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Local Literary Events

underconstruction250See listings of regularly-scheduled literary events both at the libraries (One Book – One Lincoln, John H. Ames Reading Series, Lunch at the Library) and in the surrounding Lincoln, NE community — including readings, signings, the One Book One Nebraska selection for this year and various other special presentations!

See also: Lincoln City Libraries-sponsored Book Groups | Non-LCL Book Groups

>>> Submit your own community Literary Event information! <<<

Current Lincoln City Libraries Literary Events

one book one lincoln c450

The nomination period for consideration for the 2018 One Book – One Lincoln ended January 31st. You can nominate year-round for future years’ consideration at our online nomination form.

Visit the 2017 site here.

You can sign up to be notified by e-mail about all new developments regarding One Book – One Lincoln. You can become a fan of One Book – One Lincoln on Facebook by “liking” the One Book – One Lincoln Facebook group. We also encourage you to stop by the One Book – One Lincoln Blog, where you can leave comments about the book selections and the entire One Book process in response to posted discussion topics.

[ One Book – One Lincoln archives: A Gentleman in Moscow (2017) | Being Mortal (2016) | Americanah (2015) | The Light Between Oceans (2014) | The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2013) | Destiny of the Republic (2012) | Cutting for Stone (2011) | I Am a Man (2010) | People of the Book (2009) | The Thirteenth Tale (2008) | The Worst Hard Time (2007) | The Devil in the White City (2006) | The Kite Runner (2005) | Peace Like a River (2004) | Bel Canto (2003) | Plainsong (2002) ] [ Master list of all One Book — One Lincoln finalists and selected titles [2002-2013] in PDF format. ]


During both the Spring and Fall, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Assocation sponsors a free monthly “brown bag” lecture series, featuring readings and talks by Nebraska authors. The programs are held in the 4th floor auditorium of the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown, at 14th and “N” Sts. Unless otherwise specified, programs begin at 12:10 p.m. and end before 1:00 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch…coffee is provided by The Mill in Lincoln.

Here is the Winter/Spring 2016-2017 schedule!

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 — Pat Leach — Lincoln City Libraries Director — will discuss Notable Books from the American Library Association. Join us for this book lovers’ romp through some of the best books published in the past year.
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 — Leo Bigadescription still pending
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 — Lonnie Dunbierdescription still pending

Visit the Lincoln City Libraries’ Lunch at the Library page for more information.

amesDuring both the Spring and Fall, the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors sponsors a free Sunday afternoon lecture series, featuring readings by Nebraska authors. The programs are held in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors, on the 3rd floor of the Bennett Martin Public Library downtown, at 14th and “N” Sts. Ames readings are held on Sunday afternoons, starting at 2:00 p.m.

Here is the next entry in the Ames reading schedule:

Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Nebraska 150 Finale!

The 215th John H. Ames Reading Event will be held Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors. This will be the final official event of the Nebraska 150 Books program. Readers are all Nebraska Nonfiction Authors, most of whom are represented on the Nebraska 150 Books list. Readers include: Pamela Barger, Alan Boye, John Janovy Jr., Paul Johnsgard, Mary Pipher and Barbara Schmitz.

Mary Pipher photoMary Pipher was born in the Ozarks and grew up in rural Nebraska. As a girl she liked reading, writing, swimming, being outdoors and talking to her friends and family. Pipher is the author of 9 books including her first, Reviving Ophelia and her most recent, The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture. She is just finishing a new book entitled Women Rowing North: Navigating the Developmental Challenges of Aging that will be published in 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing. Pipher lives in Nebraska with her husband, Jim, and her children and grandchildren nearby. She enjoys doing the same things she liked as a girl. She is also a community organizer and activist for many causes.

Alan Boye photoAlan Boye is the author of several critically acclaimed books about nature, history and adventure. His essays and articles have appeared nationally since 1971. His first book, A Guide to the Ghosts of Lincoln was published in 1983. It gained an instant and enduring following and has never been out of print. Boye’s second book, The Complete Roadside Guide to Nebraska serves as a guide for both the mobile and the armchair traveler and directs readers to many obscure, historic and beautiful sites of the state.

