The unveiling of the 2018 Oakwood, South Dakota State University’s literature and arts magazine, will take place at a reception April 19 at 7 p.m. in the Daschle Archives at the Hilton M. Briggs Library on campus.
This year's Oakwood features writers, such as Minnesota poet and essayist Heidi Czerwiec, former SDSU faculty member Mary Alice Haug and West River fiction writer Kent Meyers, who have published books and, in some cases, won awards, according to Oakwood adviser Steven Wingate, an associate professor of English. Of the 47 contributors to the 2018 edition, 16 are current or former SDSU faculty and students.
The magazine will be available at the reception in print for free, thanks to funding from the SDSU Students Association and Department of English, as well as donations made through the SDSU Foundation. Writers whose works are featured in the publication will also read their poetry and prose.
As with previous issues, the 2018 Oakwood will be available electronically through https://issuu.com/sdsuoakwood after May 1. In addition, Wingate plans to make the 2018 issue available for the first time on the Open Prairie online repository. “This will help expand our distribution in a cost-effective way and make it broadly available to the rest of the world,” Wingate said.
Since becoming the Oakwood adviser in 2012, Wingate has revived the magazine’s original aim of “providing a snapshot of literary and artistic activity in this region.” Begun in 1976 by professor emeritus David Alan Evans, the publication, then called Calliope, was renamed Oakwood to better reflect the region itself. However, the magazine became largely focused on the work of SDSU graduate and undergraduate students.
“I have been curricularizing it and making it a part of a preprofessional program that gives students as much real-world experience in publishing as we can,” said Wingate, whose publishing experience began in the early 1980s. Students in his spring publishing practicum class work on Oakwood.
“The goal is to be a destination magazine, to publish authors at various stages of their careers—ones with multiple books and those who haven’t yet published but are on their way,” Wingate said. “Though it will be more difficult for students to get their work in the publication, being published alongside people who have published books really amplifies the value for those students who do.”
The state has only a few long-running literary magazines—the South Dakota Review, published quarterly by the University of South Dakota, and Pasque Petals, published biannually by the South Dakota State Poetry Society, Wingate pointed out.
"Oakwood is in a good position to highlight creative activity in this region,” he said. “It also shows that SDSU is punching above its weight in terms of creative activity. We don’t have a big creative writing program, but the magazine is capable of drawing a lot of readers and contributors."