November brings .....

Hot news:

Patricia Smith 

is coming to Omaha November 16th !! see two posts down the page for details! 

thanks to the Nebraska Writers Collective !!


Paul Dickey of Omaha has a new book release, out of Pinyon Publishing:


for more info on Paul, or on his publication, go to:


SMASHTEETH Poetry Slam is on hiatus -- watch for future announcements! REALLY!  they are coming back in another venue - negotiations are under way --


the One Book One Lincoln selection is 
the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry


and some fine words from David Martin, of 
Fine Lines , Omaha:

Support Creative Writers: "Good writing is clear thinking made visible." -Bill Wheeler

Fine Lines 
a creative writing, quarterly, journal – wants your fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions. Go to for more information or write to David Martin at 

the Backwaters Press in Omaha -- seeks an editor!!
Wednesday Words
2nd Wed. of the Month, noon, @ Kaneko Art, Omaha


Nov. 13: Renee San Souci
Dec. 11: Marvel Maring: Book Arts


the Lincoln UNDERground Literary Magazine holds a Writers Workshop every third Sunday at 6pm, at Crescent Moon Coffee, 8th & P sts - BE THERE!!


Gratitude Bakery and Cafe', Lincoln, is starting  writers' open mikes, and readings, and such - check out their FB page!, and this event page:

other book announcements AND 

at the bottom of this page !!!

The Lincoln Underground Magazine 

is accepting submissions NOW!:

Click HERE 
for the latest info on Music and Poetry at
8th & P sts, LINCOLN!!!!

Crescent Moon Coffee's Facebook page:
Poetry at the Moon's Facebook page:

Pictures, Pictures: Go to this address for many, many Readings pictures --
check out more info at: 
Prairie Moon Reading & Music News: 

Matt Mason's Poetry Menu: 
The Nebraska Poetry Menu at 

Brett Spencer's Nebraska Center for Writers 


YouTube page at Creighton: 

Nebraska Center for the Book: 

Greg Kosmicki's fine small press,

Backwaters Press - Omaha:

Bill Clemente's site, Around Peru:



thanks so much to Matt Mason, and the site, for all the news we need to know, and committ to memory  .... 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Lunch at the Library

Vicki Wood, Youth Services Librarian,
 Lincoln City Libraries
Good Books for Sharing:
Vicki’s intelligent presentation about recently published children’s books – from board books to young adult selections – offers readers insights into the best books being published this season.

Bring your lunch and enjoy coffee provided by The Mill!
Programs begin at 12:10pm in the 4th Floor Auditorium
Bennett Martin Public Library
14th & N Streets, Lincoln, NE
Sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association,
the support group for the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors
For more information, call 402-441-8516,


November 6 : E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues “Who Stole the American Dream?” 7 pm. Lincoln, NE. 

Reporter Hedrick Smith spent 26 years at the New York Times, where he was among the team that produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon Papers. He also spent several years as the Times’ Moscow bureau chief, for which he won a Pulitzer for international reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe. At the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th Street.


Wednesday, November 6th -- 7:30pm, the Writer's Workshop Reading Series at UNO presents poet and novelist Janet McAdams in the CPACS Building Room 101 (UNO campus, Omaha). McAdams is author of Red Weather, Feral, and The Island of Lost Luggage. This reading is free and open to the public.


Wednesday, November 6th -- 8pm, Travis Davis invites you to "Poet Show It" at 1122 D St. (Lincoln). Local writers come and read. Local people come and drink. Coffee, Booze, Poetry, Fiction. Discovery. Discovery. Discovery. Check with Travis for exact details week to week:


Wednesday, November 6th -- 8pm-12am, Acoustic Open Mic for musicians and poets at Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St, Lincoln). Hosted by Spencer. For more information call 402-477-2007.


Saturday, November 9th -- 1-3pm, Omaha Public Library and the Nebraska Writers Collective team up for the 2nd Saturday Poetry Workshop, this month led by Chicago poet Robbie Q at the South Branch Library (2808 Q St, Omaha). Robbie is a touring performance poet, having been a featured performer/reader in hundreds of venues across North America and Germany. This monthly workshop is open to all ages and will work in crafting spoken word poetry.


Saturday, November 9th -- 7:30pm, the OM Center Poetry Slam and open mic (1216 Howard, Omaha). It's the longest-running slam in Omaha, often featuring some of the best performance poets in the nation. Open mic starts at 7:30 followed by the slam; sign up BEFORE 7:30 as signup is limited. Hosted by Matt Mason. $7 suggested donation. 
Call 402/345-5078 or go for more information.

Monday, November 11th -- 7pm,
Poetry at the Moon
at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln).
Sara McNeilly Ammon

Sara McNeilly Ammon’s amalgamated home/work-life includes parenting two phenomenal children, writing, painting and working as a Stylist for Jockey Person2Person clothing. She occasionally appears quite grown up. She types freakishly fast. She can be found attempting to communicate at and She is stubbornly grateful and happy to be here.

Poetry/Prose Open Mic to Follow featured reader.

Event page at:

For more information, contact and


Wednesday, November 13th -- 8pm-12am, Acoustic Open Mic for musicians and poets at Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St, Lincoln). Hosted by Spencer. For more information call 402-477-2007.


