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First Friday Book Talk & Reading w Katherine Higgs-Coulthard

“Higgs-Coulthard delivers a gritty, emotionally nuanced read about an unhoused teen searching for his absent father. . . . Utilizing atmospherically tense prose and layered, moving characterizations, this melancholy novel showcases one teen struggling to cultivate a better life for himself while navigating financial precarity and personal betrayal.”—Publishers Weekly

Visiting Writer Series featuring Kate Gale

"In the wellspring of creativity, there is sometimes a generosity that mirror’s the poet’s gift. It is the heart inside the heart, and so it is with Kate Gale. She gives out of what she feels was given to her so that we can all sit in the light of a greater gratitude."

—Afaa M. Weaver, author of Spirit Boxing

Dr. Kate Gale is Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review.  She teaches in the Low Residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.

She is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Loneliest Girl, The Goldilocks Zone, Echo Light. Kate has also written six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis, which had its world premiere October 2010 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, WI.

 

 

Visiting Writer Series featuring Kate Gale

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w Timothy Schaffert

Elegant and elegiac, The Titanic Survivors Book Club is a dazzling ode to love, chance, and the transformative power of books to bring people together.

Timothy Schaffert is the author of six novels, most recently THE PERFUME THIEF (Doubleday; August, 2021). His other books include: THE SWAN GONDOLA (Riverhead/Penguin); THE COFFINS OF LITTLE HOPE, DEVILS IN THE SUGAR SHOP, THE SINGING AND DANCING DAUGHTERS OF GOD and THE PHANTOM LIMBS OF THE ROLLOW SISTERS (all from Unbridled Books). He has served as editor of two books from University of Nebraska Press: YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANY GOD (stories by Ervin Krause); and MORE IN TIME: A TRIBUTE TO TED KOOSER, with Jessica Poli and Marco Abel. His books have been selected as an Indie Next pick, and for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program, and recommended as a New York Times Editors' Choice. THE SWAN GONDOLA was an Oprah.com Book of the Week, and a recommended read from Good Housekeeping, People, The Week, Library Journal, Booklist, & Historical Novel Review.

 

National Slam Qualifying Event

Nebraska Poetry Society will pay the berth and meals

for the winner of the Qualifying Slam

to compete at the BlackBerry Peach National Slam Poetry Competition!

We will also help the winner fundraise to cover funds for hotel and flight. 

If you would like to donate to this cause, please do so through the QR Code.

Every dollar counts!

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Pamela Petro

“Not since Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek have I felt so involved, as a reader, in ‘finding out what it all means.’ This is a beautifully written, un-put-downable book about language, love, and being alive, here, now.”

-- Gillian Clarke, Wales longest serving National Poet

A Songwriter's Evening with Hope Dunbar

Sweetheartland - 
“...a magical collection of soul-deep songs... the strength, perseverance, and determination inherent in the Midwest colors the lyrics of every song on the album. And the lyrics are a rich treasure trove of word-smithing of the highest order; the vulnerability and resolve of the characters in her songs are relatable and raw. Fleshed out with a rootsy, full-band sound, her songs soar, tiptoe, swing, and sway down a sometimes lonely, sometimes joyous, dusty trail through the big sky plains. It’s heady and heartwarming, melancholy and sad, engaging and inspiring, all at once.” -- Vents Magazine

AWP in KC!

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w Sue William Silverman

Sue William Silverman’s Acetylene Torch Songs is a gift for creative nonfiction writers, and a guiding light: offering a holistic and hands-on approach to writing our memories, our obsessions, and ourselves; this is a gorgeous book of body and mind, of heart and soul. In the truest sense it’s also a torch: one we might carry with us as we write, as we dig into the dark corners of our lives, making our stories burn bright. —Melissa Faliveno, author of TOMBOYLAND

Speedwriting & Reading Watch Party

First annual Larksong Speedwriting & Reading Watch Party - like a tailgate for literary folk. 

Larksong's 4th Annual Speedwriting & Reading Party

Let’s kick off the Holiday Season with some fast-paced writing and short but powerful reading sessions!

The format is simple. We alternate five-minute readings with 15-minute mini writing workshops that start with a craft talk and end with a writing prompt. Five readings, four workshops, so you’ll not only leave the event inspired but you’ll have some new writing too!

After the presentations there’s time for a Q&A with writers and other participants.

Fill up your fountain pens, sharpen your pencils or charge those computers! This event is flat out fast-paced fun!

New this year! An in-house watch party at Larksong Writers Place! Watch and write together at Larksong, then stay for a pizza party after! It's a Holiday PARTY afterall. Register separately under "On-site Events" for the the watch party.

 

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w Carson Vaughan

“A marvelous, meaningful book, full of deep reporting, fine writing, and big questions about the nature of community, of living with animals, of challenging values. Zoo Nebraska will surprise and engage you and make you think.” 

— Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book  and The Orchid Thief

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Nancy Welch

Winner of the Black Lawrence Press Prize for Fiction 2023! 

Book Launch: Roxanne Rector

Quintessential: Book 4: Willow

“ I… don’t… want… to… die… down… here.” Willow’s brain felt fuzzy like someone had filled her head with cotton.

Family secrets keep crashing into the Trevino quints teen lives, this time quite literally. Willow discovers a long lost secret science lab of their ancestors when it collapses beneath her feet. Her curiosity about what’s hidden in the secret side room has her disobeying her parents for the first time and returning to the unsafe place only to soon find herself fighting for her life. Will her dreamy guardian angel save her or leave her there to learn the consequences of her actions? Will sweet, calm, obedient Willow see the error of her ways or will she continue down her new path of misbehavior?

 

Warrior Writers Workshop

First Friday Book Talk & Reading w/ Kevin Clouther

"With meticulous craft and profound compassion, Kevin Clouther conjures this vibrant collection of connected stories of friends wrestling the ghosts of their past. Balancing heart and humor, Maximum Speed bears witness to the raw hope of youth and the bittersweet wisdom of age."

-Frances de Pontes Peebles, author of The Air You Breathe

"Moving effortlessly between humor and heartbreak, these stories add up, as in the best linked collections, to a rich and varied world of tenderness and beauty."

-Nathan Oates, author of A Flaw in the Design

"With artistry and heart, Kevin Clouther has written a superbly crafted collection of linked stories."

-Patricia Ann McNair, author of Responsible Adults

Kevin Clouther's second story collection, Maximum Speed, is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press in November 2023. He is the author of We Were Flying to Chicago: Stories (Catapult). He is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha Writer's Workshop, where he directs the MFA in Writing. He lives with his wife and two children in Omaha.

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Jessica Hendry Nelson

Joy Rides through the Tunnel of Grief  

Essays on love, wonder, and the fierce bonds between women.

“Stunning, hilarious, propulsive book--somehow breathless and thoughtful at once--that I'll remember the rest of my days...."

       —LESLIE JAMISON, author of  THE RECOVERING: INTOXICATION AND ITS AFTERMATH  and the THE EMPATHY EXAMS

“I didn't just read this book--I consumed it. Joy Rides through the Tunne of Grief is raw and fecund, heartbreaking, wise, wickedly funn, and razor sharp--one woman's brave and vulnerable navigationf of the daily pathos and joy that ultimately tells the story of the human condition. At times the sheer craft of [the] writing stopped my breath and made me immediately re-read a passage just so that I could experience it again."

—Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls

Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the new memoir Joy Rides Through the Tunnel of Grief, winner of the AWP Sue William Silverman Prize.   Her memoir, If Only You People Could Follow Directions (2014), was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers' Association, named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Review, received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, and reviewed nationally in print and on NPR—including twice in (O) Oprah Magazine.

First Friday Book Talk & Reading with Matt Mason

 

“Matt Mason’s poems have energy. Matt Mason’s poems have drive, and craft, and heart, and excitement, and funny lines like “I want to see two words rhyme / who never thought of each other that way before” —lines which harken back to other things Mason’s poems have, such as tenderness and wildness and celebrations of young and other kinds of love—love of music, family, laughter, and good poems, which, by the way, Matt Mason’s Rock Stars is full of.”

— Charles Harper Webb, author of Sidebend World and Ursula Lake

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and, through the US State Department, has run poetry programs in Botswana, Romania, Nepal and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found in The New York Times, on NPR’s Morning Edition, in American Life in Poetry and more. Mason’s 4th book, At the Corner of Fantasy and Main: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros, was released by The Old Mill Press in 2022.

First Friday Reading - July 2023

The Long March Home 
A World War II novel of the Pacific
New from NYT Bestselling authors 
Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee 

"Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire.Life in the Philippines seems like paradise–until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history."

First Friday Reading - June 2023

Praise for Allison L. Bitz's novel The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom:

“A funny, bold, and heartwarming ode to the thrill of performing, the beauty of friendships, the joy of falling in love, and the satisfaction of self-discovery. The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom is a beautiful reminder to be bold, love big, and take up space.”                                                                                                  — Crystal Maldonado, award-winning author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and No Filter and Other Lies

“Bold, bright, and with a dash of Midwest charm, The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom has a voice that sings. Bitz’s joyful debut is one to cheer for—Bridget herself wouldn’t have it any other way.” — Joan F. Smith, author of The Half-Orphan’s Handbook and The Other Side of Infinity

“Bridget Bloom is a fat positive heroine we’ve been waiting for! For everyone who has ever struggled to find their voice, every page of this story sings with a message about what it means to find love and learn to love yourself.” - Kelly deVos, author of Eat Your Heart Out

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Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.