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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

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Audrae Visser Collection Container List. MA 52
11Activities and Events1975-1988
12Awards, Honors, and Memberships1951-1990
13Biographical Information1918-2002
14Clippings: Awards, Honors, and Activities1938-1998
15Clippings: Information about Other Writersundated
16Clippings: Miscellaneous1988-1991
17Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1979, 1988
18Correspondence with Dr. Woodard, January-June1989
19Correspondence with Dr. Woodard, July-December1989
110Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1990
111Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1991
112Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1992
113Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1993
114Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1994
115Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1995
116Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1996
117Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1997
118Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1998
119Correspondence with Dr. Woodard1999
120Correspondence with Dr. Woodard2000-2001
121Correspondence with Dr. Woodardundated
122Correspondence with Others1946-1998
124Photographs: Events and Activities1990
125Photographs: Familyundated
126Photographs: Trip to Mexico1997
127Poems by Other Writersundated
128Poems by Unknown Authorsundated
129Published Work: Country Cousin1986
130Published Work: Honyocker Stories1981
131Published Work: Pheasant Flights1989
132Published Work: Prairie Poetry1998
133Writing: Autobiographicalundated
134Writing: Children’s Storiesundated
135Writing: Fictionundated
136Writing: Instructionalundated
137Writing: Other Class Reportsundated
138Writing: Miscellaneousundated
139Writing: Pioneer Humor Projectundated
140Writing: Poems A-Lundated
141Writing: Poems M-Zundated
142Writing: Reports on Books, Authors A-Lundated
143Writing: Reports on Books, Authors M-Zundated
144Writing: Reports on Poetryundated
145Writing: Speechesundated
146Writing: Tripsundated

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.