Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Allowing for Pause and Possibility: Kevin Zepper Discusses His Latest Chapbook

Writer's Block | April 23rd, 2023

By Sabrina Hornung

sabrina@hpr1.com

Kevin Zepper is no stranger to the literary scene in North Dakota. An author, poet, MSUM English and humanities professor, photographer, he’s a man of many hats.

He has led memoir workshops with residents at Eventide, he is a 2022-23 visiting Poetry Out Loud poet through the North Dakota Council on the Arts; and be sure to be on the lookout for his photos in the Plains Art Gala this year.

His latest chapbook, “The Shaman Said” is a collection of poems and photography. Upon reading the work, one common theme that really resonated within the collection was pause or maybe more appropriately, allowing for pause: slowing down and allowing time to observe.

“Alone time isn't necessarily bad, I mean, you have to be alone if you're a writer. As a photographer, you can go in a group, but it comes down to what you're looking at. So that time was unusually productive this winter. I'm starting to feel it now. So when we get done with this, I'm probably going to sit down and rewrite some stuff because I'm working on another manuscript already.” Zepper said.

“The Shaman Said” was picked up by a small independent publisher and printed on demand as part of the Audience Askew Chapbook series from Nat 1 Press in Maine. He selected 10 poems and the accompanying artwork and he considered the chaplet “pretty low impact.”

He said, “They picked it up and said we love it, we'll take it. I mean, I didn't have to work that one bit– but that's a Chaplet. That's not a booklet.”

Zepper elaborated on a few poems from his chap book, sharing a bit of his selection process.

“I guess, the theme that I was thinking about was possibilities, and the extremes of those possibilities like from ‘The lonely wound,’ which is kind of surreal and made up, but it's also sort of like this other kind of life or this other type of living… or something like ‘Ribcage,’ which was about something that is grotesque, or seemingly grotesque, but suggests something that's absolutely beautiful. It's the idea of nature doing its thing, and how a rib cage, which is a cage that eventually leads to some kind of a release, like the release of spirit. So it was really narrowed down from about 30 pieces, the remainder, mostly from this next manuscript.”

While compiling the work, Zepper wanted it to fit thematically and flow as free verse, and described some pieces as song-like and others more descriptive or “visually poetic.”

“These are the ones that seem to fit. And honestly, they fit together the right way. Because, like I said, I can't believe they were scarfed up so fast– so, after all these years, maybe I'm finally getting this darn poetry thing right... finally.”

IF YOU GO

Kevin Zepper will be performing along with fellow poets Fatima Camara, Donte Collins, Shane Hawley, and Joe Davis, as part of the Minnesota Poets Out Loud: Spoken Word Poetry from the Land of 10,000 Voices at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead on Saturday April 29 at 7pm. This program is appropriate for ages 16 and up and may feature topics sensitive to some listeners. Admission is free thanks to funding from the Minnesota Art & Cultural Heritage Fund.






Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.edu Gerald Briggs, the Warren County Mississippi Fire/EMS chief, was at a festival in February 2020 when a local law enforcement officer asked him if he had heard about the explosion…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu Dwight Herr interviewed his father, Julius E. Herr of Wishek, North Dakota, in June 1979. Dwight provided a transcription and donated the “Life Story of Julius E. Herr” to the Germans…

Saturday, March 1611 a.m.Downtown FargoWear something green and celebrate spring during Fargo-Moorhead’s premier parade. Thousands of spectators line the streets, so arrive early to snag a prime spot. This community celebration…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When one googles “What traits are desirable in a new employee,” some of the first words that pop up “from sources around the web” include “communication,” “team player,”…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comPoliticians could learn a lot by watching dung beetles work for a livingThe 400,000 species of beetles is the largest order of insects discovered on Planet Earth, so far. Insect researchers believe…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

The Aquarium, 226 Broadway North upstairs, Downtown FargoFriday, December 8, 7:30-11pmDoors 7:30 pm // Music 8 pm21+ // $10 advance // $12 DOSOver two decades, Christmas songs have appeared throughout Owen Ashworth’s recorded…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Faye Seidlerfayeseidler@gmail.com On the first day of the month I ask people to thank a journalist they know or someone who contributes to papers in some meaningful way. When I grew up, my best friend's father was a journalist…