Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Hello, blog friends!

You might have noticed a conspicuous lull in the blogging as of late. Now that myself and my editorial board have started school, other far more fun things have begun to fall by the wayside. But never you fear, faithful readers! We're still here and we'll still keep you up-to-date on all the interesting goings-on in the Great Plains. In the meantime, there are a few dates you should keep in your calendars--exciting things are afoot!

September 17, 3:30 p.m. Great Plains Art Gallery
Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize Lecture
American Colony: Pine Ridge Reservation in the 20th Century
Speaker: Akim Reinhardt, Associate Professor of History, Towson University, Towson, Maryland

September 25, 2008, 7:30 p.m. Nebraska Union, UNL Campus
A Research and Region Lecture
"Toxic Civics for the Twenty-First Century"
Speaker: Thomas Frank (author of What's the Matter with Kansas? and The Wrecking Crew)

Nothing like a good lecture to keep the brain juices flowing! Fall is a busy time for events and lectures; keep an eye on the blog for updates!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prairie Schooner, Nebraska Press Announce Awards

Earlier this month, the Prairie Schooner announced the winners of its annual short fiction and poetry book awards.

On the short fiction side, Anne Finger received first prize for her manuscript "Call Me Ahab." She receives a $3,000 prize. You can read more about Anne here.

The runner-up was Michael Kardos for his manuscript, "One Last Good Time." Read about Kardos at this site, which also includes an example of his work.

On the poetry side, Kara Candito won with her manuscript, "Taste of Cherry." She aslo receives $3,000. Kara is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Florida State University, where she specializes in poetry and literary theory.

The runner-up for poetry was Adrian Matejka, with "Mixology." Check out some of his work here.

Congrats to all the winners, and if you'd like info on how to get involved with the Prairie Schooner and submit work for contest consideration, more details are available on its Web site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The (Insert Title) Slam at Jones Coffee

Do you love poetry? Do you thirst for the thrill of competition? Do you enjoy tasty caffeinated beverages? If you answered yes to any of these questions, poetry slams are for you!

On Thursday August 21st at 7:00 PM, the Nebraska Writers Collective is hosting the (Insert Title) Poetry Slam at Jones Coffee on 11th and H Street. You can compete, or watch local talent duke it out onstage with their best poems. The 2008 Lincoln Slam Team won 12th place in the National Poetry Slam out of 76 teams, so bet on seeing a lot of good poetry!

If you can't make it this time, the (Insert Title) Slam goes down every third Thursday of the month at Jones Coffee. The Nebraska Writers Collective also holds a poetry slam every second Thursday of the month at Meadlowlark Coffee on South Street in Lincoln.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Featured Poet: Red Shuttleworth

We have an extra special treat for today's blog: a poem by friend of Plains Song Review, Red Shuttleworth.


Infernal Fantast

It's a whiskey-stammer evening
northeast of Norfork,
west of Winside:
a blood-mucus horizon sun.
Hot wind stirs dry grass.
Barn rats screech,
scurry for poison
in trampled-hay corners.
So this is the dance
at trail's end...
steers sold for whiskey,
counterfeit frontier maps,
Virginia tobacco
to lodge between gum and lip.
You're in my arms, sugar,
with our kids bedded down.
Innocence and lust,
we whirl in sultry circles.
So this is the onward
stumble at full vision.
Before we sleep,
I pray to be
a silver-blue sunrise horse
at gallop against
a barb wire fence line.


Red Shuttleworth
and his wife and children lived in Fairbury and Winside in the eighties. Red’s Western Settings received the first Spur Award for Poetry in 2001 from Western Writers of America. He was named “Best Living Western Poet” in 2007 by True West magazine. Red will shortly be seen in Minnetonka Review and has poems set to appear in RATTLE's special Western/Cowboy poetry issue and Weber: The Contemporary West. Red currently lives in Moses Lake, Washington.

Look forward to seeing more from Red in the future!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great Plains Cycling: Heatstroke 100

Tired of the typical workout: stationary scenery and treadmill terrain? The Great Plains Bicycling Club is offering an alternative--a scenic ride for cyclists known as the Heatstroke 100--on Sunday, August 24th. The 100 mile route, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at the SAC Air Museum in Ashland, consists of three loops through rolling hills and scenic vistas in the Platte River Valley and surrounding area. Cyclists can also opt for a shorter ride: 25, 36, 42, or 67 miles. All routes cost $25 for adult individuals (age 18+) and $50 for families. Registrations are welcome at 7 a.m. the day of the ride. For more information, visit the Great Plains Bicycling Club website at greatplainsbikeclub.org.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sheldon Museum of Art seeks docents

If you are not quite sure what a docent is - don't feel bad. A docent is a volunteer who helps guide people through out the museum and shares information about art. At the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, Nebraska the focus of the art is on American artists and art work.

