Spring Gathering 2016

Stacey Waite

On Friday, May 6th, the Nebraska Writing Project gathered together TCs from all over the state to celebrate the State of NeWP. Stacey Waite, acting director, opened up the ceremony by declaring the state of NeWP to be strong, and jokingly pointing out that she didn’t manage to “sink any of the Nebraska Writing Project ships” during Robert Brooke’s sabbatical.

Her good humor was followed by entertainment provided by high school slam poets who competed in Louder than a Bomb this year and also represent members of the Young Writers Camp. They were Jack Buchanan from Lincoln High School, Ashley Marco from Waverly High School, and Tiara Crites and Rose Gaffner from Lincoln Southwest.

After the Slam Poets wowed the audience with their rhythmic riffs, the military veterans of the Lincoln Warrior Writers group shared three of their pieces.

Finally, after a break, Stacey continued the program by presenting Paula Baker from Pyrtle Elementary with the NeWP Administrator of the Year Award of Recognition for her commitment to writing education in her district.

Paula Baker
Paula Baker

The final award of the evening was the Carol MacDaniels Teacher of the Year Award which Dr. Robert Brooke presented to Jeff Grinvalds of Westside High School.

Jeff Grinvalds and Robert Brooke
Jeff Grinvalds and Robert Brooke

Finally, here is a gallery of some other images from the evening. Hopefully, we’ll see all of you at the Spring Gathering in 2017! Two quilts were raffled off at the end of the night!



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NeWP @ NETA 2016

NETA Participants

The Nebraska Writing Project continued its partnership with NETA for the second year in a row by attending the April 21-22 NETA Conference and sharing four presentations.

The NeWP NETA representatives for this year were Jeff Grinvalds, Technology Liaison; Brenda Larabee, Co-Director; Jodie Morgenson, Waverly High School; and Tiffany Young who teamed up with Amy Johnson both from Pyrtle Elementary.

Check out the presentation reviews below!

Jodie Morgenson
Jodie Morgenson

Jodie Morgenson presented her “Blog Magic: A Versatile Tool for the Classroom and Beyond” session on Thursday afternoon.

She discussed ways that blogs can be useful for both students and teachers, as well as things that have worked and NOT worked for her. The session seemed to perk up when Jodie mentioned that her blog had received attention from a European news station and ultimately landed her students and her some airtime on European television. Euronews reached out to Jodie when they did a Google search for “Vine in Education” and her post about using Vines to teach Shakespeare’s Macbeth popped up in the results. Jodie also gave tips for how to set-up and manage student blogs and comments and shared resources for student and teacher blogs. If you are interested in these resources, you can view the links here: bit.ly/1r2u2oL If you’re interested in reading her blog, you can find it here: morgetron.edublogs.org

Tiffany and Amy
Tiffany and Amy

Tiffany Young and Amy Johnson presented on Friday afternoon. 

They demonstrated one way to use a wordpress.com website to communicate with parents and publish student writing. They also provided how-to documents for creating and maintaining the website.  Participants had the opportunity to either begin creation of their own website or practice on a pre-made website created by Tiffany and Amy.   If you want to know more about using wordpress.com websites to communicate with parents or publish student writing, contact Tiffany attiffanytairayoung@gmail.com or Amy at akjohn100@gmail.com. You can access the how-to documents at the following website: https://websitesthatwork.wordpress.com/

Brenda Larabee
Brenda Larabee

Brenda Larabee showed about 10 teachers who attended her session at NETA on Friday afternoon how to bring authenticity into their classrooms, by creating for a real-world audience using Adobe Slate.

She showed how her own students flourished after studying a book and creating their stories using multiple apps and presenting them through Adobe Slate. She also demonstrated step-by-step how to create a Slate from beginning to end.  Participants were able to create their own stories worthy of publication prior to leaving the 45 minute session. Brenda would welcome questions or comments about Adobe Slate or Adobe Voice at blarabee@stuartbroncos.org.  The notes for her presentation can be accessed at http://goo.gl/c3Ecw5

Jeff Grinvalds
Jeff Grinvalds

 Jeff Grinvalds presented on Friday afternoon as well.

He taught a group of fifty teachers how to use Doctopus and Goobric to streamline their grading. Doctopus and Goobric are add-ons for Google Chrome that make grading Google Classroom assignments quick and easy. The session went well with most of the teachers following along and trying it out or taking pictures and notes. If you want to learn more about Doctopus and Goobric, feel free to contact Jeff at grinvalds.jeff@westside66.net. You can access instructions here

In addition to presenting, NeWP representatives met with hundreds of potential participants for our Summer Institutes. The enthusiasm of teachers at NETA is nothing short of awesome! We hope to be back next year!

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Poetry from the Plains

Poetry from the Plain poster - details below

Join us for a Poetry Reading for the website launch of “Poetry From the Plains: A Nebraska Perspective” poetryfromtheplains.org

Date: April 30, 2016
Time: 2:30-4:00 PM
Place: UNL Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, 14th & S Street, Lincoln
Poets Reading: Twyla Hansen, Lenora Castillo, Allison Hedge Coke, Matt Mason

Free and open to all.  The public is welcome.

The new website, “Poetry From the Plains: A Nebraska Perspective” (poetryfromtheplain.org: launch date April 30, 2016) is a web resource for Nebraska poetry.  It features selected poems, scholarly essays, and historical resources about Nebraska poets whose work addresses the cultural and geographical richness of the Great Plains.  The website is hosted by UNL’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, and supported by grants from Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council.  The development directors are Twyla Hansen, Nebraska State Poet, and UNL English faculty Robert Brooke and Stephen Behrendt.

Eight Nebraska poets are currently featured on the website.

The three officially recognized state poets:

  • Twyla Hansen, Current Nebraska State Poet
  • William Kloefkorn, First Nebraska State Poet
  • John Neihardt, Nebraska Poet Laureate in Perpetuity

Five additional contemporary poets whose work is explicitly centered in the cultural and natural landscapes of the Great Plains, and represents vibrant cultural and poetic traditions in the region:

  • Lenora Castillo, Latina poet from Lincoln
  • Allison Hedge Coke, American Book Award indigenous poet
  • Yvonne Hollenbeck, award-winning cowgirl poet-rancher
  • Matt Mason, Omaha slam poet, Executive Director of Nebraska Writers Collective
  • Don Welch, Neruda Award winner poet from Kearney

On the website, each poet is represented by several of their poems and essays about their writing by scholars at UNL.  Additional resources include a list of other notable Nebraska poets, historical essays on the earliest poets active in Nebraska, and an annotated bibliography.  The site will be an ongoing project of the Nebraska State Poet, the UNL Department of English, and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.

Four of the poets featured on “Poetry From the Plains: A Nebraska Perspective” will read from their work at the Poetry Reading.

Dr. Robert Brooke

John E. Weaver Professor of English

Director, Nebraska Writing Project

202 Andrews Hall

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE 68588-0333

(402) 472-1807

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