Alison Hedge Coke
Reynolds Endowed Chair, 308.865.8672

The Fifth Annual Literary Cranefest is currently underway at the University of Nebraska at Kearney this month with a series of readings and writers’ workshops.

“This is a kicking week in the midst of the crane dance apex in the epicenter of the Sandhill Crane migration,” said Allison Hedge Coke, UNK Reynolds chair and Cranefest organizer. Events are free and open to the public, except where noted.

Margaret Porter Troupe, director of the Harlem Art Salon, will present a talk in celebration of Women’s History Month on Thursday, March 15. The event will take place in the Fine Arts Building, Room 312, at 2 p.m. Also on Thursday, three nationally-recognized poets will read from their works at 7 p.m. in the UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall. The poets include Quincy Troupe, author of “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Errançities”; Natalie Diaz, author of the soon to be published, “When My Brother Was an Aztec”; and Stacey Lynn Brown, author of “Cradle Song” and co-editor of, “A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry.” Both
events are free and open to the public.

On Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m., Quincy Troupe, author of 10 volumes of poetry, three children’s books and six nonfiction works, will hold a writer’s workshop, open to all skill levels. Those interested must sign up with Hedge Coke at There are only six seats left. The registration fee is $40 and must be paid to Troupe at the workshop.

In conjunction with the Women’s History month, three poets will give presentations on Saturday, March 17, at 1 p.m. The poets include Jan Beatty, a Pittsburgh poet and Dreu Heinz Awardee; Stacey Waite, associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Natalie Diaz, whose work has been published in the “Iowa Review” and “Prairie Schooner.” The event will take place at the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) and is free and open to the public.

Next Tuesday (March 20), four poets will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. The poets include Simmons Buntin, poet, prose writer and editor of “Terrain Eco Magazine”; Lee Ann Roripaugh, poet, lyric essayist and executive editor of the “South Dakota Review”; Kim Blaeser, poet and editor of collections of “Anishinaabe” poetry; and Rene Sans Souci, an Omaha Nation poet.

On Tuesday, March 27, Marilyn Nelson, the 2012 recipient of the Drake Frost medal, which is presented by the Poetry Society of America, will read from her own works at 7 p.m. in a location yet to be determined. Nelson is the author or translator of 14 books, including, “A Wreath for Emmett Till” and “Carver: A Life in Poems.”

“These poets, writers and editors are all engaged in environmental writing,” Hedge Coke said. “Come hear them read their own works and ask questions.”

The Cranefest was made possible through grants from the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council, Kearney Area Community Foundation, the UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee, the Women’s Studies Program and the Ethnic Studies Program.