bohemians bring jobs - has been embraced by a whole generation of policy makers. But is it true?

Rotary Magazine
02/01/2017
Education on the Front Lines

In Nigeria, a university president and Rotary Club fight Boko Haram by educating and feeding victims

Bicycling Magazine
01/01/2010
501 Pounds

Five years ago, Scott Cutshall was so fat, that doctors told him he'd die within six months. Then he looked out his window and saw a man riding a bike

Harper's Magazine
06/01/2008
A Mind Dismembered

Letter From Nigeria: In Search of the Magical Penis Thieves

Travel

Star Tribune
01/05/2019
Slytherin Toward Hogwarts

How a family trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter unintentionally revealed the power of stories.

Salon
12/08/1999
Making bombs in Zanzibar

An enigmatic encounter with a would-be African terrorist leaves an expatriate wondering about truth and faith.

Outdoors

American Craft Magazine
06/01/2023
Adventure Craft

For most of human history, we lived, worked, and played outdoors. But over the past century or so, we've come to spend less time outside and more time in-over 90 percent of our day, by some estimates. A quarter of Americans never leave the house at all during the day.

Star Tribune
03/25/2022
Dead Cold

A spring outing on frigid Mississippi River went very wrong. Luckily he's around to ponder a far worse outcome and share what he learned as a lesson to others.

Essays

Undark Magazine
07/06/2016
On the Body as Machine

Seeing bodies as machines and brains as computers has led to a militaristic approach to medicine and an over simplification of the mind's complex abilities.

Minnesota Reformer
12/10/2021
The Death of Snow Days

Opinion: In Minneapolis, the joy of the snow day will be replaced with the dread of e-learning.

Artsmia
04/26/2016
Art Inspires: Frank Bures on the lobster coffin of Ghana

The first dead person I ever saw in daylight was a young boy lying next to a road in Tanzania. It was early morning and we were driving south on the country's main highway when I saw the crows fly up out of a ditch. I craned my neck to see what they'd been eating.

World Hum
09/10/2003
Test Day

Frank Bures administers an English exam to his students in Tanzania, where life is hard and giving up isn't an option

The Science of Stories

Melville House
04/26/2016
The Geography of Madness

The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World's Strangest Syndromes

Poets & Writers
01/01/2013
The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives

Contributing editor Frank Bures recalls a meeting with the late poet Paul Gruchow during his formative years, a memory that sparks a personal investigation to better understand the stories we tell ourselves in an unconcious attempt to make sense of our lives.

Writing & The Arts

Nieman Storyboard
04/18/2017
5(ish) Questions: David Grann and "Killers of the Flower Moon"

Sometimes the idea for a book springs from what you don't know. David Grann had never heard of the "Osage Murders" until a historian he was talking to mentioned the series of mysterious deaths among members of the wealthy Osage tribe in early 20th century Oklahoma.

Vqronline
Things Come Together: A Journey through Literary Lagos

It was late at night, and Toni Kan and I were pissing into a stream next to the expressway in Lagos, Nigeria. Cars raced past, to and from the city. Most would make it to where they were going. A few would not.

Environment

Outside Magazine
10/17/2019
The Eaters and the Players

As our country has grown more divided, so has our outdoors. And now, with public lands under assault, wild places becoming more fragmented, and hunting in decline, this division matters more than ever, as does finding a bridge across it.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
A Growing Movement

Seed saving is part of our history—and our future. Meet the Minnesotans who are keeping the tradition alive.

Rotary
10/01/2020
Rotarians pledge to restore the monarch butterfly's disappearing habitat

In late 2019, just before the world shut down, my family flew from Minneapolis to Mexico City, then drove two hours west toward the city of Valle de Bravo. From there, we continued on to Santuario Piedra Herrada, a nature preserve situated in the forested mountains of central Mexico.

Tufts Now
08/25/2011
Sound Tracker

It was early morning, and Doug Quin, SMFA84, and I were headed out on a winding ribbon of road leading away from Syracuse, to a patch of wild tucked between ups

Brand Storytelling

Rotary
What happens when you say yes to Rotary

These 17 people joined Rotary to make a difference - only to find themselves transformed Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Megan Law had been traveling in Poland and Ukraine for weeks before the cornflakes appeared.

Editorial

Belt Publishing
Under Purple Skies: The Minneapolis Anthology

In recent years, Minneapolis has become a literary powerhouse. This edition in the Belt City Anthology Series is a literary tour guide of Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area, with narrative threads that stretch back not just to Scandinavia, but across the world.

The Wildling
Our Team - The Wildling

A revolutionary truth-telling experience for teens and kids. Come jam with our small and mighty nonprofit! All genders. All races welcome.