... it's still NaPoMo (National Poetry Month , duh .. ) keep asking for poems!!

Hot news:

HOT STUFF the next week or so (April 23rd-30TH )

1.    LOUDER THAN A BOMB FINALS the 17th!!
Lincoln High wins first place!  Lincoln North Star is second!  Waverly, third, and Omaha Millard South is fourth! READ THIS JOURNAL STAR STORY! 
2.  Dan Leamen and Zedeka Poindexter at UNO the 23rd ..WED!!
3.   April 24th WINE AND E - A fundraiser for the foundation for Lincoln City Libraries, at the Country Club of Lincoln - 6 to 9 p.m.
4.    April 24th - SP_ _CE reading at Indigo Bridge Books, 7pm
5.    April 25th & 26th - the Nebraska Book Fest, UNO, Omaha
6.    April 25-27 - Constellation Sci-Fi Festival, Lincoln check down the page for DETAILS!!
7.    Saturday, April 26th - 7 to 9:30 pm - Writers and Poets Night at Gratitude Bakery and Cafe - 
8.   April 28th - Rebecca Newton at Crescent Moon Coffee
9.   NEW!! Backwaters Press Reading Series!! April 30th!!

see more info down the page ..
Rex Walton's new email address: walton1947@gmail.com 

Native Daughters II - the UNL Journalism Dept's new magazine


to order a copy, call Jerry Renaud at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at 402-472-3056 or send him an email at jrenaud1@unl.edu .  The magazine costs $10 per copy.  Stories and photos from the project also can be found atNativeDaughters.org.

Read the LATEST poem in Ted Kooser's weekly column, 
American Life in Poetry CLICK here!!!


HEY - a BIG deal for small change (relatively, OK ...) 
Poets' month of workshops!

April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
SCC Continuing Education Center 301 S 68th Street Place
$25 for five weeks, Register at http://olli.unl.edu/

Come learn about contemporary Nebraska poets and some of the groups that support them. Some sessions feature writers’ workshops, some focus on the work of the poets themselves, others are information sessions about what our state has to offer its citizens.

April 24: Poets Lucy Adkins and Marge Saiser
May 1: May-Day Celebration of Nebraska Poetry with poets Stephen Behrendt and Grace Bauer. 

event coordinator is Mary K Stillwell OLLI member and facilitator, studied writing in NY with William Packard and on the plains with Ted Kooser. She earned her PhD from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Stillwell’s The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser, was published in by the University of Nebraska Press, and her chapbook, Fallen Angels, by Finishing Line Press. Maps & Destinations: New and Selected Poems will be published this spring by Stephen F. Austin State University Press.

(see each date, DOWN BELOW IN the Calendar,  for details on writers, etc!!!)

Coming March 1st - 
Karen Gettert Shoemaker's:


has a new collection of poetry: 
Nowhere All At Once 

(Stephen F. Austin University Press) 


latest is 


check out a Nebraska author, Poe Ballantine - articles in Sun Magazine -- http://thesunmagazine.org/author/733

other book announcements 
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:

Lincoln area's "regularly" 
scheduled Writing "events" ...

F Street Writers Workshop - 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 5-7pm, 13th and F sts

Monday nites open mike and writers - 7pm - Crescent Moon Coffee, 8th & P sts

Tuesdays with Writers with open mike - 7pm, 1st Tuesday, South Mill Coffee

Gratitude Bakery open mike - 4th Sat at 7pm, half blk. N. of 66th and Holdrege sts

ACE writers group - Sats at 2pm, 14th & O, 2nd floor (go up stairs by Novel Idea)

Underground Writers workshop, 3rd Sunday, 6pm, Crescent Moon Coffee

POET-SHOW IT - 1st and 3rd Wed, 8pm, 1122 D St. -

Open mike for writing/music - every Wed at 8pm, Meadowlark Coffee, 16th and South

NEW >> "The First Draft of Anything" writing workshop, monthly in Bellevue - CLICK HERE for more info 

anyone know of any more? send to walton1947@gmail.com


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 www.poetrymenu.com 
site, for all the news we need to know, and commit to memory  .... 
and to the Nebraska Center for Writers for the biographical info for most of the writers -- 


(you knew that, right?)


