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Poet and Journalist Christopher Vondracek Discusses New Book, 'Rattlesnake Summer,' on Credit Hour

Christopher Vondracek USD alumnus Christopher Vondracek discussed his career and new book on South Dakota's 66 counties on the Credit Hour podcast.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Poet and journalist Christopher Vondracek, '07 B.A., '09 M.A., discussed his career and new book on South Dakota’s 66 counties, "Rattlesnake Summer," on the podcast Credit Hour.

“There were all these documents and stories and human tales that I felt couldn’t come out in journalism, but they could come out in poem,” said Vondracek, discussing his travels across South Dakota. “That reignited my love of poetry as a medium.”

Vondracek, an Allen H. Neuharth Excellence in Journalism Scholarship recipient, got his start in journalism at USD’s student newspaper, the Volante. His new book, "Rattlesnake Summer," provides a glimpse at South Dakota’s 66 counties through 66 poems written while traveling across South Dakota. He currently covers government and politics and South Dakota for Forum News Service.

Vondracek earned his bachelor’s degree from USD in what was then called contemporary media and journalism in 2007 and his master’s degree in English in 2009.

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and


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