Author, columnist and screenplay writer Pete Dexter returned to his USD roots this fall as USD’s Writer-in-Residence. USD held a book signing and reading in Farber Hall Monday to welcome Dexter into his new role in the English Department.
A native of eastern South Dakota who earned his undergraduate degree from USD in 1969, Dexter has authored eight books, including “Paris Trout” and “Paper Trails,” and written columns in the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee.
Roughly 30 students, faculty and community members gathered to hear a 45-minute excerpt from the 1,700 page novel he’s revising.
With his journalistic background, Dexter said he learned how to hone his talents.
“I have had to write three columns a week for newspapers, which made me fine-tune my writing skills,” Dexter said.
Director of creative writing Lee Ann Roripaugh helped bring Dexter into the literary society at USD.
“He was interested in coming back to eastern South Dakota and becoming a part of the literary community,” Roripaugh said.
As Writer-in-Residence, Dexter works with faculty and students in literary studies.
“He can do readings like the one he did recently or he can interact with students who aspire to learn from his career achievements,” Roripaugh said.
This is the first reading of Dexter’s work at USD. As some artists and authors agree, Dexter said he publishes his work for the audience, not himself.
“I would rather write my work and then not read it,” Dexter said.