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Event Series Event Series: Nebraska Poets Virtual Reading Series

Nebraska Poets Virtual Reading Series

September 5, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm CST

The Nebraska Poets Reading Series highlights the talent of Nebraska poets and invites discussion with audience members. All events are free online, but registration is required to receive an event link. Registration links for each poet’s event are available on the Nebraska Poetry Society’s website.

February 7 Amy Haddad
Amy Haddad is a poet, nurse and educator who taught in the health sciences at Creighton University where she is now a Professor Emerita. Her poetry and short stories have been published in several periodicals including the American Journal of Nursing, Janus Head, Journal of Medical Humanities, Touch, Bellevue Literary Review, Pulse, Persimmon Tree, Annals of Internal Medicine, Aji Magazine, DASH, and Oberon Poetry Magazine. Her first chapbook, “The Geography of Kitchens” was published by Finishing Line Press in August, 2021. Her first poetry collection, “An Otherwise Healthy Woman,” was published by Backwaters Press, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press in March,  2022. It presents the intimate experiences of a nurse, the vulnerable perspective of a patient, and the lessons of caring for family.

March 7 Marjorie Saiser
Marjorie Saiser’s eighth book, The Track the Whales Make: New & Selected Poems, is published by University of Nebraska Press in Ted Kooser’s series of Contemporary Poets and won the High Plains Book Award. Saiser’s Losing the Ring in the River (University of New Mexico Press) won the Willa Award in 2014.
She has received four Nebraska Book Awards and is co-editor of Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace, a collection of writing by women of the Great Plains, and also co-editor of Road Trip, interviews with a dozen Nebraska writers. Saiser’s work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Alaska Poetry Review, Nimrod, Midwest Quarterly, and American Life in Poetry. Ted Kooser said of Saiser’s work that “no poet in this country is better at writing about love, and . . . all her poems are in some way about love.”

April 4 Shyla Shehan
Shyla Shehan is an analytical Virgo from the Midwest. She has an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska where she was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has appeared in over 25 journals and anthologies, including The Decadent Review, Heartwood Literary, Gyroscope Review, Plainsongs, and elsewhere and her debut poetry collection, Unsuspecting Cinderella, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2022. It tracks a female persona through the losses of love and the strangeness of life when one moves through it alone. The second section follows that same persona into a world of new love and the oddly haunting burden of unexpected affluence. Throughout, the poems are rich with vibrant language, surprising reversals, and insights into the difficulties of surviving emotionally in our stressful culture. The collection is both entertaining and moving, not to mention philosophically engaging. Shyla lives in Omaha with her husband, children, and four cats and currently splits her time between managing a healthy household and running a nonprofit literary journal, The Good Life Review. Her full bio and an account of her published work are available at shylashehan.com.

May 2 Tyler Jacobs
Tyler Michael Jacobs is the author of Building Brownville (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2022). It explores forms of grief through the internalization of experience and wanders further to wonder if the past is too far away to fix the present while also serving as a love letter to Nebraska. This collection offers a millennial voice within poetry––a voice that not only subverts the norm of what poetry is but defies the stereotypes of a region, offering connection through grief, love, and place––to experience a somewhere which we have never been.
His poems have been featured on Nebraska Public Media’s Friday Live! His poetry has also appeared in Sierra Nevada Review, Pidgeonholes, Thin Air Magazine, White Wall Review, Funicular Magazine, and elsewhere. Tyler is an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, where he is also a graduate assistant teaching English and Creative Writing.

June 6 Chad Christensen
Chad M. Christensen is the managing editor of the WSC Press, director of the Plains Writers Series, and an associate professor at Wayne State College, where he teaches publishing and creative writing.
His books of lo-fi poetry are Ground Bound and Shoot from the Hip (Pseudo Poseur Productions), both poetic novels dealing with addiction and the search for truth no matter hard life becomes. His latest poems have appeared in Sugar House Review and Plainsong. He also writes a column for The Big Smoke called “Boy with Shovel.”