Wednesday, November 13th -- 11:45am-1pm, "Wednesday Words," at The KANEKO's KANEKO-UNO Library (1111 Jones St., Omaha) featuring award-winning NE poets and fiction writers as well as the winners of the Individual Artist's Fellowship Awards from the The Nebraska Arts Council, as part of our "Braided River" series. Bring your lunch and enjoy the show. Today features Renee San Souci.

Saturday, November 16th -- 1-3pm, poetry slam legend and award-winning poet Patricia Smith leads a poetry writing workshop at Love's Jazz and Arts Center (2510 N 24th St, Omaha). Smith is the author of six critically-acknowledged volumes of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy American Poets; Blood Dazzler ( a National Book Award finalist), and Teahouse of the Almighty (a National Poetry Series winner), all from Coffee House Press; Close to Death and Big Towns, Big Talk, both from Zoland Books, and Life According to Motown, just released by Tia Chucha Press in a special 20th anniversary edition. Patricia comes to Omaha thanks to theNebraska Writers Collective. $5 suggested donation.


Saturday, November 16th -- 7pm, National Book Award finalist Patricia Smith reads at the Joslyn Art Museum (Witherspoon Concert Hall, 2200 Dodge St, Omaha). Recognized as one of the world's most formidable performers, Patricia has read her work at venues round the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Urban Voices in South Africa, Rotterdam's Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. In the U.S., she's performed at the National Book Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Dodge Poetry Festival, Bumbershoot, the Folger Shakespeare Library and St. Mark's Poetry Project, sharing the stage with noted writers such as Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Rita Dove, Joyce Carol Oates, Allen Ginsberg, Walter Mosley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins, Galway Kinnell and Lord of the Rings star Viggo Morgensen. Patricia is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular Poetry Slam, the most successful competitor in slam history. She was featured in the nationally-released film Slamnation, and appeared on the award-winning HBO series Def Poetry Jam. Patricia comes to Omaha thanks to the Nebraska Writers Collective. $5 suggested donation.


Sunday, November 17th -----

the Lincoln UNDERground Literary Magazine holds a Writers Workshop every third Sunday at 6pm, at Crescent Moon Coffee, 8th & P sts - BE THERE!!
LIncoln UNDERground Magazine FB page:


Monday, November 18th -- 7pm, BE at the Moon
at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). 
National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo Meetup & Reading

Since November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where writers endeavor to pen an entire novel in 30 days, we’re reserving tonight for those in the process of writing their novels. Are you a NaNoWriMo participant? Come share an excerpt of what you’ve written, and tell us about your NaNoWriMo experience. It’ll be an open mic format for novelists from 7-8 pm, followed by poetry/prose open mic. Find out more about National Novel Writing Month at

For more information, contact and


Wednesday, November 20th -- 8pm-12am, Acoustic Open Mic for musicians and poets at Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St, Lincoln). Hosted by Spencer. For more information call 402-477-2007.


Wednesday, November 20th -- 8pm, Travis Davis invites you to "Poet Show It" at 1122 D St. (Lincoln). Local writers come and read. Local people come and drink. Coffee, Booze, Poetry, Fiction. Discovery. Discovery. Discovery. Check with Travis for exact details week to week:


Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – Bonus!

Library Staff, One Book – One Lincoln Discussion
@ the Bennett Martin Library, 14th & N, Lincoln

Join the group over lunch to discuss the newest One Book – One Lincoln title, Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.


Thursday, November 21st -- 2pm, Plains Writers Series featuring Matt Mason, Don Welch, Brian Finn, and Maureen Kingston in the Second Floor Humanities Lounge at Wayne State College (1111 Main St., Wayne).The Plains Writers Series is held several times a year in an attempt to bring attention to the prose and poetry of local Great Plains writers through reading and interacting with area audiences. For more information and author bio's, visit the Facebook Page.

and ...7pm, Poetry Slam XXX at The Max Bar and Grill (109 Main St., Wayne). Come help us celebrate 30 slams and 15 years of slamtastic poetry! Registration starts at 6:30. Bring 4 Poems and $5 --Free to spectators! For more information check out the Facebook Page.


Monday, November 25th -- 7pm, Open Mic at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contact and


Monday, December 2nd -- 7pm, Open Mic at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contact and


Tuesday, December 3rd, 7pm - 
Tuesdays with Writers
at the South Mill, 48th and Prescott, Lincoln.  

the annual December reading bash - YOU send in a request to be on the list!! YOU read your work, or someone elses'....

for more info, email Deborah at 


Lunch at the Library

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Andrew Jewell, Cather Scholar

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather:
Andy, co-editor of this recent book with Janis Stout, will discuss the making of the first-ever publication of Cather’s personal correspondence and read selections from the book.

Bring your lunch and enjoy coffee provided by The Mill!
Programs begin at 12:10pm in the 4th Floor Auditorium
Bennett Martin Public Library
14th & N Streets, Lincoln, NE
Sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association,
the support group for the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors
For more information, call 402-441-8516,


Wednesday, December 4th -- 7:30pm, the Writer's Workshop Reading Series at UNO presents poet Matt Mason in the Art Gallery (Weber Fine Arts Building, UNO campus, Omaha). Mason has won a Pushcart Prize and 2 Nebraska Book Awards as well as several city poetry slam championships. His latest book is The Baby That Ate Cincinnati. This reading is free and open to the public.


