Coming Home: War, Healing, and American Culture
The 2014 Great Plains Writers’ Conference (March 24-26) will focus on the roles of military culture in American literary life, with particular emphasis on the relationship—on a personal and cultural level—between literature and healing. This theme reflects South Dakota’s proportionately large contribution to the armed forces, as well as South Dakota State University’s large body (over seven hundred strong) of Military Science students, reservists, and ROTC candidates.
We seek funding to bring in a robust lineup of nationally-recognized presenters. We hope to invite not only acclaimed writers with military service history, but also civilians who have written significantly about military-related experiences at home. In addition to readings, our lineup will include creative writing workshops for veterans (modeled on the NEA’s “Operation Homecoming” program) and for students entering the military, programs on the Native American military experience, and outreach to veterans and their families in the community and the region.
This gallery contains 16 photos.
Our conference theme generated many conversations and connections, as evidenced in this sampling of photos from the two-day event.
We had a terrific opening presentation on Sunday night, March 24 from Vine Deloria Jr.’s son, Philip. If you were there, we hope you’ll agree. If you weren’t you should have been–an insightful, intimate, and challenging portrait of a man who left a giant footprint.
Thank you to Anita Bahr, graduate of SDSU’s English Department, whose annual gift helps defray the cost of publication for Oakwood. The English Department and its students deeply appreciate Anita for giving back and continuing her love of SDSU.
We’re also having a launch party on Thursday, March 28 from 7-9pm that will feature our artists and writers. Check out the poster and join us!.
SDSU collaborators for the upcoming “An Evening with Dunn’s Feminine Images” show will present a panel discussion titled, “Cross-Artistic Collaboration: From Page to Stage,” at the Great Plains Writers’ Conference on Monday, March 25 at 2 p.m. in SDSU’s Student Union.
The April 10-11 multi-dimensional performances will showcase the artwork of Harvey Dunn through poetry, music, animation and dance. The Dunn paintings that will be depicted in the show include “The Prairie is my Garden,” “After the Blizzard,” “Girl Driving Oxen” and “Fixing Fence.”
Performances will be held April 10 and 11 at the Performing Arts Center on the campus South Dakota State University. Tickets are free, but they must be obtained ahead of time at the South Dakota Art Museum on campus. Call 605-688-5423 after April 1 to reserve tickets.
Both nights, the show’s collaborators will gather for a post-show discussion following the 7:30
“Our hope is to give audiences a new understanding of the artwork of Harvey Dunn while offering some insight into the prairie experience that’s part of our heritage,” said Darla Bielfeldt, an instructor in the English department whose poems inspired by Dunn’s paintings are incorporated into the show’s “soundscape.”
Bielfeldt notes that Dunn’s own quotes on art, as recorded by one of his students in “An Evening in the Classroom,” will also be part of the presentation.
“This performance has brought together many departments of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Bielfeldt said, “and it involves more than 50 students who are getting a new insight into Dunn’s artwork as well as learning about the power of collaboration.”
“An Evening with Dunn’s Feminine Images” is projected to be a just the first part of a larger work, potentially three times as long, that should be ready by spring 2015.
SDSU colleagues who collaborated on this show include dance choreographer, Dr. Melissa Hauschild-Mork; poet, Darla Bielfeldt; composer, Dr. Aaron Ragsdale; animator, Cable Hardin; and sculptor, Lynn Verschoor.
For more information, email Darla.Bielfeldt@sdstate.edu.