July 11 Lin Brummels
Lin Marshall Brummels grew up on a quiet farm at the edge of the Nebraska Sandhills. She now boards horses with a little help from family. Brummels earned a Psychology BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse University. Brummels is a Nebraska licensed mental health counselor in private practice. Her poem “Jerry’s Hands” was selected as an Honorable Mention poem in the 2021 Nebraska Poetry Society’s poetry contest. She’s published poems in journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her poetry chapbooks are “Cottonwood Strong” and “Hard Times,” a 2016 Nebraska Book Award winner. Her 2021 full-length collection is “A Quilted Landscape.” Her work sings a plaintive song about family dynamics set in an atmosphere of moonlit pastures and whispered secrets. She relates both the light and darker nuances of family life in rural Nebraska. Her poems explore the significance of place in the development of character.

August 1 Kelly Weber
Kelly Weber (she/they) is the author of We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press, forthcoming December 2022) and You Bury the Birds in My Pelvis, winner of the 2022 Omnidawn First/Second Book Prize (forthcoming October 2023). Her work explores the non-binary experience. She reveals self as world, self as community in poems that situate an inherited tradition in conversation with postmodern innovation and undertheorized, urgently important concepts of identity. She is the reviews editor for Seneca Review. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in a Best American Poetry Author Spotlight, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southeast Review, Salamander, The Journal, Passages North, Foglifter, and elsewhere. She was born and raised in Nebraska and holds an MFA from Colorado State University. More of their work can be found at kellymweber.com.

September 5 Jessica Poli
Jessica Poli is the author of Red Ocher (University of Arkansas Press, 2023), which was chosen by Patricia Smith as a finalist for the Miller Williams Prize. The wild mortality of the natural world merges with melancholic expressions of romantic loss. It is an ecopoetics that explores the cyclical natures of love and grief while holding space for the sacred. Along with Marco Abel and Timothy Schaffert, she co-edited the collection More in Time: A Tribute to Ted Kooser, which won the Special Poetry Award in the 2022 Nebraska Book Awards. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, North American Review, Poet Lore, and Salamander, among other places. Originally from Pennsylvania, she is currently a PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

October 3 Stephanie Marcellus
Stephanie A. Marcellus is a professor of English at Wayne State College. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University and a PhD in Nineteenth-Century British Literature from The University of South Dakota. Her work has appeared in Plainsongs, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Alligator Juniper as well as in other journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, What Is Left Behind: Garden Elegies, was published by Finishing Line Press. The poems are grounded in the past, using skillful language to convey grief and the temporality of life. Generations of women expressed their need to create art and beauty in the world through the gardens they planted, the flowers they loved. As a descendant of such women, Marcellus knows this is especially true of the prairie women who often had no other way to find expression in a harsh climate. What is Left Behind evokes the beauty of the gardens as well as the spirit of the women who planted them. The poems strike a still point between breathless vision and respect-filled hindsight.

November 7 Lucy Adkins
Lucy Adkins’ poetry has been published in many journals including Poet Lore, Red Wheelbarrow, South Dakota Review and the anthologies Crazy Woman Creek, Women Write Resistance and the Poets Against the War anthology. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and she has also co-authored two books of non-fiction, Writing in Community, recipient of an “Ippy” in the Independent Publishers Book Awards; and The Fire Inside. Her poetry chapbook, Two-Toned Dress, was a winner of the 2019 Blue Light Press chapbook contest, as well as a Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. Two-Toned Dress shows us good times, times of abundance, but does not shy away from showing the lonely times. Dig in! This well-crafted collection expertly deals with relationships, and does so with beautiful honesty. This poet helps us to remember our own times of being in love and leads us toward a compassionate view of others, including our parents, who have also known what it is to negotiate what life throws at us. Her first full-length poetry collection, A Crazy Little Thing is forthcoming from Wayne State College Press.

December 5 Matt Mason
Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and was Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective from 2009-2022. Through the US State Department, he has run workshops in Botswana, Romania, Nepal, and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found in The New York Times, on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry, and more. Mason’s 4th book, At the Corner of Fantasy and Main: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros, was released by The Old Mill Press in 2022. It’s about how our heart is sometimes more reliable than our memory and how places that are touchstones in our lives stay with us in ways that don’t always seem to make sense. Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia. Find more at: https://matt.midverse.com/