April 25, 26 - 
Festival !!!!

The next Nebraska Book FestivalDeliberate Shapes and Senses, will be held April 25-26, 2014, in Omaha, Nebraska. The festival is free and open to everyone who wishes to meet, hear, and talk with a few of Nebraska's many talented authors who have published new works. All participating authors will answer questions from the audience and be available for book signings.
  • Don Welch will give the keynote presentation.
  • Participating authors will answer questions from the audience, be available for book signing, and attend the concluding reception.
  • Writers will conduct writers workshops.
  • The Nebraska Center for the Book will present the Mildred Bennett Award to an individual for significant contributions to fostering literary tradition in Nebraska.
  • Organizations, publishers, and vendors will be present.

Keynote address

Activities begin Friday evening, April 25, with a keynote presentation by Nebraska native Don Welch, poet and author of "Gnomes" (2013) and "Travels" (2010). In 1980, Welch won the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, judged by William Stafford. He retired as Reynolds Poetry Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, but he has recently been re-appointed to that post as Interim Reynolds Poetry Professor for 2012-2013.


Saturday will include presentations by authors who will read and discuss their work:
  • Lucy AdkinsBecky Breed: "Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer's Block and Transform Your Life"
  • Paul Dickey: "Wires Over the Home Place"
  • Marcia Calhoun Forecki: "Blood of the White Bear"
  • A.E. Fairfield: "The Polaris Effect"
  • Nancy Isom: "A Name to Remember"
  • Kent Krause: "Behind in the Count"
  • Tosca Lee: "Iscariot"
  • Kelly Madigan: "The Edge of Known Things"
  • Matt Mason: "The Baby That Ate Cincinnati"
  • John Price: "Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father"
  • Jim Reisdorff: "Un-Driving the Gold Spike"
  • Marge Saiser: "Losing the Ring in the River"
  • Mary K. Stillwell: "Fallen Angels, The Life & Poetry of Ted Kooser"
  • Lisa KovandaBrian Thomas: "Modified Flight Plan"
  • Benjamin Vogt: "Afterimage"
  • Darrell Wendt: "Confessions of a Railroad Crew Van Driver"
  • Eileen Wirth: "From Society Page to Front Page: Nebraska Women in Journalism"

Writing workshops

The festival will include poetry and prose workshops with opportunities for writers to discuss their craft and receive feedback from award-winning authors. Presenters are Karen Shoemaker and Tosca Lee.

Seven Doctors Project

Founded by poet Steve Langan in 2008, the Seven Doctors Project, a Nebraska Writers Collective program, assists physicians, healthcare workers, and members of the broader professional community in the exploration of the creative process through study and practice of creative writing. This is accomplished through interactive workshops conducted by local writers and poets in a variety of settings throughout the community. In this presentation, Langan and 7DP participants will share some work from the recent sessions...and provide an interactive writing assignment, "Abstraction to Image," as a way for each attendee to begin writing a poem.

The Schedule:


Deliberate Shapes and Senses

Friday: April 25, 2014

KEYNOTE: 7:00 p.m. • Don Welch • Bootstrapper Hall

Saturday: April 26, 2014

VENDORS: Centennial Hall

WORKSHOPS: 9:00 - 10:45 a.m.

Karen Shoemaker • Andersen Hospitality Room

“Family Stories into Literature” will focus on writing fiction and non-fiction.

Tosca Lee • Rhoden Board Room

“Creating Unforgettable Characters” in fiction.

READINGS: 12 noon - 1:00 p.m.


— Cindy Grady: Introductions

— A.E. Fairfield: The Polaris Effect

— Nancy Isom: A Name to Remember

— Marcia Calhoun Forecki: Blood of the White Bear


— Rod Wagner: Introductions

— Benjamin Vogt: Afterimage

— Marge Saiser: Losing the Ring in the River

— Mary Kay Stillwell: Fallen Angels

READINGS: 1:15-2:00 p.m.


