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SD writers’ series coming to DSU

January 22, 2020

Thanks to grant funding from South Dakota Humanities Council, Dakota State University and the Madison Area Arts Council (MAAC), six South Dakota writers will visit Madison and Dakota State over the course of the year. 

Dr. Justin Blessinger, DSU professor of English, worked with Chris Francis, president of MAAC, to apply for the grant which will fund the series of South Dakota authors. 

 The series will help students realize there’s a place for their unique experiences and the importance of sharing the stories of South Dakota, Blessinger said. Additionally, it is a way to recognize the authors’ art and give them compensation for the readings, Blessinger explained. 

“By partnering with MAAC we could get double the programming,” Blessinger said. “So, we’re planning to do an afternoon reading on campus and an evening reading at the Brickhouse for each visiting writer.” 

Three authors will have readings this spring. Pen Pearson is author of “Bloomsbury’s Late Rose,” a work of historical fiction about the Victorian poet Charlotte Mew. Pearson will do a reading on Tuesday, March 3, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Brian Bedard, former South Dakota resident, has a book of short stories coming out this month. He writes with South Dakota as a setting, and will do a reading on Wednesday, April 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Dr. Joseph Bottum, DSU associate professor of philosophy and author of “The Decline of the Novel” will do a reading on Tuesday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

In Fall 2020, three poets will read from their publications. Christine Stewart is South Dakota’s current poet laureate and author of “Bluewords Greening” and “Untrussed.” Lee Ann Roripaugh, former South Dakota poet laureate, is the author of “Tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50: poems.” John Nelson, author of poetry chapbook “West River,” will be the third poet. 

Blessinger hopes to have the visiting authors’ books available at the Karl Mundt Library and the Madison Public Library prior to their readings.

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