University of Sioux Falls

Poet Kevin Cole discusses his latest book Late Summer Plums. Cole reads passages from the collection which is inspired by geography, landscape and forgotten places. He's joined by his publisher Steve Boint of Scurfpea Publishing. Boint talks about shifts in the publishing industry.

Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Ted Kooser attended the SD Festival of Books. He took time to visit with Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about his notebooks, the trance of poetry and the moment he learned he had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Augustana University

Art and poetry go hand in hand. Artist Nancy Losacker and and poet Norma Wilson show just how to combine the two creative outlets in their joint-exhibit and new written collection "Rivers, Wings, and Sky." The South Dakota Arts Council has supported the duo since 2008, displaying their work at galleries throughout the region. Their final exhibit is on display at Augustana’s Center for Western Studies until October 22. The two join Dakota Midday to discuss their partnership, their friendship, and how inspiration is shared and expanded through collaboration.


The Lakota language has no poetry tradition. Lawrence Diggs is a scholar working to encourage Lakota language learners to create poems. Diggs joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about a week-long workshop at Sitting Bull College through the Lakota Language Institute.

Inmates seek the wisdom of  Buddhism. Monk starts a poetry group inside the prison. Poets publish a book and donate the proceeds to Family Connection. Poet Lawrence Diggs joins Dakota Midday to tell the story.

The book is called “Prose and Cons: Poetic views from inmates detained by the South Dakota Department of Corrections."

Maddie Lukomski and Libby Murphy are award-winning high school poets who triumphed in South Dakota’s Poetry Out Loud competition.

The national finals are May 3-4. Lukomski is on her way to Washington DC to represent South Dakota as state champion. Murphy is one of the state winners in the original poetry competition. The two discuss the value of committing verse to memory, the opportunities for young poets to find careers, and why you should always move your notebook to another room when you have the stomach flu.

Author Jim Reese’s poetry collection “Really Happy” is the second feature of the 2016 Dakota Midday Book Club.

Reese joins Midday to discuss how poetry has informed his role as father, the use of poetry in federal prison, and the importance of truth and second chances.

If you are a member of the Dakota Midday Book Club, our next  book will arrive in your mailbox before long. It's called "Worthy" by Denice Turner.

MJ McMillan is a South Dakota rancher and poet. He joins Dakota Midday during National Poetry Month to talk about poetry that celebrates day-to-day life, for day-to-day people. McMillan and host Lori Walsh discuss rhyme, ranching, and rambling, and McMillan recites a signature poem from his latest collection.

McMillan is also joined by Deb Lux, with the Rapid City Arts Council, who talks about the Word 4 Word event at the Dahl in Rapid City.

Joseph Amato is a second-generation Sicilian American. He writes  intellectual and cultural history, including poetry, philosophy, and ethics. He joins Dakota Midday to discuss his latest book, “My Three Sicilies.” The book is written in the three languages of poetry, fiction, and history. Amato uses the theme of exploring our past to become both more and other than who we are even as he explores issues of identity, immigration, and love.

Poet Barbara Duffey reads poems from her upcoming collection "Simple Machines" and USD's Marcella Remund discusses the Vermillion Literary Project's upcoming literary celebration.

Since July 1, Lee Ann Roripaugh has been South Dakota's new poet laureate. She was appointed by Governor Dennis Daugaard and succeeds David Allan Evans who served the state for more than a dozen years.

The landscape of South Dakota is often stark with a beauty that’s subtle and sometimes unapproachable. In the new book, Visibility: Ten Miles, poet Sharon Chmielarz and photographer Ken Smith capture the spirit of life on the prairie through images and verse.

South Dakota State Historical Society

In the early 20th century, hundreds of Native Americans from tribes around the country were sent the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians. Located in Canton, South Dakota, the institution wasn’t so much a place to treat people with mental health problems as a place for Native Americans who refused to assimilate in white society.

Over the past few years, Scurfpea Publishing of Sioux Falls has produced an annual anthology of poems. It’s a juried competition with a different editor each year. The editor for the latest collection, Memory, Echo, Words, is Norma Wilson. She taught English at the University of South Dakota for 27 years before retiring a decade ago. She’s author of the recent chapbook, Under the Rainbow: Poems from Mojacar. Wlson joined Dakota Midday and discussed the process of selecting the poems included in the book.

Poet Jim Reese finds inspiration in such ordinary things as bowling alleys, classrooms, bumper stickers and children’s drawings. He also draws upon his experiences as an English professor at Mount Marty College in Yankton, his work teaching poetry to prison inmates and his life as a father to a couple of young daughters. His poetry also frequently finds the strangeness and humor in the familiar. Reese is out with a new collection called Really Happy and he joined Dakota Midday and shared a few poems from the book.

Patrick Hicks

When writer Patrick Hicks and his wife were unable to have biological children, they adopted a little boy from South Korea. In his new book of poetry, Adoptable, Hicks shares the joys of fatherhood and imagines his son as he grows older. The book’s poems also examine what it means to adopt a child from another country and culture. In one poem he asks the question, “Did we do the right thing, importing you to the other side of the world, bringing you to the prairie and the ice?”

The Badger Sett Band

Guitarist and singer Pegie Douglas says the poetry of Badger Clark fits naturally to music. She's the leader of the Badger Sett Band which wants to keep the poetry of Clark alive.

