Creative Writing

in the Department of English

University Communications

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

The Reading Series - Department of English typography with pink and teal accents

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.

Alumna and novelist SJ Sindu at a Creative Writing Month event - photo by Erin Chambers

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.

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Kwame Dawes kicks off the first annual National Poetry Month celebration at UNL -
photo by Erin Chambers

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.

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Katie Schmid Henson reads from her poetry at a No Name Reading series event - photo by Erin Chambers

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.

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Publications & Projects

Prairie Schooner

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.

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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.

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Slam Poetry

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).

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