Mount Marty College Hosts Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium Nov. 9

October 19, 2016

Three prominent authors from the Great Plains region present special sessions at the annual event.

Students and community members are invited to Mount Marty College (MMC) on Nov. 9, 2016, for the Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium, an annual event that brings award-winning professional writers to campus for a day of readings, discussions and class workshops. Established in 2007, the Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium explores various elements of the arts and humanities, including poetry, prose presentations and storytelling.

“The writers’ symposium is a new event this year that we are offering to help promote writing,” says Jim Reese, MMC professor of English and Great Plains Writers’ Tour director. “The symposium allows students and also people in the community interested in writing to visit the campus and learn more about a particular genre — to meet, ask questions and get feedback from award-winning authors.”

This year’s tour will feature three prominent writers from the Great Plains region presenting on the three major disciplines of writing: fiction, poetry and nonfiction. 

Fiction at 11 a.m. with Stephen Coyne – Coyne is the author of It Turns Out Like This (winner of the Many Voices Award from New Rivers Press) and numerous short stories and poems, which have appeared in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The New England Review, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner and more. Winner of the Playboy Magazine College Fiction Prize, Robert’s Writing Award, Heartland Fiction Prize, a Prairie Schooner Reader’s Choice Award and the 2013 New Millennium Prize for Fiction, Coyne teaches American literature and creative writing at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. 

Poetry at 1 p.m. with Christine Stewart-Nuñez – Poet, memoirist and professor Stewart-Nuñez is the author of several poetry books, including Untrussed (2016), Bluewords Greening (2016), Keeping Them Alive (2010) and Postcard on Parchment (2008). Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, including Arts & Letters, North American Review, Prairie Schooner and Shenandoah.Stewart-Nuñez teaches in the English Department at South Dakota State University.

Nonfiction at 2 p.m. with Debra Marquart – A professor of English in the MFA program in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University, Marquart is the senior editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment andthe author of five books, including three poetry collections — Small Buried Things, Everything’s a Verb and From Sweetness — and a short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories. Her memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere, received the “Elle Lettres” award from Elle Magazine and the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award. She is also a winner of the John Guyon Nonfiction Award, the Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay, a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Creative Writing Prose Fellowship, the 2013 Wachtmeister Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Normal Poetry Prize from The Normal School and the 2014 Paumanok Poetry Award.

The writers’ tour will conclude with a reading at 7:15 p.m., when Coyne, Stewart-Nuñez and Marquart will each read selected pieces of their work.

“The interest in writing and meeting authors continues to grow here in Yankton,” Reese says. “This is just one more component of how Mount Marty encourages growth and lifelong learning.”

All tour events will take place at Marian Auditorium on the MMC campus. To learn more about the Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium, please contact Jim Reese at