— Charles Johanningsmeier: Introductions

— John Price: Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father

— David S. Atkinson: The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes

READINGS 1:15-2:00 p.m.


— Molly Fisher: Introductions

— Tosca Lee: Iscariot

— Eileen Wirth: From Society Page to Front Page: Nebraska Women in Journalism

READINGS 2:15-3:00 p.m.


— Marvel Maring: Introductions

— Jim Reisdorff: Un-Driving the Gold Spike

— Darrell Wendt: Confessions of a Railroad Crew Van Driver


— Marvel Marling: Introductions

— Lisa Kovanda, Brian Thomas: Modified Flight Plain

— Kent Krause: Behind in the Count

READINGS 3:15-4:00 p.m.


— Marvel Marling: Introductions

— Paul Dickey: Wires Over the Home Place

— Kelly Madigan: The Edge of Known Things


— Cindy Grady: Introductions

— Lucy Adkins, Becky Breed: Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer's Block and Transform Your Life

— Laura Madeline Wiseman: Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence
Bennett Award • 4:00 p.m. • BOOTSTRAPPER HALL
Reception • 4:30 p.m. • CONCOURSE/LOBBY

Seven Doctors Project • 6:00 -7:30 p.m. • BOOTSTRAPPER HALL

Map & parking

All UNO lots are open for parking during the Festival events.




April 25-27 ConStellation 5 Lincoln, NE. 
SciFi/Anime/Gaming convention. With Carrie Vaughn, AB Word, and Daniel C. Nielsen. At the Holiday Inn Downtown, 141 N. 9th St.


Saturday, April 26th - 7 to 9:30 pm
Writers and Poets Night 
at Gratitude Bakery and Cafe - 
1551 N Cotner, Lincoln
Readings from current works by local writers and poets. All writers welcome as well as listeners!


Saturday, April 26th -- 1-9pm, the Individual Finals of the Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains at the UNL Union Auditorium (UNL campus, Lincoln). LTAB is mainly a team competition, today has individuals competing in several bouts through the day leading to the 7pm Finals. See more information at LTABGreatPlains.org.
Monday, April 28th  - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Monday, April 28th - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). 

Rebecca Newton | 7pm

Rebecca Newton is a poet originally from St. Louis, Missouri, who now resides in Seward, Nebraska. She is currently a senior at Concordia University, and is majoring in Secondary Education with a focus in Comprehensive English, LTD. Rebecca cites Jericho Brown, Sarah Kay, and Dylan Garity as poetic influences. For years Rebecca spent hours crunched over a notebook, writing free-verse poems and even raps, prior to discovering her love for slam poetry and spoken word. Now, most of Rebecca’s poetry is meant to be read out loud, the performance aspect that which truly allows her to reveal her own vulnerability, hoping to reach others’ hearts and hurts in the process. As poetry is a very personal form of writing, Rebecca uses it as an anchor in a chaotic world, and hopes that her listeners/readers may do the same. For more information about Rebecca, or her next reading, please contact her at rebecca.newton@cune.org . 
For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Monday, April 28th -- 7-8pm, WriteLife Presents: Writers' Open Mic at The PS Collective (6056 Maple St., Omaha). 
There will be 10 minute slots available for writers to sign up to read their work. This can be poetry, an excerpt from your published book, a piece that you're working on...anything goes, as long as you wrote it! Not a writer, but want to catch a glimpse of local creativity and talent? Stop by and be entertained!


Wednesday, April 30th, 7-pm -- A reading - the Backwaters Press Reading ...
Who Says April is 
"The Cruellest Month?" 
Poetry Reading

at Shelterbelt Theater, 3225 California, OMAHA!!!

Join The Backwaters Press to send April, National Poetry Month, out with a bang, not a whimper, and kick off the New Backwaters Press Reading Series!

