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Nebraska has a new State Poet!

8 comments

1/12/19

I’m excited to announce I’ve been selected as the new Nebraska State Poet.

The most profound honor for me is knowing Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Library Commission as well as a board of people I greatly admire as voices for literacy and creativity in the state chose me as State Poet.

Though I wasn’t able to make the announcement until this evening, the selection was made official earlier in the week, and I’m proud to say that my first day as official State Poet had me hosting Albuquerque Poet Laureate Manuel González and his daughter, Sarita Sol González, who was named by Juan Felipe Herrera as “Youth Poet Laureate.” We spent yesterday at Lincoln High School and Hastings College, where Manuel and Sarita brought their poems and their vibrant presence to great audiences. (Thanks, also, to the anonymous stranger who stopped to help me change a flat tire along the interstate so I could get Manuel and Sarita safely to Hastings!)

Since moving back to my home state in 1995, it’s been my goal to create opportunities which weren’t here for writers when I was coming up. I started PoetryMenu.Com in 2000, the OM Center Poetry Slam in 2002, open mics, Morpo Press (which published chapbooks by local poets), festivals like the Great Plains Poetry Pile Up, reading series which paired experienced poets with young writers, and my work with the Nebraska Writers Collective and the Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival. Through my work as State Poet, I plan to continue and expand this mission over the next five years in communities around the state.

Yes, there will be a party. Yes, there will be cake.

Thank you, Twyla M. Hansen (Nebraska State Poet 2013-2018); thank you, Sarah McKinstry-Brown; thanks Sophia and Lucia, I am grateful for your support.

 

1/31/19

Here’s an article in the Omaha World-Herald about my selection as Nebraska State Poet:

https://www.omaha.com/living/omaha-native-as-nebraska-state-poet

 


I have a poem on the Poetry Out Loud list!

2 comments

10/16/18

I’ve worked as a teaching artist for Nebraska’s Poetry Out Loud for the past 11 years. In Poetry Out Loud, students around the country memorize poems from a list, anything from a centuries-old sonnet by Shakespeare to a Naomi Shihab Nye poem written in the past few years. I love coaching students on how to choose the poem that’s right for them and finding their own way to recite it, and I’ve certainly dreamed about having one of my own poems on the list. Today, a student from San Luis Obispo High School emailed me with questions for a school assignment as he said he was working on my poem “The Story of Ferdinand the Bull” for POL. Which I didn’t know was on the list. So, well, my day has improved significantly. And it wasn’t half bad to start with.

 


October Update: 3 Manuscripts in the Works

5 comments

10/8/18

So what am I working on? A lot. After a few years falling behind (but still writing a poem every week), I’ve been editing and getting books of my poems together. Mainly, that’s 3 manuscripts:
1. A Story About Disneyland (and Midlife (and Churros))
2. Nebraska
3. Rock Stars [largely, this one is poems about eighties rock]

Right now, most of the work is going into the Disneyland manuscript as, well, it’s been a blast to work on. So watch for a new book, umm, at some point…

In fact, my Disneyland poems have recently appeared in Defenestration, Lowestoft Chronicle, appearing soon in Sugar House Review, and a recording of one poem on the Mousetalgia podcast, Episode 521.


Interview on the Voices Creating Change podcast

19 comments

7/23/18

Catch the Voices Creating Change podcast for a chat with me and Amanda Stevenson about poetry, the Nebraska Writers Collective, Disneyland, the works!

Click Here For the podcast.


My Review of Tracy K. Smith’s “Wade In The Water”

5 comments

7/14/18

I’m excited to have a review of US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s “Wade In The Water” published by World Literature Today this week. She does some amazing things with erasure poetry and found poetry, two types of poem I don’t always know what to think of:

Click Here For The Review


Two Poems in 2River View

6 comments

9/22/17

I have 2 poems in the latest issue of 2River View:

Nebraska and Where There Are Storms


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