This month is the beginning of the 45th year with the Sheldon Docent Program, a program that assists the volunteers with the information they need to be great tour guides and art informed volunteers. Anyone who wishes to apply should be encouraged to do so, it does not require any specific credentials or special background. This does, however, require that you do have some time to spare once a week during the morning.

For more information about how to apply follow this link.
Photo by Richard Wright.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great Plains in Politics

It's a bright and cool Tuesday morning after a heavy nighttime rainfall here in Lincoln. I'm at work doing my usual morning work routine (which, incidentally, doesn't actually involve any work). I'm perusing my favorite news websites with Google Reader, which keeps track of updates from all of my most visited sites.

In terms of the Great Plains, the overarching theme I see permeating the news is energy, energy, energy.

It's a different world out there: it wasn't until relatively recently that the world began sitting up and taking notice of the energy crisis it faces, both in terms of human and environmental impact. At the forefront of the issue is the Great Plains, an area that has a lot to offer the world in terms of energy production--ethanol being the most obvious, though certainly not the only one.

Of course, this means that the Great Plains states will also be playing a pivotal role in this year's Presidential election. For the first time since Bobby Kennedy's race for the White House, Nebraska might be a state to fight for. I have it on good authority that we'll be seeing more of Senators Obama and McCain in the coming months.

Hopefully this post will be a good talking point for you all--how do you feel about our role in the current energy crisis? Do you look forward to a more important role in the Presidential race, or do you even think we'll have one? Ready...discuss!

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Art of the Plains" at Crazy Horse Memorial

Hello all,

It's about time someone else besides Katie should contribute to the Plains Song Review blog, so I wanted to let everyone know about an event happening this month in South Dakota.

Arthur Amiotte, an Ogalala Lakota artist and professor, will present a program called "Art of the Plains" on Aug. 14 at the Crazy Horse Memorial at 6 p.m. Another interesting tidbit - Amiotte is a descendant of Standing Bear, who fought in the Battle of Little Big Horn and illustrated John Neihardt's book Black Elk Speaks.

It sounds like the program will focus on the advantages of mastering multiple media and education about American Indian art forms.

From the Black Hills News Bureau website:

After experimenting with a range of painting styles as well as working in fiber, hide and beads, he took off in a new direction. In 1988, he started a collage series, a genre in which he explores autobiographical issues, as well as larger themes in Lakota history and art history. “I purposefully decided to treat Sioux life from the periods of approximately 1880 to 1930, a period when culture change and adaptation were drastically taking place in the areas of technology; printed media and language; fashion; social and sacred traditions; education; and for Sioux people, an entirely different world view,” stated Amiotte in 2001.

Another program on Aug. 21 features Urla Marcus' program "Past & Present Educational Views from a Northern Cheyenne Perspective."

Plus, those who go to either program get free admission to the memorial - sounds like a deal to me.

Photo courtesy South Dakota Department of Tourism. Copyright Crazy Horse Mem. Fnd.. via Black Hills News Bureau.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Capital City Ribfest 2008

I dare you to think of something more fundamentally pleasing than four days dedicated to smeared-on-your-face ribs and live music. You can't, can you! Thankfully the Pershing Center will be hosting this year's Capital City Ribfest, so you can appease your most instinctual of desires--meat on a bone.

From August 7 to August 10, the Nebraska Pork Producers' Capital City Ribfest will feature award-winning BBQ chefs and pit bosses from around the country and all the delectable ribs you can handle! Not to mention non-stop live music throughout the event. Enjoy regional tastes from all over the world without all the hassle of lost baggage at the airport!

From the Ribfest website: We'll feature four days of live music on the PERFORMANCE TOYOTA / SCION of Lincoln Stage.

Thursday, August 7 (104-1 The Blaze Day)
11:30 Chris Sayre
4:30 Julia Knew
7:00 Killigans
10:00 Deals Gone Bad

Friday, August 8 (Froggy 98 Day)
11:30 John Walker
2:30 The Fabtones
4:30 Hayseed Cowboys
7:00 Jim Rice Band
9:30 Cactus Hill

Saturday, August 9 (92.9 The Eagle Day)
11:30 Academy of Rock
2:00 Risky Business
4:30 Wes Stebbins & Tom Roth
7:00 Tablerockers
9:30 3-D

Sunday, August 10 (KFOR 1240 Day)
11:00 Room 211 Band
1:00 Dubious Brothers & Sister Red(bands and times are subject to change)

Last year's Ribfest attracted more than 23,000 visitors--a number that, as hardy* Midwesterners, I feel we are morally obligated to surpass. Check out the Pershing Center Ribfest Website for more details!