Wednesday, December 11th -- 11:45am-1pm, "Wednesday Words," at The KANEKO's KANEKO-UNO Library (1111 Jones St., Omaha) featuring award-winning NE poets and fiction writers as well as the winners of the Individual Artist's Fellowship Awards from the The Nebraska Arts Council, as part of our "Braided River" series. Bring your lunch and enjoy the show. Today features Marvel Maring: Book Arts.


Saturday, December 14th -- 1-4pm, Omaha Public Library and the Nebraska Writers Collective team up for the Poetry Bash For Teens at OPL's Main Branch Library (215 S 15th St, Omaha). Cash prizes for youth poets in grades 7-12. More details TBA.


---------------------  AND NOW ----- 


Paul Dickey of Omaha has a new book release, out of Pinyon Publishing:


by Paul Dickey

Wires Over the Homeplace is a late eighteenth-century Pennsylvania frontier of ancestors clearing fields across America to raise young families and new generations. It’s also a coming-of-age story for a postmodernist computer programmer retiree in the early twenty-first century writing his second book of poetry. Somewhere it may contain a story snatched from your own heart.
Wires happens in places that once were prairies, wheat fields, ball fields, hospital waiting rooms, and schools—and occupied by jack rabbits, snakes, and rusted tractors in the fields. The only constant may be the dark birds perched on the wires. The cinematography is Dickeyville, Wisconsin; Iowa; Wichita; Oklahoma; and Omaha.
At this very minute, or perhaps the moment you start to read, the book means what it says, which is a Great Plains value. In the book though, much will happen and meaning can’t always be rigidly predicted and controlled. You’ll drive the I-80 Interstate through Iowa and buy nails or a bucket of paint in an old hardware store in Weeping Water, Nebraska. A lovely young lady will buy a loaf of bread. You might get hungry for your own grandma’s homemade sausage biscuits and gravy. You’ll discuss ovenbirds with Bertrand Russell.
At times the road may make a sudden jump and you won’t be prepared. That’s just life, the old-timers say. You do have your seat belt on, right? It’s the law these days. If the book gets heavy from holding it at an awkward angle, lay it down for a spell. Bottom line, if we get lucky, you might look up and see theseWires Over the Homeplace, perhaps as you yourself always knew them, but hadn’t thought about for a time or hadn’t even known you knew.

PAUL DICKEY is a poet and philosophy instructor in Omaha and has published poetry, fiction, plays, poetry book reviews, and creative non-fiction in over one hundred literary journals. He gives poetry readings and prose poetry workshops throughout the Midwest in colleges and elsewhere.Dickey’s recent books include They Say This is How Death Came Into the World (poems), The Good News According to St. Dude (a play), andLiberal Limericks of 2012 (a collection of humorous political poems). His work has appeared in Pleiades, Bellevue Literary Review, Laurel Review, Prairie Schooner, Memoir (and), 32 Poems, Potomac Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Pinyon Review, and Clements and Dunham’s An Introduction to the Prose Poem

for more info on Paul, or on his publication, go to:


News from editor/publisher/writer Toni Sweeney, of Macon Georgia, but recently moved to LINCOLN, NEBRASKA:

The Memoir 
DOING TIME IN HELL by J. Bodie ( edited by Toni), was released by Class Act Books September 15, 2013. These are the recollections of J. Bodie McIlvane who was a Nebraska State Penitentiary guard for 12 years.Bodie never intended to be a prison guard. He was a wildcat oil rigger from Louisiana who simply applied to make his father-in-law happy. Yet for a dozen years, he looked over 4400 incarcerated men. As he listened to their stories, he realized both the guards and the inmates were doing time, but the guards were doing it on the installment plan.

Toni Sweeney's latest novel, IN THIS KINGDOM BY THE SEA, was released by Class Act Books on August 15, 2013. This is the 3rd entry in the Three Moon books, a futuristic romance series, written under Toni's pseudonym, Icy Snow Blackstone. 
Arcanis was a world set in its ways, until nine-year-old Darien-Marcus san Gene became margrave. Raised by the advising council made up of his father’s best friends, he’s given a mistress at age twelve, a wife when he’s thirteen, and develops a tremendous desire to rebel all on his own. When His Majesty reaches nineteen, the orphaned prince declares his independence... and there’s nothing those stuffy, old-fashioned advisors can do about it.

With the aid of his wife, his best friend, and his younger brother, Darien begins the not-so-subtle and sometimes shocking changes to his world. Against the background of the love story of a teenage groom and his child bride and their growth into passionate adults, there’s also the tale of a society in transition because its ruler considers it both constricting and out of dated…and he’s having a great time doing it! 

Under her own name, Toni wrote a Fantasy novel THE MAN FROM CYMENE , which was recently released by Double Dragon Publishing. This is Books 5 in the THE CHRONICLES OF RIVEN THE HERETIC series. 

Trygare kan Ingan was a boy of sixteen, a blacksmith’s son, when the Drune priest told his parents the gods decree he’s to be the father of kings. Within a day, he’s sent into the world on a short-legged hill pony, his father’s sword by his side…to seek his destiny and fulfill it. 

Nothing goes as Trygare expects, however…the woman he wants doesn’t want him, the man to be his best friend laughs at him, everyone ridicules his youth. Slaying a dragon, feeling the Bloodsong coursing through his veins, and nearly getting killed in a war changes their minds, however… 


Toni V Sweeney

"Where the Willing Suspension of Disbelief Reigns"

the One Book One Lincoln selection is 
the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller.



and some fine words from David Martin, of 
Fine Lines , Omaha:

Support Creative Writers: "Good writing is clear thinking made visible." -Bill Wheeler

Fine Lines 
a creative writing, quarterly, journal – wants your fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions. Go to for more information or write to David Martin at

Since 1991, Fine Lines has provided a place where creative writers share their written ideas with others. Our quarterly journal is dedicated to the writing development of all its members. What started out as a classroom project is now a fifty-state network of authors who love the written word and has developed into a 501©(3) nonprofit organization.

