College of Arts & Sciences English

You are here:

Frederick Manfred

Manfred was the writer-in-residence in the English Department at the University of South Dakota during the 1970s and 80s. According to his daughter Freya Manfred, "Many of those who drank coffee with him, watched him, listened to him, learned from him, are now well-known national or regional writers: Pete Dexter, Michael Doane, Elly Welt, William Earls, Dan O'Brien, Linda Hasselstrom, Craig Volk, Bill Holm, John Calvin Rezmerski, and Joe and Nancy Paddock" (Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers).

Novelist Frederick Feikema Manfred (1912-1994) grew up on a farm near Doon in northwestern Iowa. He is remembered in his fiction for vividly depicting life on the Great Plains, particularly the region for which he coined the expression "Siouxland," including northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota. Manfred's novel This is the Year, published in 1947, appeared on The New York Times best-seller list for four weeks.

Remembering Frederick Manfred

  • View a Slide Show (Microsoft PowerPoint required) about Frederick Manfred, presented by Professor Thomas Gasque.
  • Tricia Currans-Sheehan and Jeanne Emmons, editors of the Briar Cliff Review, graciously gave the University of South Dakota English Department permission to reprint the Spring 1995 Briar Cliff Review articles on Frederick Manfred:
  • A relative of Fred's, Denise Karachuk Feikema, talks about meeting Fred and how he inspired her as a writer: "Frederick Feikema Manfred: Tribute to a Giant" by Denise Karachuk Feikema.
  • A poem in memory of Frederick Manfred by Mick McAllister, a scholar and writer who knew Fred well: "Cottonwood".

Related Resources

  • Within Blue Mounds State Park lies the Interpretative Center, once the home of Frederick Manfred.
  • The Center for Great Plains Studies features a Page on Frederick Manfred, including a brief biography, a list of his publications, and a critical annotated bibliography.
  • The Center for International Studies features a video about Frederick Manfred (American Grizzly: Frederick Manfred). Contact information: 
    The Center for International Education
    255 Kellogg Boulevard E., Suite 503
    Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-1435 USA
    E-mail: Mike Hazard, 
    Phone: 651-227-2240
  • Center for Western Studies. The Center, located at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, has published works about Frederick Manfred, as well as a work by Manfred: The Wind Blows Free, 1979.
  • John R. Milton Memorial Writers Conference. The Milton 2000 Conference celebrated the life and works of Frederick Manfred. The conference continues to focus on authors, works of literature, and ideas that lean west.
  • University of South Dakota Library has many works by and about Frederick Manfred.
  • Western Literature Association. This site focuses primarily on works and authors "located" west of the Mississippi. Frederick Manfred was a member of this organization for many years. It mentions the award named after him, "The Frederick Manfred Creative Writing Award," which, in its first year (2001) was awarded to USD professor and poet Lee Ann Roripaugh.