Featuring Backwaters Press Poets:

Twyla Hansen
Barbara Schmitz
Greg Kuzma
Michael Catherwood

(Yes, BWP likes T. S. Eliot - )

Info about the readers:

Gov. Dave Heineman named Twyla M. Hansen as Nebraska State Poet for the term Dec. 1, 2013 to Nov. 30, 2018. Her newest book, DIRT SONGS: A PLAINS DUET (with Linda M. Hasselstrom), won the 2012 Nebraska Book Award and was Finalist for the 2012 High Plains Book Award and 2012 WILLA Literary Award. She has five previous books of poetry, including POTATO SOUP, winner of the 2004 Nebraska Book Award. Her writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Prairie Schooner, Midwest Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Platte Valley Review, Organization & Environment, Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West, and A Contemporary Reader for Creative Writing.

Barbara Schmitz is emeritus professor of English at Northeast College (Norfolk, NE.) where she taught literature and writing for thirty years, coordinated the Visiting Writers Series and was an editor for Elkhorn Review. She has published in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Laurel Review, Nebraska Review, South Dakota Review, Iconoclast, Poetry Motel, Chiron Review, River Styx, and Kansas Quarterly, and in several anthologies, most recently Nebraska Presence, and Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace. She is the author of Making Tracks (Suburban Wilderness Press), The Lives of the Saints (Main-Traveled Roads #8, l996), How to Get Out of the Body (Sandhills, 1990), The Upside Down Heart (Sandhills, 2003), and How Much Our Dancing Has Improved (Backwaters Press, 2005, winner of the Award for Poetry from the Nebraska Center for the Book). Her most recent collections are What Bob Says (Pudding House 2010), Path of Lightning: A Seekers Jagged Journey (Pinyon Publishing 2012), and Always The Details (Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2014).

Poet, editor, and essayist Greg Kuzma earned a BA and an MA at Syracuse University. His long free-verse poems often investigate the frame of personal memory. His numerous poetry collections include Song for Someone Going Away and Other Poems (1971), Good News (1994), and Selected Early Poems 1958–1983 (2010). His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s syndicated National Public Radio program, The Writer’s Almanac. Kuzma is also the author of the essay collections What Poetry Is All About (1998) and A Book of Rereadings: Two (2008). Kuzma is professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In addition to serving as the editor of Best Cellar Press, he has edited the literary magazine Pebble. He lives in Crete, Nebraska.

Michael Catherwood has published poems in various magazines, including Agni, Aethlon, Black Warrior Review, Blue Violin, Borderlands, Briar Cliff Review, Brick and Mortar, Conspire, CQ, Duct Tape, Exit 13, Ecletica. Georgetown Review, Graffiti Rag, Hawai’i Review, Kansas Quarterly, Laurel Review, Louisiana Literature, Main Street Rag, Mangrove, Mankato Poetry Review, Midwest Poetry Review, Midwest Quarterly, Nebraska English Journal, Nebraska Review, Pennsylvania English, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Red River Review, South Dakota Review, Sycamore Review, Westview, and others. For 20 years, he has written essays for Plainsongs and has recently published poems in Burning Bush 2, The Common, Poetry South, Valley Voices, New Plains Review, and the Red River Review. In 2006 The Backwaters Press published his first book of poems entitled Dare. He has worked as a truck driver, weed whacker, garbage man, teacher, tutor, substitute teacher, and administrator. He has taught creative writing at the University of Arkansas, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and at Creighton University. His awards include a Pushcart Nomination, an Intro Journals Award for Poetry from AWP, two Lily Peter Fellowships, the Holt Prize for Poetry, and National Finalist for the Ruth Lily Prize. In 2003, he received an encouragement award from the Nebraska Arts Council.

Wednesday, April 30th - 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. 


Poets' month of workshops!

April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
SCC Continuing Education Center 301 S 68th Street Place
$25 for five weeks, Register at http://olli.unl.edu/

Come learn about contemporary Nebraska poets and some of the groups that support them. Some sessions feature writers’ workshops, some focus on the work of the poets themselves, others are information sessions about what our state has to offer its citizens. 
May 1: May-Day Celebration of Nebraska Poetry with poets Stephen Behrendt and Grace Bauer. Reading plus Q and A about the UNL creative writing program and an open mic reading by OLLI poets who have participated in the workshops!

