Free Author Talk: The Nebraska Poetry Pen Pals

The Nebraska Poetry Pen Pals are coming to the Red Cloud Opera House to help us kick off National Poetry Month! This dynamic group of writers and performers are touring the state to bring poetry to rural communities. The poets will perform their own work and encourage the audience to nurture their own poetic talents and sensibilities. Conceived by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason, the Nebraska Poetry Pen Pals connect poets from across the state from various backgrounds. This event is free and open to the public!

This event is made possible by support from Humanities Nebraska.

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and was Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective from 2009-2022. Through the US State Department, he has run workshops 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. Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia. 

Colleen O'Doherty is a Chicago-based writer with her MFA in play and screenwriting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her plays have recently shown in New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Florida and more. Her newest full-length play, Stories: on the Brink was produced by Anastasis Theatre Company as part of the Great Plains Theatre Commons in Omaha, NE in fall 2021 and her one-minute plays were featured in Jakespeare Virtual Theatre Company's festival in February 2022. Colleen taught poetry writing and performance for the Nebraska Writers Collective from 2016-2022.

Fernando Antonio Montejano is a writer, poet, radio host and so much more! He is the artist in residence for the Ralston Baright Library, and a fellow with Opera Omaha. Fernando has been teaching and performing poetry for over a decade now, he doesn't intend on stopping any time soon!