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South Dakota poet publishes debut poetry collection

Press release courtesy of Pasque Press

On July 14, Jodi (Moore) Andrews will launch her first full-length collection of poetry, “Skin Reverberations,” at Mission Coffeehouse at First Lutheran Church in Brookings at 6:30 p.m. The hour-long event will include the author reading a few poems, discussing the process of writing the book, and fielding questions from the audience.

“Since I was young, I’ve written poems to process life, especially difficulty,” said Andrews. “When I took my first poetry class in 2015, I learned to craft those ramblings.”

Headshot of Jodi, a white woman with brown hair

Andrews, who teaches English courses at South Dakota State University and lives in Brookings, published a chapbook, “The Shadow of Death, with Finishing Line Press in 2018. Although it explores the experience of grappling with a cancer diagnosis, “Skin Reverberations” weaves survivorship with themes of motherhood and family. “In ‘Skin Reverberations’, I write about my physical scars as markers of the physical and psychological toll of disease, and the lines between before and after. The book includes several ekphrastic poems, in which I draw on art as inspiration. South Dakota’s extreme weather appears throughout the book, often as metaphor. It also includes celebratory poems about young love and young motherhood.”

Editor Kathleen Henderson Staudt writes that “Skin Reverberations” invites “readers to notice afresh the gifts of our sense of touch, from scarred flesh to lover’s caress, to the iciness of winter to the touch of sun and the fuzz of an infant’s cheek. Through the richness of this sensory experience we also experience the many dimensions of a cancer survivor’s journey, from diagnosis, through the indignities of treatment and the terrors of false alarms, emerging with a deepened appreciation for the precariousness of life and for everything our skin can feel.”

“Skin Reverberations” is also distinguished as the first single-authored full-length book published by the South Dakota State Poetry Society. “As South Dakota poet laureate from 2019-2021, I edited the anthology South Dakota in Poems. In doing so, I learned just how many good writers live in South Dakota, and yet there aren’t many publishers in the state who publish poetry,” said Christine Stewart-Nuñez. “With approval from the SDSPS board and funding by the South Dakota Humanities Council, I opened the first call for book manuscripts in 2021. Among the submissions, ‘Skin Reverberations’ was selected by myself and Lee Ann Roripaugh, also a past poet laureate. It was then peer reviewed by two established writers who don’t live in the state.”

Andrews was “deeply honored” to have “Skin Reverberations” chosen to be published by Pasque Press. “I love sharing how writing has enhanced my life,” said Andrews. “South Dakota has a rich poetry culture, and I’m so proud to be part of it.”