A Writing Prompt on Guilty Pleasures And 80s Rock
Spending a lot of time at home, I’m grateful for all those being careful out there, not just because I’m a Type 1 Diabetic but for all of us. I ran a writing prompt on guilty pleasures and 80s rock today for the Nebraska Writers Collective which is now available on their YouTube channel, so get to writing!
A Lesson on Writing Odes
I have a lesson on writing odes available at Nebraska’s Teacher TV. It’s aimed at middle school students but good for all ages and only 27 minutes long:
Closing Out National Poetry Month
We’re closing out National Poetry Month 2020 with a good amount of virtual events! The latest is this week’s Humanities at Home conversation put on by Humanities Nebraska:
Working with Western Nebraska Community College
A number of readings have, of course, been canceled this spring as we all help prevent the spread of Covid-19. So instead of reading at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, we did it virtually with a few poems, some Q&A, and a writing prompt:
Nebraska Arts Council’s New Studio Clips
I’m honored to be the first entry in the Nebraska Arts Council’s new Studio Clips: Meet Nebraska Artists series. Catch video of me reading some of the poems I’ve been writing from quarantine as well as a writing prompt, plus some Q&A and links on the NAC page:
A Poem About Nebraska’s Highest Point
The Kimball County Visitor Center asked me to write this poem about Nebraska’s highest point. See the video they made here:
Reflections on My First Year as State Poet
I’m honored to be the cover story in the February issue of the Lincoln Journal Star’s L Magazine. Read all the goodness here:
Santa Clara Magazine
My years at Santa Clara mean a great deal to me and to my writing, so I’m honored to have this article about me published in Santa Clara Magazine.
I took a class from a visiting Georgetown professor, Ed Ingebretsen, whose love of poetry was infectious. He showed me how to read poetry and love it.
And I had a poetry writing class with Ed Kleinschmidt where he told me, who’d written maybe a few dozen poems at that point, we would turn in 10 poems over the next 10 weeks. I didn’t think it was possible for me to write that much. I wrote probably 15 poems as I found myself searching for poems instead of waiting for them to find me. I’ve kept that weekly deadline ever since. For the past 29 years, good or bad, I’ve had to write a new poem by Monday night.
Bringing Poetry to All of Nebraska
As State Poet, my goal is to bring a poetry program to every Nebraska county during my 5-year term. The map here hangs on my refrigerator and shows all 93 counties. The ones marked in pink are where I’ve been so far.
I’d love to do multiple events in counties as the real goal is to share poetry in as many communities around Nebraska as I can. My hope, too, is to involve other poets where possible. Last week in Decatur, I was happy to meet local poet Charlie Schmidt. Charlie let me share 3 of his poems to start the reading off!
So if you’re somewhere around Nebraska, I want to get to your neighborhood. Contact me so we can make it happen.
Florence Days Parade
Being Grand Marshal at the Florence Days Parade was a pretty big thrill. Thanks go to my sister, Mele of Mason Video, for this video:
Florence Parade 2019 from Mele Mason on Vimeo.
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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.