For more information: marykstillwell@gmail.com Mary K. Stillwell


Thursday, May 1 Plains Writers Series 2 pm. Wayne, NE. 

With Karen Shoemaker and Brent Spencer. For more information: wscpress (at) wsc.edu. In the second floor lounge in the Humanities Building at Wayne State College.


An Apollanian in King Arthur's Court!! Really  !
Friday May 2 thru May 10 -- 1801 Vinton, OMAHA

There are over 70 variations of the tale of King Arthur. All of them include tales of chivalry, love affairs, and epic quests. The most famous quest for King Arthur and his Knights of the Round was their search for the Holy Grail.

Join The Apollon as we celebrate Arthur and brave knights before they set off to find the mythical grail. There will be merriment, drums, and an exploration of the magical lands of Camelot and Avalon. Along with a fantastic three course gourmet of medieval-themed foods, we will have a delicious selection of drinks. Don't tell Guinevere. We'll explain later.

You'll also become a part of the story, with our unique and immersive art-making experience.

"On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place." - King Arthur, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

No no. We mean, yes, its a silly place. But come along!

Opening Performances:
Friday, May 2nd ****SOLD OUT****
Saturday, May 3rd
Friday, May 9th ****SOLD OUT****
Saturday, May 10th

Doors 7:00 PM
Event 7:30 PM

Tickets $30 (includes dinner.) No physical ticket is required for admission once you have completed your purchase via the web site or at the box office. This event is "rated" PG-13. This is an adult event. Younger guests are welcome, but please contact us to discuss age appropriateness if you have any concerns.


Saturday, May 3rd  - 7pm - OMAHA
@ Solid Jackson Books, 65th and Maple, OMAHA
"Cumberland" -- a book launch
Megan Gannon's FB page for her book launch!


Monday, May 5th - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). 

Author Reading with Marcia Calhoun Forecki. 
 Forecki will read from and sign copies of Blood of the White Bear.For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Tuesday, May 6th -- 7pm, Tuesdays with Writers at The South Mill (4736 Prescott, just west of 48th and Prescott, Lincoln)

Grace Bauer, Michelle Menting, and Laura Madeline Wiseman !!

Michelle Menting grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she teaches English 254 at UNL . Her work appears in Boxcar Poetry Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Diagram, and other literary journals. She is happy to now live in a place that actually experiences the season of spring.

Grace Bauer was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but has lived in New Orleans, Montana, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Bauer earned a BA in journalism from Temple University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 
Her full-length collections of poetry include The Women at The Well (1996), Beholding Eye (2006), and Retreats and Recognitions (2007).Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Arts & Letters, the Colorado Review, Poetry, Rattle, and the Southern Poetry Review. Her awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, Individual Artist’s Grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Nebraska Arts Council, and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center.
Bauer is currently a senior book prize reader for Prairie Schooner and the coordinator of creative writing at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she has been teaching since 1994. 

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014),Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), and the collaborative book Intimates and Fools(Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins, as well as two letterpress books, and eight chapbooks, including Spindrift(Dancing Girl Press, 2014). She is also the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence(Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013).
She has a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in English and a M.A. from the University of Arizona in women's studies.

. There is an open mic following the feature. For more information, contact Deborah McGinn at dmcginn@lps.org


Wednesday, May 7th  - 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.


Wednesday, May 7th - 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. 

the OM SLAM >>>>
Saturday, May 10th -- 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 and Zedeka Poindexter. $7 suggested donation. Call 402/345-5078 or go to OmahaSlam.com for more information.


Monday, May 12th  - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). 

May 12th – Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow’s debut poetry collection is The Day Judge Spencer Learned the Power of Metaphor (Salmon Poetry, 2012). A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared widely in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, ACM, Cimarron Review, Gulf Coast, American Literary Review, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Barrow Street, Diner, Folio, Smartish Pace, The Tusculum Review and Galatea Resurrects. She has also won numerous prizes and had her work featured in many anthologies. Forthcoming in 2014 from Dancing Girl Press, a chapbook titled Old School Superhero Loves a Good Wristwatch. She is working on her second full-length verse collection, due out in 2016 from Salmon Poetry.

