Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

"I just want to be in love with everything."

Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi interviews CNF Contest Winner Natalie Vestin on her essay, "How To Own a Building"

Natalie Vestin, a writer and health researcher based in St. Paul, won Prairie Schooner's first Creative Nonfiction Contest. We're releasing this interview as a preview to her essay, which will appear in the Spring 2013 Issue of Prairie Schooner.

This essay goes so many different places, literally and metaphorically: Minnesota, Hiroshima, Hamburg, New York City; anecdotes and abstract reflections, past and present meditations. I’m curious about your composition process. Did you know you were going to bring together these disparate elements in the way you did? From where did the form of the essay emerge?

Charlene Spearen Recap!

PS Intern Alex Barrett describes the poet's visit

Indigo Bridge Books hosted the third installment of Prairie Schooner's Visiting Writer Series on Thursday, November 15. Guest poet Charlene Spearen read selections from her first poetry collection, A Book of Exquisite Disasters, as well as some new work. Introducing Spearen’s reading was Kwame Dawes, once her mentor, who called her poetry "at once moving if even at times disturbing."

Spearen’s witness of the illness and eventual death of her brother, Charlie, was the inspiration for the first segment from her book. Charlie coined the title that became the first poem she read, “Magic Inside a Hell Box.” Helplessness and pain wove through all her “Charlie poems.”

Veterans Writing War

Dispatches from Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi

As the troop drawdown in Afghanistan continues (albeit amid internecine conflict, an uncertain Afghan government and security force and a recently and ignominiously-departed CIA director), it’s worth reflecting on a fascinating offshoot of our country’s 10-year involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan: the growth of creative writing programs specifically catering to veterans.

Winter Cover Preview!


Check out this arresting cover image, titled "Downwind from Hanford." It's by the Pawnee/Yakama artist Bunky Echo-Hawk, an Oklahoma-based, internationally known artist who has exhibited in major galleries worldwide.

Find out more about Echo-Hawk's work at www.bunkyechohawk.com. And stayed tuned to the Prairie Schooner website for the upcoming unveiling of our Winter 2012 Issue, which includes a special Native American writing portfolio curated by Sherman Alexie.




Nebraska Library Tour Dates!

Last week we announced an exciting effort by Prairie Schooner to reach out to Nebraska readers: the 2012 Nebraska Library Tour!
Here are the dates, times and locations Prairie Schooner Editor in Chief Kwame Dawes and Managing Editor Marianne Kunkel will be visiting in December.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.
Keene Memorial Library
1030 N Broad St
Fremont, NE 68025

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.
Potter Public Library
333 Chestnut
Potter, NE 69156

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
Broken Bow Public Library
626 South D. St.
Broken Bow, NE 68822

Thursday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.
Alliance Library
1750 Sweetwater Avenue
Alliance, NE 69301

"A Book is Not Like a Baby"

An Interview with Poet Anindita Sengupta

This is the ninth in a series of blog posts by guest contributor Nabina Das, who writes about Indian books and authors.


Anindita Sengupta is a poet, writer, journalist and consultant whose first collection of poems, City of Water, was published by Sahitya Akademi in February 2010.


How do you see yourself as a new mother and writer? I’m getting very personal here.


The image is a bit blurry. There has been—and continues to be—a period of calibrating. Personal goals and dreams, mundane or magnificent, have to be weighed on the scale of how they will affect her.


Elliott Woods Recap

PS Intern Charles Hiebner describes the visiting writer's talk

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, Prairie Schooner and the University of Nebraska's College of Journalism and Mass Communications co-sponsored a visit from the Iraq-war-veteran-turned-reporter Elliot D. Woods. Woods' presentation was geared primarily toward the use of digital media in the new journalism paradigm. It didn't take long to see parallels between the print-to-digital/integrated multimedia crisis that journalism is facing and the issues facing the world of publishing as a whole. Many of his innovative solutions push the limits of all media, such as a "living website." Woods demonstrated how to be an effective multimedia communicator in an age where old and new are in a state of flux. He is not shy to embrace new technology, nor is he unaware that print media still has a place in the grand scheme of things.

Announcing the Nebraska Library Tour!

PS Editor in Chief Kwame Dawes has big plans to bring his journal to a wider Nebraska audience beyond Lincoln. Dawes, along with Managing Editor Marianne Kunkel, will spend December touring public libraries in more than 12 Nebraska cities including Alliance, Beatrice, Broken Bow and Fremont. Each visit will feature poetry readings by Dawes and Kunkel followed by a question and answer session. Kunkel will promote the journal to attendees, offering information about submissions and selling single copies and subscriptions.

Congratulations to Whiting Award winner Ciaran Berry!

Prairie Schooner published four poems by Ciaran Berry--"Moth Myth," "Cuckoo Spit," "A Magpie" and "High Summer at the Seafront at Portrush"--in our Summer 2004 Issue. Now we've gotten the news that Berry has received the prestigious Whiting Award, given to authors with "abundant promise of future work" according to the description in this NYT account. Our heartfelt congratulations to Berry, author of The Sphere of Birds, on this exceptional honor. 

Colin Channer Recap!

Prairie Schooner Intern Weston Poor on Monday night's event

On Monday night, Carribean author Colin Channer read from his work as part of Prairie Schooner's Visiting Writer Series. The reading took place at the Center for Great Plains Studies in downtown Lincoln. Before his reading Channer remarked that he always looks forward to seeing the writing coming out of places he¹s never been before, such as Lincoln.

The first story, "How I Met My Husband," from his short story collection Passing Through, is set on the fictional island of San Carlos. It is the story of a woman and how her travels led her to her first encounter with her husband. The extensive detail in the story created an incredibly vivid environment.


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