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Governor appoints Roripaugh to South Dakota Arts Council

From Rebecca Cruse

Deputy Director, SDAC





Governor appoints Roripaugh to South Dakota Arts Council


PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed Lee Ann Roripaugh to serve on the South Dakota Arts Council.


Roripaugh is a poet, currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review and appointed as the South Dakota Poet Laureate from 2015-2019. She also directs the creative writing program at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She has received a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, the Frederick Manfred Award from the Western Literature Association, the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets prize, and two Fellowship Awards from the South Dakota Arts Council – in 2011 and 2018.


Her fifth and most recent collection of poetry, “tsunami vs. the fukushima 50,” was released in 2019. Her first collection, “Beyond Heart Mountain,” was selected as a National Poetry Series winner. Her second, “Year of the Snake,” was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award.


“Lee Ann’s long list of accomplishments, honors and accolades shows that she is the absolutely the right person to represent poets and writers in South Dakota on our state arts council,” said Patrick Baker, executive director of the state arts agency. Her experience as a professional, award-winning poet, college writing professor, and writer-in-residence contributes important perspectives for advancing the arts in our state.”


Roripaugh studied music, earning a Bachelor of Music in piano performance and a Master of Music in music history before earning her MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. In addition to her poetry collections, Roripaugh has had hundreds of published works of poetry, essays, stories, interviews, and research.


The South Dakota Arts Council is a state agency providing grants and services to artists, arts organizations, schools, and other nonprofit organizations in South Dakota with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of South Dakota. The agency is organized under the Department of Tourism and advised by an 11-member Governor-appointed council.


The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.