The SDSU Archives and Special Collections houses the South Dakota State Poetry Society's records and the papers of state poet laureates David Allan Evans and Audrae Visser. In addition, it also includes poetry books written by numerous South Dakota poets, including Badger Clark, Lee Ann Roripaugh, and Christine Stewart-Nuñez.
Below are links to inventories of the poetry collections in the archives.
South Dakota State Poetry Society Digital Collection
In 2021, the Archives received a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council to digitize Pasque Petals and other publications of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. Through this grant, student assistants scanned and transcribed the pages, making the publications more accessible to audiences around South Dakota and the world.
The South Dakota Humanities Council is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Pasque Petals is the literary magazine of the the South Dakota State Poetry Society. The magazine was first published in May 1926. The following is from the first page of the first issue and explains why the magazine started:
WHY A SOUTH DAKOTA POETRY MAGAZINE?
A territory comparing favorably in size with major countries of Europe, and settled by a people
selected for emigration because of their vision, courage, and resourcefulness, ought to be able to produce a worthwhile literature.
Consider! Our people have lived through the most dramatic of all recorded adventures. Only
recently the writer spoke to a woman who, on arriving in this state, drove forty miles over the trackless prairies, behind an ox team, to reach her destination. She spent her first winter in a sod house with bare earth for a floor. The only fuel available was hay, which she helped tie into knots to better hold the fire. Now she lives in a modern house, drives a modern car over the thousands of miles of fine roads of which the state boasts. Never before has it been given human beings to see such a change in social, economic, and industrial life.
If ever the stage was set for the production of a great literature, it is now set in South Dakota. But we shall never produce a great literature as long as we cower before the literary critics of other sections and countries. If we are to produce a great literature we must have our own writers who submit their works to our own critics, for publication in our own papers, for circulation among our own people. We must set our own high standards-such standards, that our native poets will consider it as great an honor to have our own magazines print their verses as to have an "outside" magazine print them. And we must train our readers so that our poets will consider it as great a triumph to please the reading public of our own immediate territory as to pass the censorship of an eastern critic, whose long absence from black earth, scorching sun, numbing cold, primeval passions, and creative labor makes him unsympathetic in the judging of our literature.
PASQUE PETALS, our South Dakota Poetry Magazine, is a mere infant-a foundling left on your door step. Refuse it the consideration due, and it will perish; grant it support, spiritual and material, and it will grow in strength and maturity, and none dares to prophecy to what grandeur of beauty and usefulness it may attain.