Paying homage to the past

Colleen Stein

Colleen Stein

Creative juices sapped from the thirsty minds of Brookings natives and scholars have been shaken, stirred and poured into the legendary bubbling concoction called oakwood.

Over Christmas break, while most students were skiing, sledding and sleeping in, a committee of English majors were presented with the task of judging poetry, short stories, essays and artwork submitted for publication in the annual literary journal.

We received 130 entries this year, with 31 people submitting,” SDSU senior and oakwood editor Katie Pavel explained.

“We accepted 19 people and rejected 12. As for submissions, we accepted 28 pieces of poetry and seven pieces of prose.”

Each submission was judged on creativity, content, originality, description and mechanics.

Above all else, each piece had to express the creative originality that makes each writer’s message unique and influential.

Finished copies of oakwood began selling at the Great Plains Writer’s Conference March 17, where professional authors came to bestow their wisdom on budding young Brookings writers.

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve shared some of the literature that she had written over the past 30 years, while Joyzelle Godfrey and Mary O’Connor rehearsed Lakota and Irish folktales.

Aside from ever-evolving poetry styles found within each new piece entered to the oakwood, some changes have been made to this year’s oakwood’s content and appearance.

In the past, the writing booklet was about the size of a magazine. After examining the older oakwood edition from the 1970s, however, editors decided to revive it’s paperback booklet appearance.

The new features section was added to pay homage to the two oakwood founders SDSU alum Doug Cockrell and SDSU English Professor David Allen Evans.

While oakwood has become an almost exclusively student-run project, Evans still overlooks the magazine’s creation process.

“[The Great Plains Writer’s Conference and oakwood] were well attended,” Evans said. “The material was first rate and I am very impressed with the editors.”

People interested in purchasing a copy of the 2003 oakwood should attend the poetry reading on April 11th at the SDSU Art Museum.

The journals are also being sold in Scobey Hall room 014 and will also be available at the University Bookstore in the USU soon.

The cost of each oakwood is $5.