Vermillion Literary Project Draws Writers to Campus

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Writers, poets and people interested in the craft will gather Thursday on the University of South Dakota campus for the daylong 2016 Literary Festival, hosted by the award-winning literary and creative writing student organization Vermillion Literary Project.

This year’s event features visiting writers Barbara Duffey and Heidei Czerwiec as well as USD graduate student writers Sara Henning, David Levine, Kevin Phillips and Staci Schoenfeld. The festival includes a morning creative nonfiction writing workshop with Czerwiec, a noon reading by USD grad students, an afternoon poetry writing workshop with Duffey, an afternoon reading by Czerwiec and Duffey, and an evening reading and open mic night hosted by Czerwiec. All sessions are open to the public. There is a registration fee for the writing workshops, and space is limited. No previous writing experience is needed to participate in the workshops. The readings and open mic are free, and the open mic is open to anyone who would like to read five to 10 minutes’ worth of their original work. A signup sheet will be available.

Czerwiec is a poet, essayist and translator who teaches at the University of North Dakota, where she is poetry editor at "North Dakota Quarterly." She is the author of two recent poetry chapbooks — "Self-Portrait as Bettie Page" and "A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster" — and the forthcoming lyric essay sequence "Sweet/Crude: A Bakken Boom Cycle." She's also editor of "North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets."

Duffey is a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow in poetry. Her collection "Simple Machines" won the 2015 Washington Prize from The Word Works and will be published in March. She is also the author of "I Might Be Mistaken," and an assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University. She lives in Mitchell, South Dakota, with her husband and son. You can find her online at and on Twitter @BarbaraNDuffey.

The VLP publishes an annual literary journal and hosts the monthly LiTrash event (last Thursday of each month), which includes readings, open mics, poetry slams and writing games. The VLP also hosts an annual short story writing contest, co-sponsors with Dakota Writing Project an annual creative writing camp for high school students and hosts other literary events throughout the academic year.

For a complete festival schedule, registration and fee information, and registration form, visit and click on the Literary Festival link.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News