In 2013 Twyla Hansen was appointed Nebraska State Poet for which she will serve a five-year renewable term. Hansen is the author of five poetry collections, as well as coauthor with Linda M. Hasselstrom of the book, Dirt Songs: A Plain Deut (The Backwaters Press, 2011), which won the 2012 Nebraska Book Award and was finalist for the 2012 High Plains Book Award and 2012 WILLA Literary Award. 

upcoming events

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Apr 27 2017
UNL Slam Poetry Team Feature Performance

Honest, fierce and creative performances by nationally-competing student poets.

1400 R Street
68508 Lincoln, Nebraska
Apr 25 2017
Poetry Reading with Jeff Alessandrelli and Trey Moody

Jeff Alessandrelli is the author of the little book Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound (Ravenna Press) and three chapbooks, including Don't Let Me Forget to Feed the Sharks (Poor Claudia). His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Redivider, Salt Hill, Western Humanities Review, Gulf Coast and Boston Review, among others. This Last Time Will Be the First (2014), from Burnside Review, is his first full length collection of poetry. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Peru State College, and an editor for Dikembe Press.

Trey Moody is the author of Thought That Nature (Sarabande Books, 2014), selected by Cole Swensen for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Best New Poets, Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Washington Square, and West Branch. He holds an M.F.A. from Texas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Moody is currently Resident Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Creighton University.

Jeff Alessandrelli and Trey Moody are alumni of the Creative Writing Program from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of English.

1318 R Street
68508 Lincoln, Nebraska
Apr 23 2017

Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen and Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center invite you to celebrate nature, birds, and National Poetry Month with us and several amazing local poets at our first ever Words 4 Birds!

We'll start the day with two great writing workshops, one for kids led by Professor Bill Clemente from Peru State College, and one for adults led by Roy Scheele, Poet in Residence at Doane College. After the workshops, we’ll have a "bring-your-own" picnic on the prairie. The day will finish up with readings by local poets Hansen, Clemente, Scheele, Amy Plettner, and more. Workshop participants both young and old will also be welcome to share their recently written poems. It promises to be an inspiring day on the prairie filled with words & birds! To learn more about the fabulous poets that will be at the event - see below.

FREE admission (Donations welcome). Registration required as space in workshops is limited. All public welcome to hear the readings at 1:15pm.

  • 11:00 am Two concurrent writing workshops - One for kids, one for adults
  • 12:30 pm Picnic Time (pack your own - we'll have some beverages and snacks available)
  • 1:15 pm Bird/Nature Poetry readings by the professional poets and our workshop participants - Everyone welcome to come and hear

Twyla Hansen is Nebraska’s State Poet. She has six published books of poetry, including Prairie Suite: A Celebration (with drawings by Paul Johnsgard), and two books that have won Nebraska Book Awards. The Backwaters Press will publish her newest book, Rock•Tree•Bird, in 2017.

Roy Scheele is Poet in Residence at Doane College in Crete, where he has taught since 1982. His poems have appeared in Measure, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review and other major journals as well as in numerous little magazines; many of them have also been anthologized. Scheele has also published criticism on Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, and other modern and contemporary poets, and has translated work by contemporary German poet Christoph Meckel.

Bill Clemente is a professor of English at Peru State College where he has taught for over twenty years. He has combined birds and words with young writers for nearly thirty years. His program “Feathers and Verses” is part of the Nebraska Humanities Council’s Speaker’s Bureau. Among other venues that include the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Bill has taken part in Spring Creek Prairie’s Twilight on the Tallgrass prairie festival for many years.

Amy Plettner’s poetry has been published in a variety of anthologies and journals, most recently The Sow’s Ear, burntdistrict, Rattle, Prairie Wind, and The Untidy Season. Her first book of poetry, Undoing Orion’s Belt, is the 7th of the Kloefkorn series by WSC Press. Amy holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska. Her poetry can be heard, live, once a month on KZUM’s The Wimmin’s Show. She has been with Spring Creek Prairie for nine years as caretaker and outdoor educator.

11700 SW 100th St,
Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center
68339 Denton, Nebraska

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—Daniel Freeman, first to file claim, Jan. 1, 1863

Here, an abundance of trees, stream, prairie—
enough to sustain a family, prove up this plot of land,
the first of thousands to be claimed across America.

Place that was first inhabited by natives, lodge-



Click the icon above to listen to this audio poem.