The first issue was only four pages long, and it allowed students an opportunity to show others outside their classrooms the results of “clear thinking made visible.” Now, four times a year, Fine Lines is three hundred pages of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written by students, teachers, and community members of all ages.

We receive prose articles, reflective essays on widely diverse topics including authors' life experiences, what individuals learn through the writing process, and poetry in all forms from writers across this nation. We have published writers from as far away as the Alsatian Islands, Azerbaijan, Australia, Barbados, Canada, China, Denmark, Dubai, England, Germany, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Hawaii, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Jordan, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Sicily, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and a US Navy aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.

Writers of all ages and occupations are encouraged to submit to Fine Lines. We have printed poetry by an eight-year-old third grader and several pieces by a ninety-four-year-old great, great grandmother. We have printed the work of students, teachers, professors, janitors, doctors, lawyers, ministers, truck drivers, nurses, and scientists.

If you want to read interesting and controversial ideas, Fine Lines is for you. Send us a submission of your writing in the near future. You might become a published writer, too.


Rich Wyatt, Omaha writer, won the First Annual Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, for a single poem, from The Georgia Review. $1,000 and publication of the poem, "Winter's Glory", in The Georgia Review next spring.   

see more here!!


Beef Torrey and Cinnamon Dokken, of Novel Idea Books, 
at Brownville's Wine Writers and Song Festival, 2010

(photo from Beef's FB page (Gregory Kent Torrey) 
 , posted by Beef's good friend Kevin Simonson)


one of Nebraska writing's dearest friends, Beef Torrey, passed away July 3rd -

I knew Beef from our many crossing and looping paths at many of the Nebraska Book and Literary events - he was always upbeat, effervescent, smiling, and so kind!  He DID look a lot like David Crosby (who?) , and

 here is an affectionate article from Jeff Korbelik of the Lincoln Journal Star:

Korbelik: Beef Torrey was one of a kind
Jeff Korbelik, LJS

The last time I saw Beef Torrey, I helped him fry deer testicles.

True story, which, now as I think about it, seems appropriate.

Interesting, quirky, humble, unique, learned, jovial, David Crosby-lookalike -- there weren’t enough adjectives to describe the man, who, sadly, passed away July 3 at age 55 after falling ill with complications from a defective aortic valve.

So standing over hot grease and swapping stories with Beef, well, that’s the way I want to remember him.

This was about three years ago at a semiregular, big-game feed hosted by my close friend and former co-worker Joe Duggan, who was a hunting buddy of Beef’s.

I had met Beef -- aka 
Gregory Kent Torrey -- for the first time at another feed years earlier. Afterward, Joe suggested I should write a story about him. He wanted to do so, but felt his friendship with him would make it inappropriate.

At the time, Beef worked as a psychologist associate at the Beatrice State Developmental Center.

But that wasn’t the hook.

No, it was Beef’s passion for literature and art, and the unusual, yet wonderful, connections he made because of it.

Richard Brautigan. Jim Harrison. Thomas McGuane. Tom Robbins. Ralph Steadman. Hunter S. Thompson. Russell Chatham. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Roger Welsch. Jim Fergus. William Hjortsberg.

They all were Beef’s friends.

No kidding.

These friendships resulted in many stories -- hunting with Harrison in Mexico, attending parties in Montana with Brautigan and, once, taking Vonnegut to a downtown Lincoln strip club.

I sat in Beef’s home on an acreage outside Crete and listened in disbelief. How does a fellow from Nebraska run in such circles?

But every story was true. I confirmed all of them, including the hunting trip to Mexico, with Harrison -- famous for his novel “Legends of the Fall” -- telling me of Torrey’s uncanny knack for picking off doves in the dark.

“This is a handy ability in our time,” Harrison joked.

In my feature story, which ran in May 2007, Torrey’s friend, Doane College English professor Liam Purdon, told me Beef was “one of those rare individuals who was at the right place at the right time.”

“Because Beef is the gregarious type of person he is and because he embodies many of the principles those writers strove to define, many of those writers gravitated to him and maintained their friendships with him,” Purdon said.

Those friendships led Beef to editing or co-editing collections of interviews with some those well-known artists. He also co-edited a comprehensive bibliography of Harrison’s work. I have a signed copy of Beef’s “Conversations With Thomas McGuane,” a book published by the University Press of Mississippi, featuring several interviews with the author, including one with Beef.

I was on vacation last week when Joe called and left me a message about Beef’s passing. Beef had left the State Developmental Center, where he worked for more than 10 years, and was a mental health practitioner at the Veteran Affairs clinic in Lincoln.

I texted back, thanking Joe for the message and noting Beef was quite a character. Joe responded with these words: World got less interesting today.

Indeed, it did.

