Annual Migration of Cranes Draws Poets and Writers from Around the World

Alison Hedge Coke
Reynolds Endowed Chair, 308.865.8672

The migration of cranes through Central Nebraska has drawn eight poets and writers from around the world for the second annual Sandhill Cranes Migration and Literary Festival, hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney Paul and Clarice Reynolds Series.

While the writers have arrived, their presentations will not take place until Monday, March 23, when there will be a day-long series of events, all of which are free and open to the public. The festival activities will open with a joint presentation by the eight Literary Crane Writers from 10-11 a.m. in Thomas Hall on the campus.

The featured writers include: Sherwin Bitsui, Tuscon, Ariz.; Fredy Romeiro Campo Chicangana, Colombia; Cristina Eisenberg, Glacier National Park, Mont.; LeAnne Howe, an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Linda Hogan, professor emerita of the University of Colorado at Boulder; Laura Tohe, an associate professor in the Department of English at Arizona State University in Tempe; and Wang Ping, associate professor of creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

From 12:15-1:15 p.m., Eisenberg will give a presentation on wolf reclamation and biodiversity in Copeland Hall Room 131.

The Crane Retreat Writers will then join with Rowe Sanctuary and the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust to host literary and educational presentations for the Kearney Area Schools and the public at the Robert M. Merryman Performing Arts Center from 2 -3 p.m.

Concluding the day will be a 7 p.m. literary presentation in the Yanney Skylight Theater at the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA).

In Omaha on Tuesday, March 24, UNK and the University of Nebraska at Omaha will sponsor a collaborative presentation as Howe and Tohe will speak at the UNO Department of Omaha Native American Studies.

Closing the festival will be a presentation by Ping at 7 p.m. Friday, April 3, in the Choral Room of the UNK Fine Arts Building. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The Crane Retreat Writers are also retreating with the Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes and other species, during the migration at the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust and Rowe Sanctuary for Sandhill Cranes.

“This year residents will add a new contemplation in Whooping Crane focus with the continuing Sandhill Crane focus,” said Allison Hedge Coke, UNK Reynolds Endowed Chair and festival director.

The festival is sponsored jointly by: The Reynolds Chair, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council, Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, The Rowe Sanctuary, Alley Rose, UNK Department of English, Department of Biology and International Studies, UNK Artists & Lecturer Series and Office of Multicultural Affairs, UNO Department of Native American Studies, Country Inn & Suites, the Robert M. Merryman Performing Arts Center, MONA, Alley Rose, elements, Baristas, Terri Lee Schiffrens and the Dancing Crane A-Frame, and various anonymous donors.