Prairie Schooner to go on Nebraska library tour

Kwame Dawes (left) and Marianne Kunkel
Kwame Dawes (left) and Marianne Kunkel

Kwame Dawes and Marianne Kunkel will embark on a driving tour in December to promote Prairie Schooner in public libraries across Nebraska.

Dawes is Glenna Luschei Editor-in-Chief of the Prairie Schooner, an international literary journal based at UNL. Kunkel is managing editor of the publication.

This tour fulfills one of the goals that Dawes set for himself during the first few months of his tenure as editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner.

“Prairie Schooner is one of Nebraska’s greatest and most enduring gifts to the world, and it has been giving America so much for eighty-six years. I want to find as many ways to remind the people of the state about what a treasure we have and to see if we can generate even more ownership and pride in the publication.”

Since his arrival, Prairie Schooner has expanded its web presence and has even made the move, after almost a century, to online submissions. Prairie Schooner has begun to have a marked international focus. Dawes, however, sees this tour as a way to remind its core base about the journal’s roots in Nebraska and its continued interest in regional writers and its reliance on the support and interest of Nebraskans.

“We do not want to be an impersonal journal, but one that is aware that real people read and support the journal, and many of those real people live here in Nebraska. The great perk for all of this, however, is that I get a chance to see the state more and to find out how Prairie Schooner can support the literary arts in Nebraska in town after town.”

The tour, Dec. 8-22, will take place in public libraries in more than 12 cities, including Alliance, Beatrice, Broken Bow, and Fremont. Each visit will feature poetry readings by Dawes and Kunkel followed by a question and answer session. Kunkel will promote the journal to attendees, offering information about submissions and selling single copies and subscriptions.

“This is a great opportunity for people across Nebraska to hear an internationally-known Nebraska poet read from his work and to learn more about Nebraska’s own Prairie Schooner,” said Rod Wagner, communications director for the Nebraska Library Commission.

For more information, go to