Western Wordsmithing Brings Crowd to Killdeer

More than 80 folks trekked to Killdeer’s High Plains Cultural Center last Saturday for An Evening of Western Words & Song.


By Jennifer Strange

For the DC Herald

The reception and reading, along with Sunday’s writer’s workshop, were presented and produced by the literary nonprofit Dunn County Writers.

Award-winning Western author Craig Lesley traveled to western North Dakota from Portland, Oregon. His daughter, Elena Lesley, flew in from Atlanta, Georgia. Singer/songwriter Jessie Veeder drove down from Watford City, with baby Edie and Grandma in tow. Veeder’s aunt and uncle made the trip from Lemmon, SD.

Audience members and workshop participants came from Killdeer, Dunn Center, Halliday, Marshall, Richardton and from as far away as Dickinson, Wing and Bismarck.

Following a sumptuous buffet, Veeder delighted the crowd with a set of original tunes inspired by rural life on her family’s heritage cattle ranch in McKenzie County. Lesley then took to the podium and discussed everything from rural geography to dam-building, interspersed with readings from his memoir, “Burning Fence: A Western Memoir of Fatherhood” and from his Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel, “The Storm Riders.”

A book signing and CD sale topped off the successful cultural arts event.

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