“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 www.usd.edu/podcast.

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