Services for Beef will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Heckman Auditorium at Doane College in Crete.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or, of follow him @LJSjeffkorbelik.

sse article at: 

and a 2007 article :


Twyla Hansen started this Facebook page for the Bill Kloefkorn CD!! :

Petition to the Nebraska Television Network to issue audio tracks of Bill Kloefkorn's NET poetry programs!!!!!

our buddy, Dr John Walker, musician/poet/philosopher - writes to us:

Bon jour, all y'all

A couple of years ago a grass roots effort to get a new school in Lincoln named after Bill Kloefkorn took off with emails and phone calls and letters and, voila, today there is a new school in Lincoln named after Bill Kloefkorn. 

 Now, today, a bunch of us think it would be a good idea to encourage NET to compile a CD of some of Bill's poetry programs. 
 Ergo, I'm asking each of you who would love to hear Bill's voice reading some of his poems to email or write Nancy Finken, Network Manager at ETV, ) 
and encourage her to pursue this project. 

 If NET did produce a CD, it could, of course, either be sold outright or used as a fundraising premium. But in addition, and perhaps most valuably, it would stand as a lasting tribute to a treasured poet, reader, teacher, and advocate for the humanities and all education. Our longest standing State Poet deserves such a tribute. NET has the resources to do it. It wouldn't cost very much. We should do it.



check out the new writing blog from Becky Breed and Lucy Adkins:

WRITING IN COMMUNITY: say GOODBYE to writer's block and transform your life  


Writer and Activist Mary Pipher of Lincoln has an opinion piece on the April 17th Editorial page of the New York Times - on the Keystone XL pipeline - it Begins:

Lighting a Spark on the High Plains

I GREW up in Nebraska. My great-grandparents homesteaded here. Generally, Nebraskans are a polite, cautious people more interested in weather than politics, and in pie than causes. That is, until recently.
In 2008 TransCanada announced plans for its Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude oil across the state’s fertile Sand Hills region and over the Ogallala Aquifer, a vital source of fresh water for irrigation. But it wasn’t until after the BP oil spill in 2010 that most Nebraskans became concerned. Suddenly, small groups of people gathered in living rooms, churches and cafes to discuss what might happen in the event of a spill or leak. .... 
for the rest of it, CLIK HERE ...


results from the NE state Individual Slam meet, at Andersen Hall, UNL, Sunday night the 21st!  
1st: Lincoln North Star: 
Katharen Hedges
2nd: Marian HSHaley Minnick
3rd: Bellevue West HSDrew Shifter
( there originally was a TIE for first, so we had a Haiku writing contest to decide - really!!!) 


Lincoln High Slam TEAM WON the Team competition!

Friday night in Omaha, here come the Links!
First: Lincoln High!
second: Duchesne Academy!
third: Lincoln North Star!
fourth: Omaha Central!

congrats to all the fine work, immense effort, and superb sportsmanship shown by all teams!

congrats to our Lincoln teams: North Star, with coach Stacey Waite & friends, who brought a first-year team into state!!

congrats to Lincoln High, with coaches Andrew Ek & Katie F S, and creative writing teacher Deborah, and a so-fine group of team-members and big-time supporters from all over Lincoln High!

see FB page Louder than a Bomb Omaha 

and the Lincoln Journal Star's fine article (Journal Star reporter Margaret Reist was at the Finals, sitting in front of us, typing/editing/cheering madly to write this article! Way to go, Margaret! )


and, not NEW news, but still sadly crushing for many here in Lincoln and Nebraska writer scene:

The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference 

is currently on hiatus 

and will 


be offering workshops

in 2013 


the Winter 2013 edition of The MacGuffin is finally out--now that it's spring! Local writer Shoshana Sumrall Frerking's story, "This is How I Know You," appears in it.

click here for info on MacGuffin


ocal writer and activist Mary Pipher has an article in the Local View area of the March 27 Journal Star that bears repeating --

Here it is, and CLIK HERE for the full commentary -- way to go, Mary!!

Pipeline concerns haven't diminished
By MARY PIPHER, Lincoln author, speaker.

"I am writing in response to the Journal Star editorial March 11 ("Last call on the pipeline"). I am a lifelong Nebraskan, a grandmother and the author of a book coming out in June that required me to study climate change. I also write as one who has closely followed the Keystone XL pipeline story for over two years.

I was dismayed by the aforementioned editorial. The first line compliments President Barack Obama for holding a hearing in Nebraska. Of course, I am grateful to him and urge our citizens to participate in that State Department hearing. But make no mistake, we Nebraskans are responsible for the hearing. We have been the people who protested TransCanada's assault on our natural resources and on the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers. Because of concerned Nebraskans' sustained attention to the problems with TransCanada, we have sparked a national discussion about this pipeline.

Unfortunately, the concerns of many Nebraskans have not been allayed in the slightest.Landowners are frightened of losing their property rights. Nebraskans from Spencer, to Fullerton, to Omaha are concerned about the contamination of the Ogallala Aquifer, rivers and wells. Water, soil and wildlife experts, not tied to the oil industry, have many worries and they were not consulted during the recent Department of Environmental Quality review.

Many safety issues have not been addressed. The public does not know what kinds of chemicals are in the tar sands sludge. We know it contains some highly toxic and carcinogenic substances, including benzene, but TransCanada will not reveal what is in their "proprietary" toxic goop. This means, among other things, that we cannot plan in advance to protect ourselves in case of a leak or spill. First responders cannot prepare for emergencies or respond quickly afterward. Furthermore, how can we say a situation is safe and under control when we don't even know what we are dealing with?

