Notable Nebraska Poets

This partial list of additional notable Nebraska poets includes poetry faculty at the major Nebraska universities and a few intriguing historical figures.  Some of these poets may be featured on this website in the future.  Since the “Poetry from the Plains” website features poets whose work specifically addresses Great Plains issues, culture, and environment, others of these poets will be of interest because they are active in Nebraska, though they do not specifically address Great Plains material.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Poetry Faculty

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser served as US Poet Laureate 2004-2006.  He has published over 20 books (poetry, nonfiction, children’s books) dating back to 1969. His website features several videos of him reading his own poems, in addition to the text of several more.

Online Resources

Ted Kooser has three poems and a lengthy biography on the Poetry Foundation website.

Ted Kooser has three poems available for performance in the Poetry Out Loud program in the nation’s secondary schools.

Ted Kooser is the editor of the weekly newspaper column, American Life in Poetry.  The column features accessible poems from across the nation.  The column started in 2005, and is archived at this website.

Grace Bauer

Grace Bauer has published eight volumes of poetry, dating back to This House Where I Never Lived in 1993. She has taught poetry at UNL since 1994. Her most recent volume is Nowhere All at Once 2014.

Online Resources

Grace Bauer has three poems on the Poetry Foundation website.

Grace Bauer has a biography and several interview links at Poets & Writers.

Stephen Behrendt

Stephen Behrendt has published four volumes of poetry, dating back to Instrument of Bones (1992).  His most recent volume is Refractions (2014).  He has worked especially with British Romantic poetry and culture, including the recovery of women Romantic poets, during his storied career at UNL since 1980.  He serves as George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English.

Online Resources

Stephen Behrendt has two poems on the Poetry Foundation website.

Stephen Behrendt’s page on Poets & Writers.

Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at UNL.  He has published over 20 volumes of poetry, dating back to Progeny of Air (1994).  His most recent volume is Duppy Conquerer (2013).  

Kwame Dawes’ official website offers information about his performances, plays, publications, school visits, and features his twitter-composed “memo to poets.”

Online Resources

Kwame Dawes has two poems featured on the Poetry Foundation website.

Kwame Dawes has recorded several poems for The Poetry Archive.

Kwame Dawes is the editor of Prairie Schooner, one of the leading creative writing journals in the country.  The website features the Air Schooner podcasts on many poetic subjects, and many interviews and performances by poets published in the journal.

Stacey Waite

Stacey Waite has published four volumes of poetry, starting with Choke in 2004.  Her most recent volume is Butch Geography (2013).  She is an accomplished Slam Poet and coaches the UNL Slam Poetry team.  Waite also runs the summer Young Writers Camp for the Nebraska Writing Project.

Online Resources

Two poems, a bio, and a lengthy review of Stacey’s work are available at Poem of the Week.

The release reading for Stacey Waite’s “the lake has no saint” is available in its entirety on Youtube.

University of Nebraska-Kearney Poetry Faculty

Robert Fernandez

Robert Fernandez has published three volumes of poetry, from 2011 We Are Pharoah to his most recent Scarecrow (2016).  He serves as the Reynolds Chair in Poetry at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Online Resources

Robert Fernandez has three poems on the Poetry Foundation website.

Robert Fernandez article about his selection as a “New American Poet” by the Poetry Society including the featured poem Hell me down.

Robert Fernandez offers visual poetry for web-only display at Omniverse.

Creighton University Poetry Faculty

Susan Aizenberg

Susan Aizenberg has published two collections of poetry and an edited collection of American women poets, since her debut present in a Greywolf three-poet collection in 1997 (Take Three 2: The Agni New Poets Series).  Her most recent volume is Quiet City (2015).

Online Resources

Susan Aizenberg has one poem featured on the Poetry Foundation website.

Six of Susan Aizenberg’s poems are featured on Poem Hunter.

Bio and links for Susan Aizenberg at Poets & Writers.

 Trey Moody

Trey Moody, Resident Assistant Professor, holds the MFA from Texas State University and the Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His 2014 collection, Thought That Nature (Sarabande Books), won that year’s Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry.

Online Resources

Trey Moody’s page on Poets & Writers.

Wayne State College Poetry Faculty

J.V. Brummels

J.V. Brummels has written poems, plays, and critical essays in a career dating back to the early 1980s (first poetry collection: 614 Pearl in 1984).  He won the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry in 2008.  He is a frequent cowboy poetry presence, the editor of the WSC Press and the publisher of Logan House Press.

Online Resources

Directory page for Brummels at Poets & Writers.

Here is the Backwaters Press biography page for Brummels; he has published two of his collections of poems with Backwaters.

 Chad Christensen

Chad Christensen, Assistant Professor, hold the MFA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and is Managing Editor of WSC Press. He teaches courses in poetry and editing for publication.

Peru State College Poetry Faculty

 Jeff Alessandrelli

Assistant Professor Jeff Alessandrelli’s publications include Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound (2011) and THIS LAST TIME WILL BE THE FIRST (2014), as well as four chapbooks. In addition to teaching poetry and modern literature, he also edits the poetry chapbook press Dikembe and curates the vinyl-only poetry press Fonograf Editions.

Online Resources

Jeff Alessandrelli’s blog, with selected works and projects.

Chadron State College Poetry Faculty

Steven Coughlin

Steven Coughlin’s collection, Another City, was published 2015 by FutureCycle Press.  He has an MFA from University of Idaho and a PhD from Ohio University.

Online Resources

Chadron State coverage of Coughlin’s first book of poems.

Robert McEwen

Robert McEwen wrote a poetry dissertation for his PhD at UNL.  In 2014, he published Casey Joe McBride’s White River Vol. I with Stephen Austin University Press.

Online Resources

Robert McEwen’s poetry dissertation, Heartwood and other poems, available on the Digital Commons at UNL

News article published by Chadrad on the release of McEwen’s second book.

Doane College Poetry Faculty

Roy Scheele

Roy Scheele has been publishing poetry since Pointing Out the Sky in 1985, which was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award at the Poetry Society of America. His most recent volume is A Far Allegiance (2010).

Online Resources

Important web presence:

Roy Scheele has nine poems on the Poetry Foundation website.

Roy Scheele on the Poets and Writers website.

Nebraska Wesleyan Poetry Faculty

Mary Hickman

Mary Hickman has published two chapbooks and two books of poetry, the most recent is Rayfish (forthcoming 2017) and This is the Homeland (2015).

Online Resources

Mary Hickman has two poems on the Poetry Foundation website.

PEN America features three poems from Mary Hickman.

James Shea

James Shea published Star in the Eye in 2008, and took Fulbright leave in Hong Kong from 2015-16.  His most recent book is The Lost Novel (2014). He is a faculty member at Nebraska Wesleyan University and has been selected for New American Poets. 

Northeast Community College Poetry Faculty

 Bonnie Johnson-Bartee

Bonnie Johnson-Bartee teaches creative writing and serves as Visiting Writers Coordinator.

Online Resources

 Scott Abels

Scott Abels teaches creative writing, literature and foundational English. His publications include Rambo Goes to Idaho (BlazeVOX, 2011), Nebraska Fantastic (Beard of Bees, 2012), and New City (BlazeVOX, 2015).

Online Resources

Two poems from Beard of Bees website.

Interview with Scott Abels on books, chapbooks and poetry, from The Chapbook.