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Wednesday, January 25th, 7 p.m.
Rescheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 7 p.m. due to weather.
1516 Gallery, 1516 Leavenworth St., Omaha.
Kwame Dawes is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, including, most recently, Duppy Conqueror, Wheels, Back of Mount Peace, and Hope’s Hospice. He has also published two novels, Bivouac and She’s Gone, winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Best First Novel. An accomplished actor, playwright, and producer, fifteen of his plays have been produced, and he has acted in, directed, or produced several of these productions himself, most recently One Love at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. His essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb Magazine, The London Review of Books, Granta, Essence, World Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. Until July 2011, Dawes was Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, and founder and executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative. He is now Editor-in-Chief of Prairie Schooner and Professor of English at UNL.
Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, and In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent prose and poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and Poets & Writers. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Michael Skau was hired by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Fall of 1973 and continued teaching there until his retirement in 2011. He is now emeritus professor. Skau has published books on the Beat poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso and articles on Ferlinghetti, Corso, Richard Brautigan, William S. Burroughs, Jerzy Kosinski, and Jack Kerouac. He has published more than a hundred poems in such periodicals as Laurel Review, Kansas Quarterly, Passaic Review, Carolina Quarterly, Northwest Review, Midwest Poetry Review, Midwest Quarterly, South Carolina Review, Texas Review, California Quarterly, Paddlefish, and Hawai’i Review, among many others. He was named Winner of the 2013 William Kloefkorn Award for Excellence in Poetry. His poetry book, Me & God, came out from WSC Press in 2014. His forthcoming collection, After the Bomb, is due out from WordTech in May 2017.
We are thrilled to announce our latest recipient of the Backwaters Prize. This year’s top prize is $2,000 and publication of the submitted manuscript. The press received more than 300 manuscripts from around the world and our dedicated team of readers winnowed that number to the very best of the best which were submitted to our gracious judge, Henri Cole, for evaluation.
Physical Education, Emily Van Kley
A Different Physics, Lisa Rosenberg
What It Done to Us, Essy Stone
Lion Brothers, Leona Sevick
Fable of the Lost Boy, Cathie Sandstrom
Helpless Intruders in a Strange World, Heather Altfeld
Before the Drought, Margo Berdeshevsky
Was Body, Billie Tadros
The Zoo at Night, Susan Gubernat
The winning manuscript for the 2016 Backwaters is:
Stunt Heart, Mary Jo Thompson
We would like to thank all the poets who submitted their work and congratulate the finalists and Ms. Thompson for their extraordinary work.
All are welcome to join us for this special reading event — celebrate summer and poetry!
The reading will be held on the campus of the University of Nebraska, Omaha at the Community Engagement Center, 2nd floor, in the OPPD Dialogue Room.
Bios of the readers:
Winner of two Nebraska Book Awards, Sarah McKinstry-Brown studied poetry at the University of New Mexico, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Nebraska under Missouri’s Poet Laureate, William Trowbridge. She’s been published everywhere from West Virginia’s standardized tests to literary journals such as RATTLE, Green Mountains Review, and The South Dakota Review. A Teaching Artist for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, McKinstry-Brown is the founder, organizer and host of feedback, a literary reading series that features writers reading from works in progress. For more info, go to: sarah.midverse.com.
Chad M. Christensen is the managing editor of the WSC Press and the co-director of the Plains Writers Series. He teaches writing and publishing at Wayne State College and earned his MFA from the University of Nebraska. He is also the co-founder of Pseudo Poseur Productions which is a co-op for writers, musicians, and artists in northeast Nebraska. His books of poetry are Ground Bound: a novel in verse and Shoot From the Hip. He also writes a column for the Wayne Stater called “High on the Plains.” He is currently working on his next book of poetry titled No More Passing Notes In Death Class.
Find him on FB: facebook.com/chadwykerrr
I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT FIRE is Marjorie Saiser’s fifth full-length book of poems. She co-edited ROAD TRIP (The Backwaters Press, 2003), featuring interviews with writers who teach and also co-edited TIMES OF SORROW/TIMES OF GRACE (The Backwaters Press, 2002), a collection of prose and poetry by women of the Great Plains. Saiser’s awards include the Willa Award for Poetry, four Nebraska Book Awards, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Award, an Academy of American Poets Award, the Vreelands Award, and the Leo Love Award. She was named Distinguished Artist in Poetry by the Nebraska Arts Council in 2009. Saiser’s poems have been published in the anthologies Nebraska Presence, Women Write Resistance, and The Untidy Season as well as in American Life in Poetry, the Writer’s Almanac, Prairie Schooner, Georgia Review, Nimrod, Rattle, Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, Smartish Pace, burntdistrict, RHINO, Fourth River, Field, and the Cimarron Review. She and her husband, Don, make their home in both Nebraska and Arizona.
Did you participate in our Omaha Gives! photo scavenger hunt? Did you mean to? Did you know we did one?
We’re asking our public for feedback on this latest community activity. Please follow this link to the survey. We will have a drawing for participation prizes.
The BWP Family.