The recent impact report cited by the Department of Environmental Quality was a green wash. It says the new route avoids the Sandhills, but TransCanada did not change the route as much as it changed the map. According to TransCanada's own 2008 map that was submitted to the State Department, the area it is planning to traverse still is in the Sandhills.  Meanwhile, the word ?aquifer? has dropped out of the discussion entirely.

I also take exception to the editorial's phrase "dwindling but vocal minority of Nebraskans who oppose the pipeline." The issues are technical  and complicated, and many Nebraskans don't quite understand the exact nature of our current situation. Yet, according to a recent University of Nebraska poll, 78 percent of rural citizens want the pipeline route to avoid the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer. The new route does neither.

Farmers, ranchers, urbanites, Republicans and Democrats, students and senior citizens as well as Native peoples oppose this pipeline. More than 880 people attended the DEQ hearing in Albion on a Tuesday evening in December. More than 125 Nebraskans traveled to Washington, D.C., to stand in the wind and the cold Feb. 17 because they cared about stopping the pipeline. We Nebraskans have united around this issue in great numbers. No other cause in my 65-year-old memory has sparked so much passion.

This pipeline will not help the United States with energy independence or security. Instead, the oil TransCanada transports will be sold on the international market to the highest bidder. We Americans could shoulder the risks of this pipeline and yet experience almost none of its suggested benefits.

Finally, I would like to speak up for environmentalists, the people who want to give all the grandchildren of the world a good future. The Journal Star editorial suggests that either people want to protect Nebraska or they want to stop this pipeline and slow down our use of fossil fuels by converting to cleaner energies. I would humbly suggest this is not an either/or situation, but rather a both/and situation.
As a long-term opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, I both care deeply for our state and I want to work for a cleaner world. The two goals are not antagonistic, but deeply related. "

........... this Local View is from the Journal Star, March 27, responding to a Journal Star editorial board piece.. CLIK HERE FOR THAT


more books and workshop news:

Fred Zydek, writer living here in NE, writes about a new book of his, a memoir, "The Songs of Angels" ... ( see also for this other titles by Fred ) :

When my goddaughter was born, her parents weren’t Roman Catholics anymore, but her paternal grandmother was. And Grandma really wanted the infant baptized. Her parents didn’t want a real priest to do it but agreed to have a ceremony at their home if I could do it. I accepted. Not many people know that it doesn’t take a priest to baptize someone. Any baptized person can do it. Who knows - maybe anyone can do it.
And I promised the baby girl’s grandma that I would do my best to get her to mass. I managed a mid-night Christmas mass or two - but that’s about it. Come to think of it, I believe Grandma was with us on a few occasions - and after Grandma passed, I think my goddaughter was only willing to go one last time - but as a tribute to her grandmother, not as a participant in the liturgy of the season.
Humanists exist at all points on the Bell Curve of life. Some of us occupy positions at the “persons of faith” end of the curve, and others occupy positions of Atheism and often as latent (and sometimes blatant) Agnostics. But before I understood and accepted the fact that my goddaughter would not be listed among those who celebrate and feel gratitude for a Divine Animating Principle (usually called “God.”) - I wrote a spiritual fantasy for her about the Archangels. I got the idea from a commentary in an ancient Midrash note that insisted the Archangels were commissioned by God to write and perform music (with the help of cherubims and saraphims, of course) for each phase of creation and each thing created. An enormous task when one understands that there are only four archangels. (I’ll bet you can name three of them right now - but will struggle for the name of the fourth.)
Of course the Archs (as they’re called by those who know them well) won’t have names until Adam comes along. It is, after all, his job to name things. (Think of it! Man had to create his own language!)
And there will be problems for the Archs. After all, how do you understand the concept of matter, or the difference between soft things and hard things, or sharp things and dull things, or hot things and cold things - when you haven’t a clue what things are because you haven’t a clue or ever experience anything made of atoms - because they are matter and you are not. But it may also be true that both matter and Angles are created from the same thing. Light.
And just wait until one of those Archs finds out that while they have been told that human kind will be created “a little lower than the angels” . . .humans can do something not even Archs (the highest form of consciousness in the celestial realm) can do - reproduce after its own kind. And what’s worse - it turns out that even something as lowly as a blade of grass can do it - but not Archangels. That’s going to make one of the archs pretty mad. His music is going to become much more like Stravinsky and Mahler than the music of the other archs.
I never gave the story to my goddaughter, although she was already an avid reader by the time I finished writing the story. By that time she was pretty much of the opinion that Jesus and the tooth fairy had a lot in common and she really didn’t want to be evangelized in any way. I felt like giving her the story could appear as an attempt to convert her to her Grandmother’s faith. It was clear that the fruit had not fallen very far away from the tree, and her that her parents appreciated that while she embraced sound and generous feelings about social justice and the human condition, like they did, she also embraced their distain for organized religion.
And I forgot about the story for a while. Then one day, while looking for a copy of my first novel (The City Camp Adventure) so I could revise it ONE MORE TIME - I found The Songs of Angels. I read through it. Did a minor revision here and there - and sent it off to my publisher for consideration.
Well - it’s ready. You can find out more about it at my web site (go to ) or click on the link below. It will take you there. You’ll find links to or one that will take you directly to my publisher’s manufacturer in case you don’t have an account with Amazon or don’t like shopping there. You can also order it from you local bookstore - but that takes a couple of weeks. Me? I love Amazon. I even shop for coffee there. I did all my Christmas shopping right here at my PC. And there was frosting! They wrap the gifts!
But I warn you. These aren’t your grandmother’s angels. They can be very funny. One of them can be rude as hell. They’re going to make you laugh and sometimes wish you could actually hear the music I write about. And you may cry.
I know most of you are going to be hit with a massive email blast from my publisher in a week or two. (I gave them every email I had) but I'm so excited about this book, I wanted to let you know about it right away.
I love this story. It’s a novella . . . about half the length of Old Pinhead. Let me know what you think about the story. I think this is the kind of book you’re going to like enough to purchase copies for birthday and Christmas gifts.
I dedicated the story to Nora Borgstrom. Some of you may know her. She’s Pat Borgstrom’s daughter. A Buckley kid. Nora is one of the angels in my life. I think of her as a kid sister.

