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Audrae Visser Collection

Finding Aid

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Collection Summary


MA 52


Audrae Visser Collection


Dr. Charles Woodard




1.0 linear feet (1 records center box) photographs


Material is mainly in English, but includes a small amount of Dutch.


South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item . Audrae Visser Collection. MA 52. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Audrae Visser is an American educator and poet and was Poet Laureate of South Dakota from 1974-2001. The collection is composed primarily of correspondence with Dr. Charles Woodard, Visser’s poetry and prose writings, and photographs.

Biographical Note

Audrae Eugenie Visser was born June 3, 1919 to Harry J.L. and Addie Mae (Perryman) Visser on a farm near Hurley, South Dakota. She attended country schools in Turner and Moody counties and graduated from Flandreau High School in 1938. She received degrees from Black Hills Teachers College, South Dakota State University, and the University of Denver.

Visser’s 52 year career in the field of education began with a position in the Moody County country schools from 1939 to 1943. She also taught elementary and high school students in Hot Springs, Pierre, Elkton, De Smet, and Flandreau, South Dakota, and in Windom, Verdi, and Lake Benton, Minnesota. She spent one year in Nagoya, Japan from 1954 to 1955, teaching the children of U.S. Air Force personnel stationed there.

Visser was also a poet and wrote her first poem when she was twelve years old. Her first published poem appeared in Pasque Petals, the South Dakota Poetry Society magazine when she was 21 years old. She published her first book of poetry, Rustic Roads and Other Poems, in 1961, and was appointed to be Poet Laureate of South Dakota in 1974 by Governor Richard Kneip. She published nine more volumes of poetry from 1974-1998, and also wrote the introduction to Pages Glued Apart, a book of poetry by Evelyn Winklepleck-Stuefen. Visser’s books sometimes included her own art work.

Visser’s poetry has won numerous awards, including second prize in the 1984 National Federation of State Poetry Societies contest judged by May Swenson. She also sponsored state and national poetry contests as memorials to her parents since 1976, including the Perryman-Visser scholarship for outstanding poetically-inclined students at South Dakota State University. She served as Associate Editor and Editor of Pasque Petals during the time that she was Poet Laureate and a member of the South Dakota State Poetry Society.

Audrae Visser had a son, Lou H. Guardino, and a brother, Donald. She died on October 8, 2001 in Mabank, Texas.


1942 Associate Degree from Black Hills Teachers College, Spearfish, South Dakota

1948 B.S., South Dakota State College, Brookings, South Dakota

1954 M.A., University of Denver, Denver, Colorado


1974 Appointed Poet Laureate of South Dakota by former Governor Richard Kneip

1981-1982 Who’s Who of American Women

1984 Awarded second prize by May Swenson in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies contest

1984-1985 Who’s Who in the Midwest

1989 Heritage of the Prairies Institute Scholarship, Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota

1990 Woman of Achievement in Literature by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in South Dakota


American Association of University Women

American League of Pen Women

American Legion Auxiliary Unit #0198 – Life Member

National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs

National League of Pen Women

Delta Kappa Gamma

General Federation of Women’s Clubs

South Dakota Education Association

South Dakota Press Women

South Dakota State Poetry Society

United Poets Laureate International

Western Women in the Arts

Contents Note

The materials in this collection were collected and donated by Dr. Charles Woodard of the South Dakota State University English Department. The collection is primarily composed of correspondence between Audrae Visser and Dr. Woodard and includes many of her writings to fulfill class assignments. Also included are photographs she took and written accounts of her frequent travel vacations, as well as materials related to her awards, honors, and activities as a poet and as a member of numerous organizations.

This collection consists of correspondence, clippings, photographs, and many poetic and prose writings by Visser including book reviews and reports, speeches, and a Pioneer Humor Project undertaken to fulfill the requirements of the Heritage of the Prairies Institute at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota.


Country Cousin
Call Number: PS3572.I75 C68 1986
Publication Date: 1986

Grass Roots Poetry
Call Number: PS3572.I75 G7 1991
Publication Date: 1991

Honyocker Stories
Call Number: PS3543.I58 H6
Publication Date: 1981

Meter for Momma
Call Number: PS3572.I75 M47 1974
Publication Date: 1974

Pages Glued Apart by Fern Evelyn Winklepleck-Stuefen, edited by Janet Leih
Introduction by Audrae Visser
Call Number: PS3573.I534 P33 1990
Publication Date: 1990

Pheasant Flights
Call Number: PS3572.I75 P5 1989
Publication Date: 1989

Poems for Brother Donald
Call Number: PS3572.I75 P6 1974
Publication Date: 1974

Poems for Pop
Call Number: PS3572.I75 P63 1976
Publication Date: 1976

Prairie Poetry
Call Number: PS3572.I75 P7 1998
Publication Date: 1998

Rustic Roads and Other Poems
Call Number: PS3543.I58 R8
Publication Date: 1961

South Dakota Stories
Call Number: PS3572.I75 S67
Publication Date: 1980

Key Words

American poetry -- 20th century

Japan -- Description and travel

Mexico -- Description and travel

Middle West -- Poetry

South Dakota -- Literature

South Dakota -- Poetry

Visser, Audrae Eugenie, 1919-2001

West (U.S.) – Poetry

Container List

View container list on Open Prairie

Audrae Visser Collection Container List. MA 52

Box Folder Description Date(s)
1 1 Activities and Events 1975-1988
1 2 Awards, Honors, and Memberships 1951-1990
1 3 Biographical Information 1918-2002
1 4 Clippings: Awards, Honors, and Activities 1938-1998
1 5 Clippings: Information about Other Writers undated
1 6 Clippings: Miscellaneous 1988-1991
1 7 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1979, 1988
1 8 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard, January-June 1989
1 9 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard, July-December 1989
1 10 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1990
1 11 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1991
1 12 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1992
1 13 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1993
1 14 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1994
1 15 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1995
1 16 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1996
1 17 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1997
1 18 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1998
1 19 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 1999
1 20 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard 2000-2001
1 21 Correspondence with Dr. Woodard undated
1 22 Correspondence with Others 1946-1998
1 23 Humor undated
1 24 Photographs: Events and Activities 1990
1 25 Photographs: Family undated
1 26 Photographs: Trip to Mexico 1997
1 27 Poems by Other Writers undated
1 28 Poems by Unknown Authors undated
1 29 Published Work: Country Cousin 1986
1 30 Published Work: Honyocker Stories 1981
1 31 Published Work: Pheasant Flights 1989
1 32 Published Work: Prairie Poetry 1998
1 33 Writing: Autobiographical undated
1 34 Writing: Children’s Stories undated
1 35 Writing: Fiction undated
1 36 Writing: Instructional undated
1 37 Writing: Other Class Reports undated
1 38 Writing: Miscellaneous undated
1 39 Writing: Pioneer Humor Project undated
1 40 Writing: Poems A-L undated
1 41 Writing: Poems M-Z undated
1 42 Writing: Reports on Books, Authors A-L undated
1 43 Writing: Reports on Books, Authors M-Z undated
1 44 Writing: Reports on Poetry undated
1 45 Writing: Speeches undated
1 46 Writing: Trips undated

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Arranged and Described by

Ruby R. Wilson, 2014 May 23.