Conversation Is My Livelihood

Mike, Russell, and John – Dannebrog – 8.17.15
copyright Stuart Chittenden

Stuart’s Story

As an expat Brit new to Omaha ten years ago, I wanted to crack open the rigid carapace of “Nebraska nice” and reveal the intimacy of a people’s truer characters. In 2010 my wife and I began hosting conversation salons in our home reminiscent of those from Enlightenment France. Since then, spurred on by a spirit of curiosity, my belief in conversation’s benefits has motivated an active artistic and humanities practice centered around conversation-based interactions. I develop and deliver a variety of conversational programs and engagements for individuals and organizations. Continue Reading…

Committed To The Art Of Writing Is My Livelihood

Paul’s Story

I particularly like the title of this blog – Livelihoods – in how it reflects the artistic attitude and the artistic challenge. Pursuing one’s livelihood is an act of securing all the necessities of life. For many authors and artists, it is difficult to do that in a single career or a single passion. Continue Reading…

Poetry Is My Livelihood

Twyla Hansen, Nebraska State Poet, accepted the Word Sender Award from the John G. Neihardt Foundation November 9, 2014 at the Laureate’s Feast.   Read about Twyla Hansen in this re-blogging of “Poetry Is My Livelihood” originally posted January 2014.

Twyla’s Story
I did not attempt creative writing when I was young because I had no notion I could. My unlikely path to poetry—to creativity, really—was detoured by everyday life: growing up, marrying, starting a family, working, attending college as a non-traditional student. By the time I graduated with a degree in horticulture, I thought I knew what I wished to do and where I was headed. Not exactly.

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Poetry Is My Livelihood

Twyla’s Story
I did not attempt creative writing when I was young because I had no notion I could. My unlikely path to poetry—to creativity, really—was detoured by everyday life: growing up, marrying, starting a family, working, attending college as a non-traditional student. By the time I graduated with a degree in horticulture, I thought I knew what I wished to do and where I was headed. Not exactly.

Continue Reading…

Coaching Young Voices Is My Livelihood

Sara Lihz’s Story
I went to my first poetry reading the year I learned to drive. The host, an enthusiastic if a bit awkward man, was the most energetic thing behind the mic. I was determined to outdo him, so I read my poem about how much I hated my parents (I was 16) with gusto. After the reading, the host came over, introducing himself as Matt Mason, and asking if I wanted to do a feature reading at the Bookworm with William Kleofkorn, a real, honest-to-god poet.

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Louder Than a Bomb Is My Livelihood

Matt’s Story
Louder Than a Bomb is a festival where high school poets compete with their poetry. Yes, I know this sounds ludicrous. It kind of is. Which is why it’s so much fun.

Run by the nonprofit Nebraska Writers Collective, schools and organizations send teams LTaB who have been writing and working on performance with a coach for anywhere from one to nine months. They all get two preliminary bouts and maybe a “post-season” of semi-finals and finals bouts where they put up four individual poems and one group poem (written and performed by four team members) against three other teams. After each poem, judges chosen from the audience hold up numbers from zero to ten and, at the end of the night, determine a winner.

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