Friday, April 22, 2011


By R.B. Moreno

Earlier this week I accepted an invitation to join the University of South Dakota English Department's PhD program, where I look forward to studying creative writing, publishing nonfiction, and teaching composition, among other courses. From, a thumbnail sketch of the degree:
The Ph.D. program is built around the English Department's seminar offerings in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and in creative writing, and is supplemented by independent study courses ... Within these specializations, you'll construct your own plan of study to reflect your interests.
The Department also offers a list of FAQs about its PhD and a news blog. USD's literary associations include South Dakota Review, edited by Brian Bedard and Lee Ann Roripaugh, the Dakota Writing Project, and the Vermillion Literary Project, which is hosting a reading next week.

USD is the state's oldest university and its 216-acre campus in Vermillion currently serves about 10,000 students. Ten governors have graduated from USD along with William "Doc" Farber, Tom Brokaw, Al Neuharth, Ernest G. Bormann, and embattled Greg Mortenson, among other alumni.

Vermillion was founded on the banks of the Missouri River shortly before the Civil War but was largely destroyed in an 1881 flood. The reconstructed seat of Clay County now sits on higher ground whose earliest admirers included the Lakota ("Red Stream," they called the area), Pacific-bound Lewis and Clark, and in 1843, John James Audubon.

April in Vermillion looks cold and wet, a boon for checkered farmland visible from Google Earth. And somewhat more tranquil than the forecast for RBM's last departure from Colorado.

via Google


  1. Mortenson, eh? Was he a part of the "creative writing" program as well? Congratulations on this next big adventure! Can't wait to see "The View from Vermillion."

  2. Thanks, Liz! Mortenson studied nursing and chemistry. Noble professions, of course, but that might explain some of the ongoing flap.