Poetry of Place

Photo credit: Erin Chambers

The Nebraska Writing Project sponsors the annual Poetry of Place event. The goal of this project is to encourage teachers of students in grades 1-12 across Nebraska to include units of poetry of place in their classrooms and to submit outstanding examples of student work that reflects an engagement with their places.  For the event, students submit their poetry and then local authors work to choose student representatives. These students then read their poetry at the Capitol event, and their poetry is published on the website of the Nebraska Writing Project.

Poetry of Place Celebration 2018

Download the brochure

Process

All Nebraska students, grades one through twelve, are encouraged to submit an original poem, reflective of that student’s ‘place’ to their teacher. Teachers will forward up to 12 poems per school (4 each from three grade divisions, 1-5, 6-8, 9-12) to the Nebraska Writing Project (NeWP) at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.Nebraska poets Twyla Hansen and Matt Mason will read the poems and, based on quality and their representation of Nebraska place in rural, urban, and suburban settings, choose 9 to 12 poems statewide, to be published on the Nebraska Writing Project website. Also, selected student poets will be invited to read their work at various venues around Nebraska, as well as the Poetry of Place Celebration on May 4th, 2018 in the Warner Chambers at the State Capitol in Lincoln, alongside Twyla Hansen and Matt Mason.

Instructions for Teachers

  • Coordinate within your school to select no more than 12 student poems per school—four poems from each of three grade divisions (1st-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th)
  • Email selected student poems (labeled with student grade and poem title), cover letter and signed parent permission form to poetryofplace2018@gmail.com

Teachers will be notified via email when all materials are received and when final selections are made (by April 21st). Selected poets will be notified via US mail.

Forms

Cover Letter Form (online)

Permission and Release Form (PDF download)

Important Dates

  • March 30th, 2018: Deadline for receipt of materials at UNL. Late entries will not be considered
  • April 20th, 2018: Notification of results: selected poets/ teachers via mail, others via email
  • May 4th, 2018: Poetry reading at Nebraska State Capitol with Nebraska poets Twyla Hansen and Matt Mason.
Poetry of Place winners pose in the State Capitol rotunda with poets Matt Mason and Twyla Hansen

2017 Poetry of Place

Student poets from all over the state read their winning poetry at the Nebraska State Capitol building on Friday, May 5, 2017.

Read winning poetry

"If you can awaken inside the familiar and discover it new you need never leave home." Ted Kooser in "Local Wonders"

The Nebraska Writing Project has been a leader in Place Conscious education, work that links the curricula of classrooms to local resources and family and community stories and experiences. Nebraska is fortunate to have many poets whose work celebrates local place such as Ted Kooser, Bill Kloefkorn, Twyla Hansen, Matt Mason, Marjorie Saiser and many other poets whose poetry can be read by students as examples of poetry of place. 

For more information contact:
Robert Brooke, Director
Nebraska Writing Project
rbrooke1@unl.edu

Read Past Years' Poetry

2017  |   2016  |   2015  |   2014  |   2013  |   2012  |   2011  |   2010  |   2009  |   2008  |   2007  |   2006