Open Mic to follow at 8pm.

For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Wednesday, May 14th - 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, May 17th -- 3-5pm, Book release party for The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women at Soul Desires (1026 Jackson St, Omaha). Contributors will read and sign books. Books will be available for purchase.


Monday, May 19th - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Wednesday, May 21st - 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. 


May 24 - 31 Great Plains Theatre Conference Omaha, NE. 

Offers playwrights the opportunity to interact with, and have their work seen by top writers, directors, and actors from around the country. In addition, playwrights will be able to work directly with these professionals in hands on writing and industry workshops. Playwrights will also participate in daily panel discussions and have tickets to evening performances with master playwrights and theatre practitioners.

Monday, May 26th - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Wednesday, May 28th - 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. 


Monday, June 2nd - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Wednesday, June 4th - 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. 


June 5 - 7 59th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference Red Cloud, NE. Mapping Literary Landscapes: Environments and Ecosystems. The 59th annual Spring Conference and the one-day scholarly symposium preceding it will focus on the complex impact of the natural environment on Cather and her contemporaries, and on the writers and artists of the generations that have followed. Sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation.


June 9-13 FINE LINES Writing Camp Summer Camp for Creative Writers Omaha, NE. Categories: Grades 3-12, College, and Adults. Join writers who add clarity and passion to their lives with the written word. We will have fun with sentences, learn to play while developing poems-stories-essays, and discover creative corners of our minds that we did not know existed. Contact David Martin at fine-lines (at) cox.net for more information. At Beveridge Middle School at 1616 South 120th Street, Omaha, NE.


Monday, June 9th - 7pm, Poetry at the Moon, at Crescent Moon Coffee (140 N 8th St #10 Lower Level, Lincoln). For more information, contactcrescentmoon@inebraska.com and check www.crescentmooncoffee.com/ 


Wednesday, June 11th - 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. 


June 14 - 27 Superior Summer Screenwriting Colony Superior, NE. The schedule will immediately immerse you in the writing process where you will be encouraged to progress from story idea, to treatment, to step-outline and finally to complete the First Act of the Screenplay.


June 16 - 22 Young Writer's Camp Lincoln, NE. Open to all aspiring young writers, grades 9-12. Online registration available. Presented by the Nebraska Writing Project and UNL. On the University of Nebraska - Lincoln campus.

---------------------  AND NOW -----


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 www.finelines.org for more information or write to David Martin at fine-lines@cox.net 

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


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: https://www.facebook.com/GratitudeCafeBakery/events


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.
Link: http://classactbooks.com/index.php/general-fiction/memoir/doing-time-in-hell-detail 

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! 

LINK: http://classactbooks.com/index.php/cat-romance/in-this-kingdom-by-the-sea-365-detail 
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… 

Link: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-77115-109-9

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 www.finelines.org for more information or write to David Martin at fine-lines@cox.net.

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!! http://garev.uga.edu/blog/LWPP2013Winner.html


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 jkorbelik@journalstar.com, of follow him @LJSjeffkorbelik.

sse article at: http://journalstar.com/entertainment/books/korbelik-beef-torrey-was-one-of-a-kind/article_b078b9f9-2592-50ca-a2e9-3c4d8ef8e8ad.html 

and a 2007 article : http://journalstar.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/article_0b0f7720-2df4-56f6-a8b7-e2fec03d1901.html


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, 
nfinken@netNebraska.org ) 
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 http://fredrickzydek.com/ 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 Fredrickzydek.com ) or click on the link below. It will take you there. You’ll find links to Amazon.com 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!!

( http://www.constellationne.net/ 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:  crescentmoon@inebraska.com 
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:  bookends@rcom-ne.com )

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 --- doug@artscene.org 


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 - walton1947@gmail.com

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