Welcome to Cynthia Frank-Stupnik

Cynthia Frank-Stupnik is an award-winning poet, essayist, and novelist. She identifies with Pulitzer-prize winning author Hamlin Garland‘s A Daughter of the Middle Border for the varied Midwest landscapes where he and his pioneering family worked and lived.

Cynthia Frank-Stupnik began writing in Minnesota over sixty years ago. When she moved away from the Mississippi River to live in South Dakota, the land her German-Russian ancestors claimed in the 1870s, she took up pen (or keypad on the computer) in earnest. Her writing reflects her faith, family, ancestors, the varied landscapes that tug at her heart, and women’s rights.

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Scruples & Drams, A Novel of Minnesota’s Main Street Women, published 2015 by North Star Press

With its arch-like trees covering the town, Clearwater provided a safe haven for Jennie Phillips, an apprenticing druggist in her father’s store in the late nineteenth century. While on a routine trip to deliver a prescription out in the country, she is alarmed when she encounters what some consider to be the ghost of murdered Irish girl roaming the Tamarack Swamp, a case she becomes obsessed with because it has never been solved. She struggles with her responsibility to uphold her father’s ethical practices when she learns how some women are using the over-the-counter patent medicines, those purchased at their store. Yet when she learns that rape and burglary can take place even in her village, Jennie realizes Clearwater is not as idyllic as she once thought, and for many women, the art of living isn’t as exact as dispensing.


AROUND CLEARWATER, published 2016 by Arcadia Publishing

Burrowed below bluffs overlooking the Mississippi and Clearwater Rivers, Clearwater‘s houses, its churches, and most of its original businesses resemble those that settlers had left behind in the East. With its arch-like trees sheltering Oak and Main Streets, the community remained home to many who lived and died there and those who had moved on only to return for yearly Old Settlers gatherings. This sense of community allowed Clearwater to thrive. Flour and pulp mills lined the shores of the Clearwater River. Mercantile, hardware, jewelry, and drug stores cropped up, providing the products for a growing community. Trade once powered by steamboats on the Mississippi was taken over by James Hill’s Great Northern Railroad. While the village and surroundings have changed over time, the original charm is still there ready to be explored again.

Other Books