Click here: Books | Fredrick Zydek


SP  CE is a writing room on the 2nd floor of the 14th & O building, downtown Lincoln:::: go up the stairs next to Novel Idea Bookstore on N 14th, veer right at the top, look for SP CE on the DOOR:::: 

every Saturday at 2pm, come up to talk writing -- see the FB page at: 

How SP CE Writer's Group Works:

People who are interested in discussing writing come to SP CE every Saturday at 2 p.m.
People who want their writing discussed bring copies of their writing.
All forms of writing are welcomed, but new or actively in-progress works are especially encouraged.
Everyone's writing is discussed for 10-15 minutes.
Those who want a bit of a challenge are encouraged to write for the prompt.

The prompt is: hair

Good times!

For those who wish to be further involved:

Prior to Writer's Group, there will be an Open Meeting where anyone can come and join in on a discussion of plans, goals, and ideas for SP CE as a collective entity. The Open Meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be held before every Writer's Group.

After Writer's Group, anyone who is interested in continuing a dialog in a more casual setting is invited to reconvene at Yia Yia's* to partake in food and drink and further conversation.

*reconvening location subject to change


ConStellation IV - A New Hope

Lincoln's own national Science Fiction Convention
is coming April 19-21!!

( for more info)


We are proud to announce the 2013
Louder Than a Bomb
Lincoln High School Slam Poetry Team
(there will be four individual performances, and a four-person group slam piece)

In alphabetical order:

Lillian Bornstein
Reagan Myers
Rawson Ngoh
Elaine Samsel
Itahi Sanchez
Paul Schack
Katherine Stangl
Natalie Wiebelhaus

Charlie Curtis-Beard
Bobbi Dyas

Thanks to our judges:
Jen Davis-Korn, Eric Holt, Charlene Neely and Rex Walton

Rex Walton has left the helm at Crescent Moon Coffee's 10-year reading Series, Poetry at the Moon.  NOW, Crescent Moon Coffee is continuing the series as a weekly Open Mike, with occasional themes and guests, but THE OPEN MIKE CONTINUES!!!!! 

1. continue to drop in, listen, read, and spread the word about a place to congregate as writers -
2. VOLUNTEER to be a once-in-a-while MC for the event - contact Melinda at Crescent Moon to be put on a list: 
3. GET OUT IN THE community, and use your writing skills to promote active movements in intellectual circles, social needs, political moves, ...
4. Keep Writing, talking, thinking as an aspiring ACTIVE citizen of our city, county, state, country - Democracy works when WE work to keep it active - if you can read and write with a thinking, critical eye, YOU can make a difference - I cite the current wave of activists such as (but certainly NOT limited to) Mary Pipher, Ben Gotschall, Mike Flood, Jane Kleeb, Dave Kramer, Chuck Hagel, Kate Witek, Kim Robak, ... and, you add to this list


We are saddened to announce that Ed & Diane Stevens, owners of Book Ends bookstore in downtown Kearney, are closing up shop this month -- we'd like to thank Ed and Diane for their many years of friendly, expert service in not only the bookselling world, but the fine monthly reading series, Poetry on the Bricks.  Ed's bushy moustache and energetic smile, and Diane's patience and professionalism, will be missed in the Nebraska literary community! 
( Ed is trying to find a downtown Kearney venue to host a continuance of their reading series - if you know of one, please send him a note at: )

newest book out by Barbara Schmitz! 

"Path of Lightning"

Author and poet Barbara Schmitz offers a heartful, funny, and deeply moving "spiritual autobiography" that brings the reader along on each stage of her fervent inner quest for mystical experience. Beginning with a Catholic girlhood in Nebraska, she graduates to an unlikely apprenticeship with Allen Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute; a dedicated transcendental meditation practice; and finally to thirty years of joys and struggles with a Sufi teacher (Shahabuddin Less) with whom she travels to Bali, Turkey, India, Kashmir, and the Holy Land. Incisive as lightning-the meaning of her Sufi name, Vajra-her questions and yearning are our own, and she doesn't let God, her teacher, or herself off the hook.

GO HERE to order the book...


Lincoln professor Joy Castro's book, "Hell or High Water" has been optioned for a movie by Zoe Saldana and friends ... READ HERE

"Hell Or High Water follows New Orleans reporter Nola Céspedes as she is dragged into the city’s post-Katrina underworld on the trail of what she thinks will be her big scoop. The novel was released July 17 by Thomas Dunne Books and was called one of the best books of 2012 by The Kirkus Review."

Nebraska author news!! emily m. danforth is one of five nominees for the 2013 Morris Award, given for a first-time young adults' book author! emily graduated from UNL last year with an MFA in fiction ....

