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USD Ph.D. Student Focuses on Personal Experiences in New Poetry Book

Photo of Avery Guess. Avery Guess released her new poetry chapbook "The Patient Admits" this September.

VERMILLION, S.D. – For Avery Guess, a University of South Dakota Ph.D. student, poetry is both deeply personal and a way of creating art out of experience.

Guess, who received a 2015 NEA Fellowship for Poetry, has written a new poetry chapbook called “The Patient Admits.” The book was released in September by Dancing Girl Press, and focuses on what it means to be a survivor of child abuse.

“I've been working on writing, publishing, and reading the poems in 'The Patient Admits' for years now, so I've been able to, over time, feel more comfortable having these words out in the world,” she said. “I feel that it is especially necessary right now for women's writing about sexual assault to be discussed and I'm grateful to my publisher, Dancing Girl Press, for believing in my work.”

In April of 2019, Guess’ full-length book, “The Truth Is,” will be published by Black Lawrence Press and will delve deeper into her experience of surviving abuse and living with mental illness.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


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 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News