In 1921, Nebraska established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Twyla M. Hansen, who was appointed to a five-year term in 2013. Hansen is the author of five books of poetry, including Rock • Tree • Bird (The Backwaters Press, 2017).

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Behind the arch of glory sets the day;
The river lies in curves of silver light,
The Fields Elysian glitter in a spray
Of golden dust; the gilded dome is bright,
The towers of Notre Dame cut clean and gray
The evening sky, and pale from left to right

—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-



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