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A Dakota Writer on Stories Powerful Enough to Change the World

"As a writer of fiction I certainly hope to entertain readers with the stories I imagine and produce for the published page. I never begin with an agenda of any kind, political, spiritual, but as I develop the fictional characters who show up for my novels and short stories, I soon discover that they have stories that are desperately important, stories meant to elicit compassion, understanding, and sometimes a new way of thinking. Though this was never a conscious choice on my part, I've learned I'm a writer seeking to transform my corner of the world. I'll be talking about my process as a writer: discovering story, the research I do in order to find the "truth" of my fiction. I will also touch on the journey of becoming a published writer -- and how some projects require more of a writer than simply showing up to the page: one novel in particular ultimately transformed me during the seven years I worked on it, so that I'd be better able to understand the teachings of some of the characters."

Susan Power (Standing Rock Sioux)

The annual Pilster Great Plains Lecture series is presented by the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society and supported by the Esther and Raleigh Pilster Endowment. The mission of the lecture series is to bring speakers of national renown to the Chadron State College campus for the benefit of the college and residents of the high plains of Western Nebraska.

The 2018 lecture is scheduled for September 20th at 7:30pm at the Chadron State College Student Center. The lecture is always free to the public. A reception and book signing will be held following the lecture at the CSC Student Center. The 2018 Pilster Great Plains Lecture will be given by Susan Power (Standing Rock Sioux) who will present “A Dakota Writer on Stories Powerful Enough to Change the World.”.  A question and answer session will follow the keynote, along with a book signing event with the author.


About the 2018 Pilster Lecturer

Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a native Chicagoan. She is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the author of three books, The Grass Dancer (a novel), Roofwalker (a story collection), and the new novel, Sacred Wilderness. The Grass Dancer was awarded a PEN/Hemingway prize in 1995 and Roofwalker a Milkweed National Fiction Prize in 2002. Her short stories and essays have been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies including: The Best American Short Stories of 1993The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and Granta. Her fellowships include an Iowa Arts Fellowship, James Michener Fellowship, Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship, Princeton Hodder Fellowship, USA Artists Fellowship, Loft McKnight Fellowship for 2015-16, and Native Arts and Cultures Fellowship for 2016-17. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she’s currently at work on a novel and two books of non-fiction.