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Gwen Nell Westerman

Gwen Westerman is an award-winning writer and visual artist who lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tallgrass prairie and reveal themselves in her writing through the languages and traditions of her family. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Neither of her parents spoke English before they were sent away to boarding schools, so she knows the importance of the role language plays in who we are. She is Professor in English and Director of Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her work includes the Minnesota Book Award-winning Mni Sota Makoce: Land of the Dakota. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous journals and collections.

Recent & Notable Works



Dakota in Minnesota (forthcoming from Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019)

Follow the Blackbirds (Michigan State University, Press, 2013)

Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota, with Bruce White (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012)

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