The Nebraska Center for the Book

Related Links

1996 Nebraska Book Festival

September 20-21, 6th Annual
University of Nebraska at Kearney
“In Our Own Write”

Article from The NCB Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3, Summer 1996
By Cynthia A. Schneider

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus Union and Lincoln’s Wagon Train Project will be the locations of the Sixth Annual Nebraska Literature Festival. The two-day Festival begins on Friday, September 20, with the Nebraska High School Day. Nearly fifty high schools from across Nebraska have already preregistered teachers and students to attend writing and performing workshops, related in a variety of ways to Nebraska Literature and led by many prominent Nebraska authors and teachers. For information, call (402) 472-1817.

Late Friday afternoon, after the High School Day is complete, the Festival moves to the Wagon Train Project, 512 South 7th Street in Lincoln.  Festival participants will preregister via the program brochure for one of 18 roundtable workshops/discussion groups to be held in the Wagon Train’s newly renovated loft.  Workshops include Grace Bauer’s “Finding your Voice Among Others: Writing the Dramatic Monologue/Persona Poem” and Steve Buhler’s “Nebraska Poetry in Performance.”  Kimberly Calvillo, who teaches at the Nebraska Indian Community College, will lead “Respecting Oral Traditions in Writing,” while Art Homer will discuss “How I Wrote a Book.”  John Janovy, internationally recognized author and biologist, will help participants make discoveries about “Nature Writing: What is It?”  Those who enroll in “Nebraska Nightly” reporter Carolyn Johnsen’s session, “Sound Writing,” will connect the written word with the dynamics of the spoken voice.  Author and vocalist Annette Murrell will conduct a workshop in “Freeing the Writer Within,” Other leaders include Leon Satterfield, Marly Swick, Paul Eggers, Jim King, John Pepitone, Kay Walter, Sandra Yannone, and Fredrick Zydek.  The workshops will run from 4:00 to 5:30, followed by informal readings and performances by the leaders, lasting about two hours.  Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

All festival activities for Saturday, September 21, will take place at the East Campus Union. Registration opens at 8:00 and sessions start at 9:00 a.m. The book fair, always a central part of the Festival, promises to be a fine event again this year. Along with the vendors who sell specialized regional literature, several authors will do booksignings. At other tables, local crafts people demonstrate book binding and Nebraska organizations will distribute information and answer questions about volunteering for literacy programs. The Nebraska English Language Council (NELAC) will have the Nebraska Map of Literary Authors for sale, the American Freedom Coalition of Nebraska (AFCON) will have information about their work on behalf of intellectual freedom, established writing groups will explain how to join them, and many more literary and literacy organizations will be represented. Space is still available at the information tables, so please contact the Festival Director if your group would like to participate.

The Cottonwood Room is the location for this year’s twelve Nebraska Authors Reading Series. Participants will include Susan Aizenberg. Shirley Buettner, Michael Cartwright, Richard Dooling, Norberto Gerardo, Lisa Knopp, Mordecai Marcus, Constance Merritt, Bob Ross, and Craig Womack.

The speakers for the Aldrich, Cather, Eiseley, Morris, Neihardt author groups make up the heart of the festival sessions, and the Saturday luncheon commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Mari Sandoz will also honor the winner of the 1996 Mildred Bennett Award. Other sessions will include Moira Ferguson and “Midwest Women Writers: Friends of China;” Cowboy Poetry of Western Nebraska; and Bob Haller speaking on Francis La Fleshe and his contributions to the preservation of Omaha Indian Heritage.

There will be workshops by romance writer Chery Griffin, children’s author Nancy Wager, and journal writer David Martin.  Ben Salazar, editor of Nuestro Mundo Spanish/English Newspaper, and Keiko Ujikain, report for USA ASIAN Publications, will conduct sessions that explore Nebraska newspapers as literary texts.  We’ll also showcase Nebraska cowboy poets Deb Carpenter, Mary Rose Randall, and Joel Randall; The Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors; and a panel of three Nebraskans who have recently published books with the University of Nebraska Press.  Lela Knox Shanks, also with a recent book published by the Press, will speak on her experiences in writing “Your Name is Hughes Hannibal Shanks.”  Speakers from the Estuary Bookstore, DuPlay Booksellers, and J&L Books will make up a panel that explores the business side of readership for Nebraska authors.

The Festival offers several opportunities to learn more about Plains-based literature for children.  Carla Rosenquist-Buhler will present “Images of the Plains in Children’s Literature.”  Thanks to the Library Power Initiative, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, a target author for Lincoln Public Schools, will read from her picture books, describe the process of writing them, and be available after this session for book-signings.

The Festival is also honored to present John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Cole will outline the Center’s major literary programs and answer questions about the Centers for the Book located across the country.  Thomas Boyle, President of the Nebraska Center for the Book, will chair the session.

Finally, a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres reception for all participants will be held in the Great Plains Room from 5:30 to 7:00.

We invite you to stay and listen to Jim Cidlik play jazz piano, meet the day’s presenters and authors, and talk to both old friends and new.

Sponsors for the 1996 Festival include the Nebraska Center for the Book, the Lincoln Journal-Star, the Nebraska Humanities Council, Ameritas, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Lincoln Public Schools Foundation/Library Power Initiative.  Please direct questions or requests for registration forms to the Festival Coordinator at (402) 472-1817.


View/print Festival photos [pdf].

Related Links

> Back to top