For Holding Stone Hands, Boye backpacked the 1,000 mile route of the Cheyenne exodus of 1878. In it he tells the story of that tragic event intertwined with the tale of his trek northward accompanied by descendants of the surviving Cheyenne. Likewise, many of his subsequent books combine history, travel writing and memoir. In Tales from the Journey of the Dead: Ten Thousand Years on an American Desert, Boye hiked a New Mexican desert which many claim is the most isolated and uninhabited area in the continental United States. Just Walking the Hills of Vermont is a collection of short essays that investigate both the natural world around us as well as the interior world of the spirit. In his most recent book, Sustainable Compromises: A Yurt, a Straw Bale and Ecological Living, Boye takes up the practicalities of “building green,” from finances to nuts and bolts, to strains on friends and family. A firsthand account of the pleasures and pitfalls of living simply, his book is a reflection on what sustainability really means—in personal, communal, ethical, and environmental terms.

Alan has written for a variety of publications including Vermont Magazine, Yankee, Southern Humanities Review and The Old Farmer’s Almanac. He has been awarded a Hoefner award for nonfiction, and a John Neihardt Visiting Professor of Creative Nonfiction, at Wayne State College.
Boye was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before moving to Vermont he had lived in various states in the west. He has taught in schools in New Mexico, Oregon and Texas, and has worked as a farm laborer, a librarian, and a newspaper reporter. He is professor emeritus of humanities at Vermont’s Lyndon State College where he teaches writing and literature.

Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences Emeritus at the University of Nebraska. He is the only professor to have won the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, a Regents Foundation Professorship and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. To date he has written 85 scholarly books, including nine world monographs, over 250 biological papers and articles, is the world’s most prolific author of ornithological literature, and one of the world’s most prolific writers of non-fiction. He has been awarded four national conservation awards in recognition of his ornithological writing and conservation work.

Pam Herbert Barger photoPam Herbert Barger’s chapbook, The Pinball God Let Fly (Puddinghouse Press) was released in 2007. Her poetry and prose have been appeared in such publications as The Mid-America Poetry Review, West Branch, Rattle, Woman’s Day, the American Suzuki Journal, and the anthologies, Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace and Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother. Currently she’s finishing a poetry manuscript entitled, Singing Back-up with the Beatles. This March she will perform “When I Have Hurt You,” a song she set to a poem by Marjorie Saiser. (Watch for the Angels Theatre Company’s production of a play based on Marjorie’s book, Losing the Ring in the River.) A professional musician since she was seventeen, she’s currently a member of three local bands (FabTones, Toasted Ponies, and the Melody Wranglers), and has taught private piano since 1983.

Barbara Schmitz photoBarbara Schmitz is Emeritus Professor at Northeast College where she taught writing and literature for thirty years and founded the Visiting Writers Series. Her latest books are Always the Detail (SFA University Press) which won Honor Book in Poetry 2015 from the Nebraska Center for the Book and Path of Lightning: A Seeker’s Jagged Journey (memoir) from Pinyon Publishing. How Much Our Dancing Has Improved (Backwaters Press) won 2005 Award for Poetry from the Nebraska Center for the Book. A reissue of What Bob Says is due anytime from Wayne State Press. She is grandmother of Makena, lives with husband Bob in Norfolk, considering herself The Poet of Highway 81 on whose banks she lived for forty years.

John Janovy, Jr. photoWords are the weapons of choice in a cloistered environment like academia, where material stakes are so low and reputation is the currency. Author John Janovy, Jr. has thrived in this setting and knows it well. He has published over a hundred scientific papers, eleven trade books by major publishers, and the leading textbook in his discipline (Foundations of Parasitology, McGraw-Hill, with L. S. Roberts and S. A. Nadler); he’s also written the script for an internationally televised film based on his books about the western plains (Keith County Journal, 1985, Nebr ETV, 16mm and video, 58min; 1986 Corp. Publ. Broadcasting, 1st place in local information programming category). His book subjects include natural history essays (Keith County Journal, St. Martin’s; Vermilion Sea; Houghton Mifflin), high school athletics (Fields of Friendly Strife, Viking, winner of the American Health magazine book award for 1987), anti-intellectualism in America (Comes the Millennium, St. Martin’s, as Jack Blake), and higher education (Teaching in Eden, RoutledgeFalmer). He is the winner of numerous prizes for both teaching and research, including the University of Nebraska’s Distinguish Teaching Award, Nebraska Libraries Association Mari Sandoz Award, American Society of Parasitologists Clark P. Read Mentorship Award, and the University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creativity Award. Dr. Janovy has taught large introductory science courses throughout his career; that experience, along with his several administrative positions and service in international scientific organizations, gives him unique insight into the conflicts that often permeate the Ivory Tower. His web site is:

Visit the Lincoln City Libraries’ John H. Ames Reading Series page for more information.

