Imaginary Gardens Reading – June 20

The Backwaters press has joined up with Imaginary Gardens for this special event to celebrate the release of the Backwaters Press 20th anniversary anthology. This event is free and open to the public.

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The Unblocked Workshop by The Backwaters Press – coming June 10

This summer, The Backwaters Press launches its new monthly workshop series with a session on common mistakes and how to avoid them. This free event series will offer information and insight on writing from experienced members of the community. Ranging from elements of craft and style, to feedback and critique of attendees’ work, and anywhere in between, The Unblocked Workshop aims to help writers do what they do: write. We will provide notepads, bottled water, and donuts. No matter your skill or experience, please join us and fellow writers create a network where everyone can grow.

Reserve your seat at Eventbrite.

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Two Backwaters Press Poets on The Writer’s Almanac

This week, two poets we have had the joy and privilege to publish will be featured on Garrison Keillor’s daily radio segment, The Writer’s Almanac.

Friday, May 12, the poem “Moonrise, Aurora, Nebraska” by Nebraska State Poet, Twyla Hansen, will be featured on the program. The poem is from Twyla’s most recent collection published by The Backwaters Press, Rock • Tree • Bird.  

Saturday, May 13th, “Bad News, Good News” from I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT FIRE by Backwaters Press author Marjorie Saiser will be read by Keillor.

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BWP National Poetry Month Reading Celebration

Join us Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Gallery 1516 (1516 Leavenworth, Omaha) to celebrate National Poetry Month.

This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy desserts and drinks. Arrive early to spin our Backwaters Prize Wheel. Celebrate National Poetry Month with these three talented authors, Jen Lambert, Miles Waggener and our very own Michael Catherwood.

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BWP hitting NYC for a reading in May


Wednesday, May 3 Reading at Cornelia St. Café in NYC!

Charles Fort, Carole Stone and John J Ronan, distinguished poets published by The Backwaters Press, join in a tribute to the award-winner publisher celebrating its 20th anniversary.

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Pi(e) Day Poetry Reading with Backwaters Author, Susan Firer

Backwaters Press author Susan Firer celebrated Pi(e) Day (3/14/17) at a reading with Milwaukee Poet Laureate, Matt Cook, in Milwaukee, WI.

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Backwaters authors in an anthology of resistance

Backwaters Press authors in the news! Backwaters Press author Tyrone Williams is one of the editors of this new anthology forthcoming from Spuyten Duyviland and Backwaters Press author Susanna Lang is in this anthology as well. You can learn more about Resist Much / Obey Little at Spuyten Duyviland’s website.

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The Writer’s Block with John Ronan – Featuring Kim Garcia

Backwaters published poet, John Ronan,  interview’s Backwaters Prize winner, Kim Garcia.

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AWP 2017 Event: The Backwaters Press Celebrates 20 Years

AWP 2017 Event in D.C.:
Thursday, Feb. 9th at 10:30am
Virginia Barber Middleton Stage, Sponsored by USC, Exhibit Halls D & E, Convention Center, Level Two

The Backwaters Press, a nonprofit press out of Omaha, Nebraska, will celebrate 20 years in 2017. This event will feature five of our authors who are included in our 20th Anniversary Anthology, which will be released at AWP. This event will also feature our editor, Michael Catherwood, who will discuss the history of the press.

Lola Haskins’s poetry has appeared in the Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor, the London Review of Books, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Georgia Review, and Southern Review, and been broadcast on NPR and BBC. Her most recent book is How Small, Confronting Morning.

Susan Elbe is the author of The Map of What Happened, winner of both The Backwaters Prize and the Jacar Press Julie Suk prizes, Eden in the Rearview Mirror, Where Good Swimmers Drown, and Light Made from Nothing.

John J. Ronan is a poet, playwright, movie/TV producer, and journalist. He has received national honors for his poetry and is a former NEA Fellow, Ucross Fellow, Bread Loaf Scholar, and Poet Laureate in Gloucester, MA, where his cable program The Writer’s Block with John Ronan is in its 27th year. Poems have appeared in Three Penny Review, New England Review, Southern Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Folio, and many other publications. Media productions have won a Telly, an Aurora Gold, a First for Education Programming from NECTA, as well as other awards, and have been aired on PBS outlets. A previous book of poetry Marrowbone Lane (The Backwaters Press), was a Highly Recommended selection by the Boston Authors Club. His newest poetry collection is Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown (The Backwaters Press) and it will be released at AWP. (

Howard W. Robertson is a poet and fiction writer who has published nine books of poems, including most recently, Odes to the Ki of the Universe, and the short novel Peculiar Pioneer. His awards include the Sinclair Poetry Prize, the Robinson Jeffers Prize, the Bumbershoot Award, and others.

Susan Firer is the author of five full-length poetry collections,
including Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: New and Selected Poems 1979-2007 (Backwaters Press, 2007). Her books have been awarded the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, the Posner Award, and the Backwaters Prize. She has also been the recipient of a Milwaukee County Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, and the Lorine Niedecker Award. Her poem “Call Me Pier” is included in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere series. From 2008-2010, she was Poet Laureate of the City of Milwaukee. In 2015, Firer was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her sixth poetry collection, The Transit of Venus, was published by The Backwaters Press in 2016.

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AWP Backwaters Press Author Signings

Stop at our booth #973 while you’re at AWP. We will have a prize wheel with fun giveaways plus these amazing BWP authors signing books:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

12pm John Ronan
12:30pm Susan Elbe
1pm Lola Haskins
1:30pm Howard Robertson
2pm Zeina Hashem Beck
2:30pm John Bradley
3pm Susan Firer

Friday, Feb. 10:

11am Richard Robbins
11:30am Kim Garcia
12pm Jeanne Emmons
12:30pm Michael Catherwood
1:30pm Charles Fort

Saturday, Feb. 11:

11am Susan Eisenberg

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