Mount Marty College Hosts Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium Oct. 4

September 14, 2017

Students and community members are invited to Mount Marty College (MMC) in Yankton, South Dakota on Oct. 4, 2017, for the Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium, an annual event that brings award-winning professional writers to campus for a day of readings, discussions and class workshops. The Great Plains Writers’ Tour explores various elements of the arts through prose, poetry and storytelling.

This year’s tour will feature three prominent writers and a group presentation from the Great Plains area, focusing on different forms of writing. The writers’ symposium and tour will conclude with a final performance by Sarah McKinstry-Brown, Matt Mason, Devel Crisp, and the Hartington-Newcastle Louder Than a Bomb! Chapter from 7-8:30. 

“Louder Than a Bomb Performance” at 10:00 a.m. -- The Hartington-Newcastle Louder Than a Bomb! Chapter of Cedar County, NE, is in its second year. Incoming members bring an eclectic mix to the table as the group strives to send its message to the world. In its quest, the Hartington-Newcastle Chapter works toward creating a range of poems; solo, group, and duet pieces which are all performed. The Hartington-Newcastle Louder Than a Bomb! Chapter of Cedar County, NE continues to produce a regional community and atmosphere which escalates performance poetry. The Hartington-Newcastle Louder Than a Bomb! Chapter won 2nd and 3rd place in last year's LTAB regional competition in Lincoln, NE.

“What’s Funny About Poetry?” with Matt Mason at 11:00 a.m. -- Poems that make you laugh out loud are important. They're a lot more than just a laugh-and-forget moment, they make statements about the world in both biting irony and in the transformation of joy. Matt Mason has a Pushcart Prize and two Nebraska Book Awards; was a Finalist for the position of Nebraska State Poet; and organizes and runs poetry programming for the State Department, working in Nepal, Romania, Botswana and Belarus. He has over 200 publications in magazines and anthologies, including Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’ Almanac. His most recent book, The Baby That Ate Cincinnati, was released in 2013.  Matt lives in Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia.

“How Instant Odes Create Lasing Impressions” by Sarah McKinstry-Brown at 1:00 p.m. -- During this craft talk you'll learn what an ode is, why they're magical, and, after hearing a few examples of odes written by people from all walks of life, I’ll give you all the tools you'll need (here's a hint--it's all about observation + imagination) to write your own, Instant Ode.

Winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize and two Nebraska Book Awards, Sarah McKinstry-Brown is the author of Cradling Monsoons (Blue Light Press, 2010), and This Bright Darkness (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and has been published everywhere from West Virginia’s standardized tests to literary journals such as Rattle, Green Mountains Review, Ruminate, The South Dakota Review, Sugar House Review, and Smartish Pace. An editorial board member for Spark Wheel Press, Sarah teaches creative writing to first-generation college students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is the proud founder, curator, and host of feedback at KANEKO, an interactive literary reading series.

“Are you not Edutained?” with Devel Crisp at 2:00 p.m. -- Learn how information can be transformed into an entertaining experience, a powerful aide in educational retention and enjoyment!Devel Crisp is a spoken word poet, actor and father from Omaha, Nebraska.  Last spring, he became the 2016 Omaha Slam Poetry Champion. which not only allotted him a spot on the Omaha Slam Team to complete in Atlanta, Georgia, but also to represent Nebraska in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the Individual World Poetry Slam.   He spends his afternoons coaching poetry in schools for the Nebraska Writers Collective's "Louder Than A Bomb: Great Plains" program.

The writers’ symposium and tour will conclude with a final performance by Sarah McKinstry-Brown, Matt Mason, DevelCrisp, and the Hartington-Newcastle Louder Than a Bomb! Chapter from 7-8:30 p.m. 

All events will take place at Marian Auditorium on the MMC Campus. To learn more about the Great Plains Writers’ Tour and Writers’ Symposium, please contact Jim Reese at james.reese@mtmc.edu.