Current Non-Lincoln City Libraries Literary Events

obon200One Book One Nebraska

Following the ongoing success of the first several years of One Book One Nebraska, the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska Center for the Book, the Nebraska Library Association, the Nebraska Regional Library Systems and other organizations are sponsoring yet another year of One Book One Nebraska in 2016! Past One Book One Nebraska selections have included Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Omaha mystery novelist Alex Kava’s One False Move, Mari Sandoz’ classic history text Crazy Horse, Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn’s autobiography Restoring the Burnt Child, Bess Streeter Aldrich’s A Lantern in Her Hand, Wright Morris’ The Home Place, Ted Kooser’s Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, Joe Starita’s I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, Willa Cather’s classic novel, O Pioneers!, Bob Greene’s Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, Death Zones and Darling Spies by Beverly Deepe Keever and The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker.

The 2017 selected title is Black Elk Speaks, the classic 1932 book by John G. Neihardt, which shares the story of Black Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man. You can find more information about the 2005-2017 events at the official One Book One Nebraska Web site.

Other Lincoln-area ongoing Literary Events

Acoustic Open Mic for Musicians and Poets

Where: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St.)
When: Every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

For information about events at Meadowlark Coffee, check out their Facebook page at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

The Clean Part Reading Series

Where: Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (12th and “R” St.)
When: Occasional Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

This series showcases innovative poets from across the country. For more information, and a schedule of upcoming dates, check out: The Sheldon Memorial Art Galley schedule of upcoming events.

Crescent Moon Reading Series

Where: Crescent Moon Coffee (816 “P” St.)
When: Mondays at 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Mondays at 7:00 pm is the Crescent Moon Readings Series followed by an open mic. We feature a writer for the first hour of the evening and then offer the microphone to anyone who has written poetry, stories, or songs and wished to have the opportunity to share them. The Crescent Moon Reading and Music Room is indoors across the courtyard from Crescent Moon Coffee.. For more information, check out their website at: Crescent Moon Readings.

Lincoln Scrabble® Club

Where: Eiseley Branch Library (15th and Superior St.)
When: The third Wednesday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; also the second Tuesday of every month at the Hy-Vee Store, 51st & “O”, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Lincoln Scrabble® Club is a group of casual to competitive Scrabble® players from the Lincoln, Nebraska area. All ages and all skills levels are welcome. We play by the game rules of the National Scrabble® Association. For more information, you can call Judy at 483-6233 or email at trudy2(at)

Star City Slam

Where: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso (1624 South St.)
When: Second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Offering featured performers and a cash prize for first place, it’s a poetry slam where the winner can never use the same winning poems again to get that top prize, in this winner takes all rhetoric throw down. For information about events at Meadowlark Coffee, check out their Facebook page at: Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso.

Tuesdays with Writers at The Mill — College View

Where: The Mill — College View (4736 Prescott St)
When: First Tuesday of each month

Readings by featured authors, plus communal book/writing discussions. Check out the Tuesdays With Writers blog for more information (not updated recently).

Upcoming Schedule:


Past Literary Events – Historical Archives

mayhem2010After many years, through 2010, the annual Mayhem in the Midlands Mystery Conference over the Memorial Day weekend, apparently ended in 2011. Organizers (primarily the Omaha Public Library) sent out a press release in early March, 2011, announcing that the 2011 convention has been cancelled, after 11 straight successes. The press release ended on a positive note, asking mystery fans to check back on Mayhem in 2012, although no convention materialized!Although the weblink for the convention is not currently active, you can “like” the Mayhem in the Midlands Crime Fiction Conference on Facebook to stay up-to-date on additional developments. The latest news since 2012 was that the organizers were looking at ways to re-established the convention in the future.

romancelogo2005aFans of Romance Fiction joined with a dozen romance authors at each of Lincoln’s three Turning the Pages of Romance conferences, in 2004, 2005 and 2006. These events, co-sponsored by the Lincoln City Libraries and the Omaha Public Library, proved to be a popular way to meet and interact with professional romance authors from the midwest each Spring.

[ Past Romance Conferences: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 ]