Come savor the traditions and languages of the Dakota people as Gwen Nell Westerman reads from Follow the Blackbirds, her book of poetry in Dakota and English. “My uncle and my grandma told me we should always try to tell the truth about our history and our culture,” says Westerman, whose poems, stories and fiber art remind us that Minnesota and the upper Midwest have been a Dakota place since “beyond remembering.”
Like her Dakota ancestors, fiber artist and poet Gwen Nell Westerman lives in southern Minnesota. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tall grass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. An enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, she teaches at Minnesota State University in Mankato. Her award-winning quilts are part of many permanent collections.
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