Dakota Reader to go national with Radio Works

Krista Tschetter

Krista Tschetter

Four South Dakota State University faculty members will gain national and international exposure in 2003 for their respective creative outlets, and all they had to do was make some noise.

The Dakota Reader audio series, a collection of live poetry, song and theater performances recorded in the South Dakota Art Museum over the past two years, has been picked up by Radio Works, an audio anthology series based in New York.

Radio Works will broadcast four segments of the Dakota Reader during the upcoming year’s programming as part of its regular 26 half-hour programs.

Dakota Reader Producer Brian Price submitted the segments that were chosen to the Radio Works. Producers there selected the segments in part because of the uniqueness of poetry and story-telling, as opposed to standard audio theater.

The four SDSU faculty performers chosen include three English professors and a nursing student advisor.

David Evans, South Dakota’s Poet Laureate, is writer-in-residence at SDSU. His many travels and experiences he had while teaching in China are popular topics for his poetry.

“It’s always nice to have your work broadcast … to a wide audience,” said Evans.

“I’m always delighted to have my poems around.”

Another professor, Mary Alice Haug, writes literature that strongly reflects her upbringing on the Great Plains of South Dakota.

Mary O’Connor, also an English professor, grew up in Wexford, Ireland, and London. Her segment features excerpts from her work-in-progress entitled “Absolutely Fabulous.”

“Mary loves the sound and rhythm of words and you can hear that in her work,” Price said.

“Besides, everybody just swoons at her accent.”

The final segment that will be broadcast is traditional drumming done by Valerian Three Irons, the Native American rural student advisor for the College of Nursing.

“It was very important to have the Native American part of South Dakota represented,” Price said. “Drumming is something they’re not going to hear in New York.”

The segments, which are distributed to a range of stations across the country, will also be sent to stations in Australia, Canada and England.

The programs will continue to begin with a signature train whistle, as well as an announcement that the program was originally performed at the South Dakota Art Museum and funded through the National Endowment for the Arts.