Transitional deacon named associate poet laureate of North Dakota

North Dakota
March 30, 2004

North Dakota Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode has named the Rev. Jamie Parsley, a transitional deacon at Gethsemane Cathedral, Fargo, North Dakota, one of seven associates to help bring "an enlightened literary consciousness" to people around the state.

Woiwode, a University of North Dakota (UND) professor, novelist and National Book Award finalist, has been North Dakota’s poet laureate since 1995. He opened the UND Writers Conference on March 23, with the announcement of poet laureate associates.

Parsley, the author of five books of poetry, was ordained a transitional deacon in 2003 and is scheduled to be ordained a priest in summer of 2004. He is also the diocesan communications officer and the editor of The Sheaf, the diocesan newspaper.

The other associates are:

- Dave Solheim, an Elgin native and a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Dickinson, who was named the state’s centennial poet in 1989. An English professor at Dickinson State University, he is known for his poems of the West River country.

- Madelyn Camrud, a Grand Forks native whose book of poetry, "This House is Filled with Cracks," was published in 1994.

- Shadd Piehl, of Fargo, a third-generation cowboy known for cowboy poetry. He has been invited three times to be a feature poet at the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev.

- Rick Watson, a native of Mott who has been a songwriter and poet since 1967. Watson, the director of the honors program at Minot State University, has published a book-length poem called "Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the Roping Fool."

- Sisters Louise and Heidi Erdrich, who do not live in the state, but are members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Louise Erdrich, scheduled to deliver the UND Presidential Lecture, has published nine novels including "Love Medicine," which won the National Books Critics Circle Award. She has also published several works of poetry.

Heidi Erdrich, a Wahpeton native, is the author of "Fishing For Myth," her first book of poetry, which won a Minnesota Voices Award in 1995.

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