Doane Robinson Collection

Jun 18, 2014
South Dakota State Historical Society

Historical items of Doane Robinson, the first secretary of the South Dakota State Historical Society, are now available in the South Dakota Digital Archives.  The Doane Robinson collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, poetry, genealogical date, census and related statistics and miscellaneous papers.  Matthew Reitzel, Manuscript and Photo Archivist, and Chelle Somsen, State Archivist, both with the South Dakota State Historical Society, discussed the collection along with the rapid process of digitization, working with changing technology and taking history "outside the four wall

Joseph Amato and the Power of Poetic Metaphor

May 30, 2014
Abigail Rorer, The Lone Oak Press

Joseph Amato is the author of some twenty books and countless articles. He’s written about faith, family and life in the Midwest and investigated the meaning of place and home. He’s also taken intellectual and cultural journeys into the human relationship with dust and surfaces. He’s written memoirs about golfing and bypass surgery. Amato taught for more than thirty-five years at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota and helped create the university’s Center for Rural and Regional Studies.

SDSU Professor and Poet Remembers Maya Angelou

May 30, 2014
South Dakota State University

Earlier this week, Maya Angelou died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the age of 86. Angelou was a poet, performer and political activist. She grew up in a  segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," the first in a series of memoirs. The list of her published verse, non-fiction and fiction included more than 30 best-selling titles.

Main Street Square Writing Workshop

May 16, 2014
Courtesy Christine Stewart

A writing workshop is taking place this Saturday at Rapid City’s Main Street Square. The goal is to collect impressions of The Passage of Wind and Water sculpture project for a chorale poem about the art work.

Christine Stewart is an associate professor at South Dakota State University and a published poet. She’s been gathering written comments about Masayuki Nagase’s Passage of Wind and Water Project since last Fall.

New Book Of Poetry By Eric Lochridge

Jan 31, 2014

A new book of poetry by Black Hills native Eric Lochridge is now on the shelves. Lochridge covered arts and music at the Rapid City Journal for 17 years before his recent move to Bellingham, Washington. "Real Boy Blues" is the second book of poems to be published. His work has also appeared in several journals. Lochridge describes his poems as a pursuit of the universal connections, including those between fathers and children, husbands and wives, and God and humanity.

"Rivers, Wings and Sky"

Jan 23, 2014
University of South Dakota

"Rivers, Wings and Sky," an exhibition by poet Norma Wilson and artist Nancy Losacker, is on display through the spring semester at the I.D.

Photo by Jim Kent

Community members gathered at Rapid City’s Main Street Square to try their hand at ekphrasis: creating writing based on art. The subject was the Passage of Wind and Water sculpture project. The form of writing used was poetry.

It’s a beautiful autumn afternoon in Rapid City as a dozen poets sit next to the expansive Passage of Wind and Water sculpture; their minds and pens at the ready.

National Poetry Month

Apr 19, 2013

April is National Poetry Month.  Lee Ann Roripaugh, professor of English at the University of South Dakota, joined Dakota Midday to share a few of her poems.  She is the author of "Beyond Heart Mountain," "Year of the Snake," and "On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year."

Great Plains Emerging Writer

Mar 25, 2013

Minneapolis poet Gary Dop is the inaugural winner of the Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize, a new award designed to showcase emerging literary artists from the region by the South Dakota State University English Department and Great Plains Writer's Conference.  Dop's debut poetry collection, "Father, Child, Water," is forthcoming in 2015 from Red Hen Press of Los Angeles.  His essays have been heard on All Things Considered from NPR News.

"Twenty One Days Later: The Journey"

Feb 19, 2013

A family tragedy propelled Tony Baccarini on a journey towards healing and discovery.  He was admitted at Kenilworth Psychiatric Clinic and spent the next 21 days coming to terms with a failed relationship, bipolar disorder and grief.  The process made him discover his love and talent for writing poetry.  "Twenty One Days Later: The Journey," is the story of Baccarini's coming to terms with his mental illness and finding true inner peace.  Baccarini joined Dakota Midday from London, England.

"Under The Rainbow: Poems From Mojacar"

Jan 29, 2013
Trans Artists

In the summer of 2002, poet and University of South Dakota Professor emeritus Norma Wilson spent a month as a writer in residence at Fundacion Valparaiso, located at the foot of a mountain, Mojacar La Vieja in Spain.  In her new poetry chapbook, "Under the Rainbow: Poems from Mojacar," Wilson reflects on the culture and history of southeastern Spain and her life in South Dakota.

"The Christmas Plains"

Nov 30, 2012

The mad joys and wild emotions of Christmas are captured in Joseph Bottum's new book, "The Christmas Plains."  His memoir of growing up on the South Dakota plains include the sweet, comic, sentimental and serious snapshots of the holiday.  Bottom is one of the nation's most widely published essayists and poets, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers from the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and National Review.  Bottum is the former editor in chief of the journal First Things and former literary editor of the Weekly Standard, where he remains a contributing

Poet Taylor Mali

Oct 16, 2012

Taylor Mali's mastery with words has inspired many to go into the teaching profession.  He has traveled throughout the world to perform and lecture for teachers.  Mali recently published a book of essays, "What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World," which chronicles his life from teacher to advocate.  Mali spoke Tuesday at Black Hills State University as part of the Madeline A. Young Distinguished Speaker Series.