*by hardy I mean hungry.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Paul A. Olson Seminars in Great Plains Studies Announced

The Center for Great Plains Studies has announced the guest speakers for this year's Paul A. Olson Seminars.

From the website: "The Paul A. Olson Seminars in Great Plains Studies offer an opportunity for interested scholars, students, and members of the community to come together to examine various topics related to the Great Plains. The seminars...are free and open to the public."

The 2008 Seminar Schedule:

Wednesday, September 17, 3:30 p.m.

Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize Lecture

American Colony: Pine Ridge Reservation in the 20th Century
Speaker: Akim Reinhardt, Associate Professor of History, Towson University, Towson, Maryland

Wednesday, October 15, 3:30 p.m.

Plain Speaking & Straight Shooting: Documentary Art in Flyover Country
Speaker: Michael Farrell, photographer, Lincoln, Nebraska

Wednesday, November 19, 3:30 p.m.

From Fire to Ice: A Geological Perspective on One Billion Years of Landscape Evolution in Eastern Nebraska
Speaker: Robert M. Joeckel, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences
and Survey Division, School of Natural Resources, UNL

The seminars take place in the Great Plains Art Gallery in the Hewit Center (12th and 'Q'). I encourage everyone to attend!

Monday, August 4, 2008

My bike's too hot to sit on; thanks, August!

Pop Quiz! What do midwesterners currently have in common with this photo of two succulent porterhouse steaks?

a) We're both from the midwest, duh!

b) We're in imminent danger of being eaten by something larger than us

c) We feel like we're being grilled over open flame

If you said A and C, you're correct! If you said B, you might want to rethink your current situation.

The temperature (actual temperature, not heat index) finally reached 100 degrees yesterday, begging the question, "Why'd you wimp out on us, July?" Yes, I did expect to reach triple digits sooner than this, but now that we finally have, I'm already darned sick and tired of it. And that's just the real temperature--the heat index (the overexaggerating hypochondriac of the meteorological world) is set to reach approximately 42 billion right about the time I'll be biking my sweaty self home.

Not only is it a nuicance just to be out-of-doors for more than 10.5 seconds, it's also particularly tough considering how much it costs to cool one's humble abode.

So my question is this: on a scale of 1 to "Ay Carumba!" how warm are you? How is the weather in the rest of the plains states, and how are you coping?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts - Residency Program

The deadline is approaching to apply for an Arts residency with the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

According to the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center website:

"The mission of the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts is to support established and emerging writers, visual artists and composers by providing working and living environments that allow uninterrupted time for work, reflection and creative growth and to present and support arts-related programming that expands public awareness and appreciation of the arts"

The application deadline for the session running from January to June 2009 is September 1. Writers, poets, composers, and visual artists are encouraged to apply. Though applications are accepted from anyone, applicants from Nebraska are given special consideration and are chosen from a separate pool. Residents are provided with free housing and a weekly stipend.

Check out the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center website for more information!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Scottish Tourists Encouraged to Visit Great Plains

Scotland on Sunday, a Sunday newspaper published nationwide in Scotland, published an article on July 13th encouraging Scots to experience the "re-wilding" of the Great Plains on holiday.

The article specifically cites efforts across the Plains to reintroduce natural flora and fauna and the declining human population over the last decade. As animals like elk, bison, bighorn sheep, and wolves are repopulating in the Great Plains, several ecotourism groups offer a chance to glimpse these unique animals--guided tours, animal and bird watching trips, etc. Visitors can even experience life and work on a North Dakota ranch! Several eco-tourism groups are also encouraging self-guided tours across the plains via car.

Tell us what you think! How do you feel about encouraged tourism in our area? Will it help or hinder efforts to preserve the natural world of the Great Plains?

Read the full article here.

Welcome All!


Welcome to the launch day of Plains Song Review Online! Peruse what we already have posted, and feel free to suggest post ideas in either the comments section or by e-mailing me at plainssongreview@gmail.com. I hope you'll all check back frequently to see what kind of exciting and interesting things we have going on!

In the meantime, I'm trying to decide on the right acronym for the blog. Plains Song Review magazine is obviously PSR, so would the online version be PSR-O? PSRO? Is that pronounced "peesroh"? These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night.

Thanks for reading!!