Bellman Brown Bag Series

Poetry on the Road


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Join us for this month’s free Bellman Brown Bag Series on Wednesday, February 14 at noon in the Matthews Theater as SD State Poetry Society presents “Poetry on the Road.” Board members from SD State Poetry Society will read their poems, with an open mic following, available to locals who would like the opportunity to read their own work. The open mic encourages poets from all walks of life to read their work publicly and to hear from their neighbors. “Poems are little stories about what we value,” says Bruce Roseland, SDSPS board member. “Poetry communicates at a deep level that helps us recognize and understand each other.”

About the presenters…

Bruce Roseland is the 8th Poet Laureate of South Dakota (2023-2027). Roseland calls himself a prairie poet. His poetry describes people, work, and nature in modern rural life. Roseland’s poems often reveal the sacred in relationships between the land, the life it supports, and those who are its stewards. His recent work describes the need to conserve native grasslands. Roseland is a fourth-generation cattleman who grew up on a ranch near Seneca, in north-central South Dakota. He is the author of seven books of free verse poetry and has won four national awards, including the 2007 Wrangler Award for “The Last Buffalo” (2006). He has won the Will Rogers Medallion three times, in 2009, for “A Prairie Prayer,” (2008, in 2019); for “Cowman,” (2018 and 2022) for “Heart of the Prairie” (2021). Roseland received an M.A. in Sociology from the University of North Dakota in 1980. He is President Emeritus of the SD State Poetry Society and a South Dakota Humanities Scholar. Roseland still works his family ranch outside of Seneca, South Dakota. He enjoys spending time in his Black Hills Spearfish home when cows and crops permit.

Jean Helmer comes from the borderlands between the High Plains and Bearlodge foothills, from public school and collegiate podiums, from rural parish pulpits. This former director of the Dakota Writing Project has works published in Pasque Petals, WyoPoets’ Watershed, Gyroscope, the 2023 Scurfpea Anthology Green Elephant, and various anthologies. She is attempting to get the Belle Fourche POTR listed in the Butte Electric Cooperative “Connections” mailing.

John S. Nelson has published poetry and other works in journals, magazines, and newspapers.  Recent publications include poetry in Montana Mouthful, Briar Cliff Review, Pasque Petals, South Dakota Magazine, Poetry Motel, and Delmar.  He has poems in anthologies, including South Dakota in Poems.  He retired from teaching English for New Media at Dakota State University in 2020 after 36 years of professorship.  He taught at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kansas, and Sisseton Wahpeton Community College in Sisseton, SD, before coming to DSU in Madison in 1996.

About the Bellman Brown Bag Series…

The Bellman Brown Bag series is a humanities program designed to explore ideas, history, literature, art and culture. The Brown Bag program was developed by Dr. Stewart Bellman in the 1990’s. Recognizing the Matthews Opera House as an ideal venue for the exploration of humanities topics, he engaged a line-up of speakers to present programs on a range of humanities topics each month.

Dr. Bellman was a professor of English at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. His teaching career spanned thirty years. Bellman retired from BHSU and passed away in November 2002.

Programs are presented on the second Wednesday of each month, noon to 1pm. Designed to begin and end within the lunch hour, patrons are invited to bring their lunch, if desired, or simply enjoy an hour of learning and entertainment.  This is an opportunity to gain insight into themes that touch our daily lives.


Coffee for the Bellman Brown Bag Series is generously provided by Common Grounds in Spearfish, SD.



Date and Time:


Wednesday, February 14, 2024


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm





612 Main Street
Spearfish, 57783 United States
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