History of the South Dakota State Poetry Society
The first organizational meeting of the South Dakota State Poetry Societywas held on October 5, 1927 in Huron, SD. The Society was founded in 1927 by Dr. James C. Lindberg at Northern State College. Its official literary magazine, Pasque Petals, was first published in 1926 in Aberdeen, SD. Since 1959 SDSPS has been the body to vet and recommend the South Dakota Poet Laureate to the Governor. SDSPS is directed by a Board of up to fifteen South Dakota poets who also select the Editor for Pasque Petals, oversee its annual state-wide poetry contest (now in its 39th year), and assist with the South Dakota Festival of Books.
The current South Dakota Poet Laureate is Christine Stewart-Nuñez , appointed in 2019. Past Poet Laureates
are Badger Clark (1937-1957), Adeline Jenny (1958-1973), Mabel Frederick (July-October 1973), Audrae Visser (1974-2001), David Allen Evans (2001-2015), and Lee Ann Roripaugh (2015-2019).
The SDSPS was incorporated as a non-profit organization on August 8, 1970, and it’s mission is:
To encourage and foster the writing and publication of poetry by South Dakota writers and to promote excellence therein; to arouse in students of high school and college age, interest in the creative
writing of poetry; to foster or publish Pasque Petals, a magazine, on a regular basis, thereby continuing the publication which was begun before the Society was organized, which publication is devoted chiefly to poetry, to stimulate by such proper means as the sponsoring of contests, awarding of prizes, and by other means of encouragement, the writing of poetry; and by these means to aid in the cultural growth
of South Dakota.
Our magazine, Pasque Petals, is the oldest official poetry journal in continuous publication sponsored by a state poetry society within the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. This literary journal, which began as a mimeographed monthly publication, has grown to two annual professionally printed editions that exhibit poetry in a wide variety of forms that illustrate the emotional and intellectual insights of our regional, national, and international contributors. In addition to Pasque Petals, in 2010, board members decided to realize the society’s mission in a new way by sponsoring a chapbook contest and publishing the winner in order to foster and highlight a larger body of work bySouth Dakota poets.
In 2015 the SDSPS placed its considerable archives in the Hilton M. Briggs Library at South Dakota State University for care and to make them accessible to the public in perpetuity.
The SDSPS Board of Directors meets three times a year, in January, June, and in September during the South Dakota Humanities Council’s annual South Dakota Festival of the Book. SDSPS volunteers facilitate the poetry track at the Festival each year.
The SDSPS organizes and supports poetry readings and events across the state, in schools, communities and prisons, and hosts a website: www.sdpoetry.org. Our work reflects our Mission Statement: “For the purpose of connecting to all South Dakota writers, rural and urban, and contributing to the state’s cultural growth, SDSPS seeks to foster the creation and appreciation of poetry that appeals to the senses, challenges the imagination, and stimulates creative and intellectual thought.”
Prepared by Norma C. Wilson, Secretary, South Dakota State Poetry Society
June 11, 2018
SDSPS is a 501c3 organization (EIN: 23-7420414). Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your generous donation. If you want to become a member and receive our publications, see our membership rab.