A Literary Life
Imaginative reasoning is key to the literary life. Poetry, fiction, memoir: all hinge on the imagination and the intellect, on rhyme and reason, on technique and design. In our creative writing workshops, students refine their voices, develop their aesthetics, strive for originality, reflect on their cultures, research the past, consider the future. They engage the senses, play with words, experiment with form; they invent, provoke, inspire, speculate; they question and answer. All the while they gain insights into human nature and the world around them. And they hone the professional skills that prepare them for a workplace that’s driven by communication, social networking, and the articulate and precise expression of complex ideas.
Literary Readings & Events
Creative Writing Reading Series
The Department of English hosts readings and discussions by acclaimed and renowned poets, novelists, and memoirists; in past years, we’ve featured Roxane Gay, Natasha Tretheway, Jesmyn Ward, and others.
Creative Writing Month
Every October, the Department of English hosts a month-long celebration of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, with readings, panel discussions, and other events and projects. Creative Writing Month includes Publishing Week, featuring literary agents and editors. We also prepare for November’s National Novel Writing Month.
National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month, and UNL English hosts readings and discussions, as well as Poem in Your Pocket Day and other poetry projects, throughout the month.
No Name Reading Series
The No Name Reading series features the best in poetry and prose from graduate student writers in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The monthly readings take place at Barrymore's, an 18+ venue adjacent to Lincoln's Rococo Theatre.
Publications & Projects
Prairie Schooner, founded in 1926 at the University of Nebraska, is widely recognized as one of the premiere literary magazines in the nation. Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes and Managing Editor Siwar Masannat lead a team of undergraduate interns, graduate editorial staff, and alumni readers who help publish the quarterly literary magazine.Learn More
American Life in Poetry is a free weekly column for newspapers and online publications featuring a poem by a contemporary American poet and a brief introduction to the poem by curator and editor Kwame Dawes. The project was founded in 2005 by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and the Library of Congress. The Department of English provides administrative support and is home to the project's offices.Learn More
Laurus, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's undergraduate literary magazine, publishes fiction, poetry, non-fiction and visual artwork created and edited exclusively by UNL undergraduates. The magazine publishes and prints its annual issue every spring, and publishes additional mini-issues online throughout the year.Learn More
The UNL Slam Poets are a group of students promoting creative expression through the writing and performing of slam poetry. Poetry slams held throughout the year feature visiting poets and give students an opportunity to perform their original poetry. Each spring, a team of student poets compete in the national College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI).