Mission Point Press, Traverse City, Mich.
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Joseph B. Kirkish

An early passion for drama, photography, and film, along with a deep desire to serve his community, spawned multiple, interwoven careers for immigrant son and Copper Country native Joe Kirkish. Besides teaching from 1956 to 1988 in the Humanities Department at Michigan Technological University, Kirkish also founded WGGL (the FM campus station that became one of the charter NPR stations). For over sixty years, he has been a columnist for Houghton’s Daily Mining Gazette. He was the 2002 recipient of Michigan Tech’s prestigious Clair M. Donovan award for his extracurricular services to the university and community, and his sustained efforts to promote the cinematic arts earned him the 2017 City Light Award from Tech’s 41 North Film Festival.

Kirkish’s career as a photographer also spans many decades. Beginning in his teens, he did freelance work, first for the Gazette and eventually for college and daily newspapers throughout the region. In addition, he developed the photography program at Camp Nebagamon (Wisconsin), which houses a collection of his work shot there from 1952 to 1967. His fine art photography has been featured in major magazines (including Popular Photography, US Camera, and Modern Photography), and he has exhibited at art galleries, museums, and art fairs in Michigan and beyond, garnering numerous awards.