This weekend was South Dakota's "Festival of Books," and there were plenty of attractions in little Brookings! Bright and early Saturday morning, Maria, my dad and I went to a poetry reading by Ted Kooser, who is a Nebraskan former Poet Laureate. I saw a reading he did at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln when I was in high school, and I've loved him and his poetry ever since. I was so excited to find out he was coming to Brookings!
The three of us woke up early on Saturday morning, made and ate some pancakes, and walked over to the Brookings Arts Council building, which was a lovely, cozy venue for such an event.
The reading was wonderful, and he mostly read unaired, recent poetry of his from the past few months. He even read us a poem he had written since being in Brookings. Although none had yet been published, they were all so polished which is a testament to his experience and talent. The whole session was very intimate, and he shared a lot of personal details (including his habitual wake-up time 4:30am, a relic of his years as an insurance salesman to squeeze writing into his day), and detailed backstory on a few different poems.
At the end I was even brave enough to go up and speak to him! We chatted for a few minutes and I told him about how this wasn't the first time I had seen him read. He was very gracious and even let me get a picture with him.
After the reading we headed to the farmers' market, which had a really great vibe that morning with story time, a small jazz band, the usual fare of fruits, veggies, flowers, bread and honey, and also some more unusual sights.
|Fresh-squeezed apple cider, made by a colleague of mine!|
Bia and I shared a cup of apple cider while admiring a pair of visiting...
There were people spinning yarn from the alpaca wool next to them, and they had hand-knitted hats, scarves, pot-holders and more for sale.
So of course, I got the cutest turtle ever!!
After that, Bia and I perused the book fair and I made a wonderful purchase:
All in all we had a really lovely morning in downtown Brookings! Big city-style events, small town charm: