SPEARFISH, S.D. – Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, professor of English at Black Hills State University, has been named a finalist in the 54th New Millennium Writing Awards for her poem titled “Disposition”.  
Writers from around 50 countries compete in this competition and the finalists are from the USA, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the UK. Huse Wika said, “One of the thrilling aspects of this contest is the ability to engage with an international writing community.” 
Huse Wika’s poem, “Disposition,” is part of a collection of poems about chronic illness and the body. “Disposition” in particular speaks to the ways in which people with illnesses, especially invisible ones, must often perform as a healthy person at work and home. The poem also explores the unseen burden of being ill.  
Huse Wika said she is thankful to BHSU for their support of this writing project. “Black Hills State has generously funded professional development and seed grants for me as I have been working on this second book of poetry. As much as it is a book about the body, it is also a meditation on nature and our connection to it, and the university has assisted in writing retreats to study birds in Montana, Oregon, and New Mexico.” 
The collection of poems with “Disposition” will be ready for publication this summer. Huse Wika will also have a pandemic poem coming out in CALYX vol. 33.3 titled “We have grown feral” in March.