Conference News and Information

The 2011 John R. Milton Writers’ Conference is rapidly approaching, and it’s shaping up into a full and lively weekend of literary awesomeness! With close to 70 participants, it has turned into our biggest conference ever!

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so as soon as possible. Downloadable registration forms are available in the menu links at the top of this webpage.

The conference program was updated and revised over the weekend, and you can review the most current version here: 2011 John R. Milton Writers’ Conference Draft Schedule (Also available through header link above.)

Conference check-in and registration will take place at the following times/locations:

Thursday, October 27, 3:00-5:00 p.m., USD English Department, Dakota Hall #212

Friday, October 28, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Muenster University Center, East Lounge (Second Floor)

Saturday, October 29, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Muenster University Center, East Lounge (Second Floor)

At registration/check-in, you can pick up your conference badge, the conference program, as well as a registration packet that will include campus and local maps, local information, and a visitor parking pass for those of you who are out-of-town visitors to USD.

Free refreshments (muffins, breads, scones, fruit, bagels, juice, coffee and water) will be made available throughout the morning for registered conferees in the Muenster University Center East Lounge, adjacent to the registration table.

A book table with books for purchase by conference panelists and featured authors will be set up in the Muenster University Center East Lounge. Additionally, USD Barnes & Noble Bookstore, located downstairs in the Muenster University Center, will have a display table for the conference with titles by featured authors and their store will be open throughout the conference. USD Barnes & Noble Bookstore will also staff a book table during all of the featured author readings in Farber Hall and the Muenster University Ballroom (4:00-5:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m., Friday, 10/28, and Saturday, 10/29).

It’s not too late to register for conference meals (or additional meals), if you wish. Local panelists can simply fill out an additional registration form and check off/pay for meals at the English Dept. office. Out-of-towners can fill out an additional registration form, check off desired meal requests, and send it in to the address listed at the bottom of the form. If it’s too close to the conference dates for snail mail, out-of-town conferees can also e-mail me with meal requests which you can pay for at conference check-in, and I will add you to the catering headcount. (We will also be able to accommodate, up to a point, last-minute meal purchases at the time of the conference, but advance notice will really help to keep our catering orders on track.) Meal locations/venues and meal menus are posted in the header links above.


Vermillion and USD maps can be located in the header menu above. Hard copies of local and campus maps will also be included in your conference folders.


If you are approaching Vermillion and/or Sioux City, Iowa from the South on I-29, please be aware that there may still be closures along the interstate due to the summer flooding. Please check for road closure information and plan alternate routes in advance, as necessary. The Iowa DOT website has been a particularly useful resource for me throughout the summer: Iowa DOT Road Closures Information


I have added additional information regarding Vermillion lodging to the “Lodging in Vermillion, South Dakota” page on header menu above. Typically, we steer out-of-town visitors toward the Comfort Inn or the Holiday Inn Express. Excellent budget rates (at our more quirky, mom-and-pop-type lodging venues) might make some of the other lodging options more appealing. For a slightly more upscale lodging option, there are also a limited number of Bed & Breakfast rooms available at our lovely Buffalo Run Winery.


Vermillion Public Transport (624-RIDE)

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday – 8:00am – 10:00pm
Saturday – 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday – 9:00am – 2:00pm

Safe Ride:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 10:00pm – 3:00am

Other Information:
Vermillion Public Transit provides local rides in and around the Vermillion area. While mostly providing door-to-door transportation within Vermillion, the transit service is willing to take people as far as Meckling, SD or Burbank, SD for an additional charge. Rides with Vermillion Public Transit may be scheduled by contacting the dispatcher at 624-RIDE during the hours of operation. Rides cost $2.50 each way.


About Lee Ann Roripaugh

Lee Ann Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry: Dandarians (Milkweed, Editions, 2014), On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), and Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin, 1999). She was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series. The current South Dakota State Poet Laureate, Roripaugh is a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.
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