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2024 Pankake Poetry Event: Gwen Westerman

April 3 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Gwen Westerman

To attend the livestream, use the link below:
Passcode: Gwen2024

Join us for an afternoon of poetry with Gwen Westerman at the 15th annual Pankake Poetry event in Elmer L. Andersen Library on April 3, 2024. The program begins at 4 p.m. A reception will follow the program with a book signing by the author. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the University of Minnesota Bookstores.

This is an in-person event that will also be livestreamed. Please register if you plan to attend in person or online.

Register for Pankake Poetry

About Gwen Westerman

Gwen Westerman

Gwen Westerman

Dr. Gwen Nell Westerman is the author of Follow the Blackbirds (Michigan State University Press, 2013), a poetry collection written in Dakota and English, and co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012), which won a 2013 Minnesota Book Award and a 2014 Hognander Minnesota History Award.

Westerman is the recipient of the Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Award and three Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her new poetry collection — “Songs, Blood Deep” (Holy Cow! Press, 2023) is published in English and Dakota. Westerman’s recorded poetry is also featured in the new permanent exhibit “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories” at the Field Museum in Chicago, which opened in May 2022. She is the first Indigenous Poet Laureate, and also the first person of color to be Poet Laureate.

Westerman teaches American and Native Nations literature, technical communication, humanities, and creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In 2022, Westerman received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship.

Westerman holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. She lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tallgrass prairie from Oklahoma to Minnesota and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. She has worked as a proofreader, a waitress, an editor, a sandwich delivery driver, a technical writer, and a teacher.

About the Pankake Poetry Series

The Pankake Poetry Series was named in honor of retired librarian Marcia Pankake, whose love of poetry was demonstrated in the countless readings and poetry events she hosted at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Event Details

What: 2024 Pankake Poetry Reading featuring Gwen Westerman
When: Wednesday, April 3, 2024 | Presentation begins at 4 p.m. | Reception and author signing to follow the reading with books available for purchase courtesy of the University of Minnesota Bookstores
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, room 120 and ONLINE | Parking and directions

View past Pankake Poetry events


April 3
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:


Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries
View Organizer Website


Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120
222 21st Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN, 55455 United States
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