Poems for the Moment | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Poems for the Moment

Prairie Public asked North Dakota writers to select one of their poems to serve as a commentary on the current point in history. Poems for the Moment is a broadcast and podcast series and funded by a grant from the ND Humanities Council.

"Poems for the Moment" is a series of short pieces -- poems by North Dakota poets that we invited to share poems reflecting the current moment -- some of them newly written, some poems they already had that were appropriate.  Two Poet Laureates (Larry Woiwode of North Dakota and Debra Marquart of Iowa) are among the eleven poets who share their works.  They are gathered together here. 

Then, they are followed by highlights from the North Dakota winner and finalists from the 2021 Poetry Out Loud competition. High school students perform poems by recognized writers.

Debra Marquart: Winter Amaranth and Barbara Crow

Mar 22, 2021

[Scroll down for the text of the poems]

Debra Marquart is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University and Iowa’s Poet Laureate. She is the Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment.  A memoirist, poet, and performing musician, Marquart is the author of six books including an environmental memoir of place, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere and a collection of poems, Small Buried Things: Poems. Marquart’s short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories drew on her experiences as a former road musician.

ShaunAnne Tangney "For Jacob Who Has Covid"

Mar 10, 2021

Scroll down for the text of the poem.

ShaunAnne Tangney has lived in North Dakota for nearly twenty-five years.  She was an English Professor at Minot State University for twenty years where her scholarly work and teaching focused on literature of the US west, sense of place, and critical theory.  She is a scholar, an essayist and a poet whose work has been published in the US, Great Britain, and Australia.  She is currently writing and  producing essays and podcasts for the Good Talk Network and she is Lead Writer and Associate Producer for North Dakota’s own late-night talk show, Good Night Live.

Adrianne Mathiowetz Photograph

Text of the poem is below.

Emily Vieweg, MFA, is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young’s Good Morning, The Basil O’Flaherty Feminist Voices and more.

More about Emily here.
and her new book here.

Larry Woiwode

Larry Woiwode is North Dakota's Poet Laureate.  From his celebrated novel "Beyond the Bedroom Wall" through his publication in top national literary magazines, his prose and poetry have continually drawn appreciation and awards.

We asked him to give us the text of what he recited for this piece.  His first recitation was from a poem called "20" and here is what he sent.

20

Warren Sturlaugson "Dear Coronavirus"

Mar 2, 2021

Larry Woiwode (North Dakota's Poet Laureate) says :  "Warren Sturlaugson's poetry is direct, uncluttered, infused with dimensional faith, and a full-bodied sense of humor and genial wit, along with graphic representations of North Dakotans' views on weather, the surrounding atmosphere and Dakotans' general state of mind".  Warren is the author of two poetry collections, "Braiding Frayed Air" and "The Brightening Atmosphere", available at Amazon.com. 

Dear Coronavirus

Shadd Piehl -- "Masks"

Mar 2, 2021
Shadd Piehl

A fifth-generation North Dakotan, Shadd Piehl’s poetry has appeared in the anthologies, Between Earth and Sky: Contemporary Cowboy Poets, Maverick Western Verse, Brushstrokes and Balladeers, and the magazines Aluminum Canoe, Pemmican, Red Weather, and Dry Crik Review, among others. A private investigator and adjunct English instructor, Shadd lives along Crown Butte Creek in the Heart River valley west of Mandan with his family.

Masks

Believe me it is much better to hide;

Emily Vieweg "The First Friday in June"

Mar 1, 2021
Starling Artistry

Text of the poem is below.

Emily Vieweg, MFA, is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Red Weather Literary Magazine, Soundings Review, Art Young’s Good Morning, The Basil O’Flaherty Feminist Voices and more.

More about Emily here.
and her new book here.

Bonnie Larson Staiger is a North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate and ND Humanities Scholar. She is a recipient of the ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Prize form North Dakota State University Press for her debut chapbook, Destiny Manifested which also received the ‘Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite.’ She has recently received awards from Flying South Literary Magazine, The MacGuffin’s Best of the Year Anthology, was a finalist for the Julia Darling Poetry Prize and the Great Midwest Poetry Prize.

Carol Kapaun Ratchenski - "A Place Made of Space"

Nov 24, 2020

Scroll down for more about Carol Kapaun Ratchenski.

A Place Made of Space

A place made of space
Still so wrong to believe
No mystery here

A poem calls me home where
My secrets are held, buried under
A bed made of fears

Near to wild flowers, and rivers
Your memory will call you
Home to this love poem

A Time made of longing
Of postponed and closed for now
And find us in the clouds

Disembodied voices
Call me away from
Sunset, sunrise, snowy owl dreams

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