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1998 Nebraska Book Festival

September 17-19, 7th Annual
Wayne State College, Wayne
“The World in the Plains:
Plains Literature as World Literature”

Article from The NCB Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 1998


7th Nebraska Literature Festival

After taking a year off, the Nebraska Literature Festival is back. Wayne State College, with more than 20 years of organizing the Plains Writers series under its belt, is the perfect fit to host the 7th Nebraska Literature Festival.

Scheduled for September 17 - 19, this years Festival is planned around the theme: The World in the Plains: Plains Literature as World Literature.

The Festival will explore how Plains writing represents the themes and nuances of world literature. “Our goal is to emphasize that Plains writing is at once universal and quintessentially American,” says Gretchen Ronnow, one of the campus organizers of the event.

Festival attendees will benefit from Wayne State Colleges many years of fostering contacts between writers of the Great Plains and general public readers. A special attraction of this year's Festival will be the appearance of many alumni of the Plains Writers Series. Appearing will be an impressive array of authors.

Student Days at the Festival

The Festival is longer than in previous years to allow time for special programming aimed at high school and college students. Although Thursday and Friday events are geared toward students, the general public is welcome. A videotape of highlights from the student days will be shown on Saturday when programs focus on the general public.

Teachers wishing to bring students to the Thursday or Friday events should contact Gretchen Ronnow at Wayne State College, Humanities Division, 1111 Main Street, Wayne, NE 68787, 402-375-7394. There is no charge to attend the Festival, but teachers are asked to pre-register for Thursday and Friday events to provide an estimated count.

Saturday (General Public)

Saturday events will include several author readings, as well as a panel of editors of small presses. Also featured will be programming arranged by Nebraska author groups: the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, the John G. Neihardt Center, the Friends of Loren Eiseley, the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society, and the Lone Tree Literary Society (Wright Morris).

Panelists include Dr. Marilyn Arnold of Brigham Young University, Charles Trimble and Nancy Crump of the John G. Neihardt Center, Dr. Dimitri Breschinsky of Purdue University, Dr. Helen Stauffer of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Dr. Barbara Rippey of St. Mary's College, and Dr. Joseph Wydeven of Bellevue University.

Book Fair

Of special interest will be a Book Fair, organized by Wayne State College, that will run throughout the Festival. Among the books offered for sale will be in-print works of the writers reading at the Festival. Authors will be available to sign books. Vendors and booksellers that wish to participate should contact Ed Battistella, Wayne State College, Humanities Division, 1111 Main Street, Wayne, NE, 68787, 402-375-7394.

Book Fair

“It’s a great pleasure to be able to host Nebraska’s premier literature festival,” said Ed Battistella, Head of the college’s Division of Humanities. “This provides an opportunity to highlight what we are doing to promote literature on campus and to promote Nebraska and Plains literature.” In addition to Wayne State College (WSC) and the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) - with Katherine Walter, NCB Festival Committee chairperson - sponsors of this year's Festival include the Nebraska Humanities Council, The Gardner Foundation, the Nebraska Department of Education, Random House, and the WSC Campus Bookstore. The campus steering committee for the event includes Ed Battistella, Jim Brummels, Gretchen Ronnow, Lisa Sandlin, Bill Slaymaker, Jo Taylor, Laurel Longe, Lana Hansen, Melissa Ryan, and Marian Vogel.

Nebraska Literature Festival Welcomes Plains Writers

William Kloefkorn 
David Lee 
Paul Zarzyski 
Twyla Hansen  
Barbara Schmitz 
Ted Kooser 
David Allan Evans 
Herb Scott 
Roy Scheele 
Bill Holm 
Art Homer 
Bryan Jones 
Dan Choan 
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn 
Neil Harrison 
Greg Kosmicki 
Matt Mason 
CarolAnn Russell 
Ron Block 
Charles Fort

Joan Hoffman 
Jane Candia Coleman 
Dennis Hastings 
Anna Monardo 
Nancy McCleery 
Jonathan Holden 
Steven Schneider 
Lyn DeNaeyer 
Larry Holland 
Kathleene West 
Mark Sanders 
Robert McEwen 
Bob Ross 
Thomas McNeal 
Lisa Sandlin 
Jim Barnes 
Don Welch 
Brent Spencer 
Deb Carpenter 
Rod Rice


Thursday, September 17

All readings & panels in Gardner Hall Auditorium. Book Fair in Student Center Atrium.






Friday, September 18

All readings & panels in Gardner Hall Auditorium. Book Fair in Student Center Atrium.









Saturday, September 19

All Saturday readings & panels in the Student Center. Book Fair continues in the Student Center Atrium from 9 to 5. Registration in the Student Center Atrium.









Student Days

Festival program

View/print Festival program [pdf].

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