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, written by emily m. danforth, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

On the same day that 12-year-old Cameron kisses her best friend, Irene, her parents are killed in a car accident. Nearly crushed with guilt, Cameron spends the next several years in self-imposed gay-movie therapy with her VCR or drinking and smoking pot with her track and swim team friends, gradually coming to terms with her sexuality. It’s not easy being gay in rural 1990s Montana, and it’s harder still when your aunt drags you to an Evangelical church every weekend — where you meet the girl of your dreams.
CLIK HERE for more ---

Doug Smith of the Lincoln Arts Council sends us this:

How can I make a living with my art?

Where is the most colorful art for giving this season? 
What are they going to do with Canopy Street? 

How can First Friday get more attention?

What’s up with Union Plaza on Antelope Creek?

Why don’t ducks wear shoes? 

If these questions matter to you, and they should (mostly), we suggest that you seek the answers with the ever-changing group of people who join our Creative Conversations at the Mill in the Haymarket on Fridays from 8:30am to 10:00am. 

We focus on the arts, but aren’t above contemplating the higher mysteries of life. We can promise you great coffee, great conversation, and a chance to make a difference in the lives of every Lincoln resident. Join us. 

Doug Smith --- 


Nebraska Book Awards, 2012:

012 (13th annual) for books published in 2011

Aspects of Robinson: Homage to Weldon Kees, edited by Christopher Buckley and Christopher Howell 
Publisher: The Backwaters Press 

Anthology Honor:
Women on the North American Plains, edited by Renee Laegreid and Sandra K. Mathews
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press 

First Telegraph Line across the Continent: Charles Brown’s 1861 Diary, edited by Dennis Mihelich and James E. Potter
Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society Books
Designer: Reigert Graphics

Cover/Design/Illustration Honor:
Flushed During Play: 51 Pet Rodent Deaths, compiled by Jeff Lacey
Artwork: Calvin Banks
Publisher: Rogue Faculty Press

To Be Sung Underwater, by Tom McNeal
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Nonfiction: Biography:
Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son's Search for His Father, by Brent Spencer
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

Nonfiction: History:
The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ‘68 Racial Divide, by Steve Marantz
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press 

Nonfiction: Nebraska as Place:
Portraits Of The Prairie: The Land That Inspired Willa Cather, by Richard Schilling
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press 

Nonfiction: Reference:
Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains, by Jon Farrar 
Publisher: University of Iowa Press 

Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, by Twyla M. Hansen and Linda M. Hasselstrom
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

Ted Kooser's Poem Inspires a Film!

Ted KooserA short film by Dan Butler, inspired by Ted Kooser's poem "Pearl" has been making the rounds of the film festivals, and the New England Festival has put it online. 
(CLICK HERE for online version

Melissa Homestead Receives Honorable Mention by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers for its  first Edition Award

ClarenceAn edition of Catharine Sedgwick's novel Clarence, co-edited by English department faculty member Melissa J. Homestead, has been awarded an Honorable Mention by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers for its  first Edition Award. The SSAWW Edition Award is given every three years at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers’ conference to recognize excellence in the recovery of American women writers. First published in 1830, Sedgwick's novel of manners is set in New York City in the 1820s. Co-edited by Homestead and Ellen A. Foster (Clarion University of Pennsylvania) and published by Broadview Press, the edition features an introduction authored by Homestead focusing on Sedgwick's place in transatlantic literary culture and her imaginative engagements with New York City and the Caribbean, as well as a selection of contextual documents and images.

from the Bookguide at Lincoln city Libraries:

..... and, the Selection for the 

2012 One Book - One Lincoln 
Destiny of the Republic 
by Candice Millard!

Readers in Lincoln cast their votes in June and July, and by an overwhelming majority, the tome you all selected for this year's 
One Book - One Lincoln title was Millard's engrossing look at the assassination of President James A. Garfield.

You can visit this year's official One Book - One Lincoln website for resources related to this year's selected title. The special programs for this year are still being finalized, and we'll announce those on the libraries' website, on Facebook, and via the One Book - One Lincoln e-mail list and Blog as soon as possible.

Thanks for your continued support for One Book - One Lincoln -- we look forward to another Fall of engaging discussions and informative programming related to the selected book!

The readers' services page of the Lincoln City Libraries
Lincoln, Nebraska


Kwame Dawes, professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He is among 181 scholars, artists and scientists in the United States and Canada who were selected for the honor from nearly 3,000 applicants.

The fellowship will support his work on the poem cycle, “August: A Quintet,” which is based on the work of August Wilson, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner whose work illustrated the African-American experience in the 20th century.


UNL professor Joy Castro's forthcoming debut novel, Hell or High Water, has been chosen as the September 2012 Book of the Month by the Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. It's good national publicity for a first novel: there are book club chapters all over the country, and Joy will be doing teleconferencing in September.
UNL professor Wheeler Winston Dixon's book A History of Horror (Rutgers UP) has been chosen by Choice, the ALA Library Journal, as an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year for 2011. As Choice notes, their list of Outstanding Academic Books "comprise[s] less than 9 percent of the titles reviewed during 2011 and 2.5 percent of those submitted during that same time span, [ensuring that] these exceptional titles are truly the 'best of the best.'" In addition, A History of Horror will be released as an audio book by Redwood Audiobooks in 2012, and has just gone into a second printing from Rutgers.

Rex Walton