Native culture, rock 'n' roll and magical, mysterious fiction will be at the center of the Visiting Writers Festival Oct. 4-6.
Sponsored by the department of English, the festival brings in regional writers from various genres to talk about the art and science of writing. This year’s lineup includes a poet, a fiction writer and a nonfiction author.
Poet Denise Lajimodiere writes from the vantage point of American Indian girls and women. Her collection “Dragonfly Dance” examines tensions between Native and white culture. An assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Program at North Dakota State University, Lajimodiere is also a member of the Turtle River Band of Chippewa and an artist.
Poetry professor and coordinator of the Writers Festival, Dr. Bill Snyder, said he looks for regional writing talent who will serve as good writing models for students in class.
“It allows them to see, especially when we have class visits, that they are close to these writers,” Snyder said. “Writers aren’t magical people. They are ordinary people who work really hard.”
Two other authors also headline the event. Michelle Leon, former bassist for the Minneapolis-based rock band “Babes in Toyland” will talk about the writing process and her memoir, “I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland.” Fiction author Alan Davis, English professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead and senior editor at New Rivers Press, will bring insight from his collection of short stories titled "So Bravely Vegetative."
Snyder, who started this event nearly 20 years ago, said he views the festival as a wonderful learning opportunity for students in attending the festival and by helping with the preparation and hosting of the event.
“I’m interested in giving students ownership, through asking questions at the event, introducing our guests and learning while being close to the writers,” Snyder said.
In addition to classroom visits and master classes, there are two events for the overall community: a public reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Morrie Jones Conference Center A/B, Knutson Campus Center, and a student-moderated panel discussion at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, also in the Morrie Jones Conference Center.