Nebraska authors invited to WSC for poetry and fiction

Alexander Retzlaff, Reporter

The Wayne State College Press attracted students and community members when they sponsored the Plains Writers’ Series event on Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Humanities building lounge.

The Nebraska Plains Writers’ Series is a free event where Nebraska authors are invited to WSC to share some of their poetry and fiction. The event consisted of four poetry authors: Heidi Hermanson, author of “Waking to the Dream” earned her Masters’ degree in Writing from University of Nebraska-Omaha; Todd Robinson, author of “Mass for Shut-Ins” and a professor at UNO; Ruth Williams, an associate professor at William Jewell College and the author of “Flatlands”; and Miles Waggener, the author of four volumes of poetry, with the most recent, “Superstition Freeway,” released in 2018.

The authors found different inspirations for their works. Robinson felt reading in general was his greatest inspiration. Williams decided to express her emotions in the guise of a poem at the advice of a friend.

“I had a lot of time to think and dream, and poetry seems like the right medium for someone who likes to be himself and to dream,” Waggener said.

Despite their successes, the published authors faced numerous challenges throughout their careers. However, they all agree that time and motivation may be their biggest roadblocks.

“The biggest challenge is always not writing, which is really easy to do,” Robinson said. “It always is, ‘Am I writing a lot?’ and then it’s, ‘Am I writing stuff that is interesting, transporting, beautiful?’ And often, those two problems are related. That’s the whole challenge right there.”

Students like junior Katie Flower and alumni Tana Buoy felt they enjoyed the event, with Flower describing the event as an interesting way to meet new people.

“I love coming to Plains Writers just because hearing other authors gives me inspiration to be a better writer,” Buoy said. “I loved the topic that [Waggener] read about, and the way he delivered.”

WSC Press manager Chad Christensen organized the event, and felt it satisfied guests and succeeded in drawing in new attendees.

“We get a lot of returning people,” Christensen said. “We get new students who are seeing [Plains Writers Series] for the first time, faculty, people off campus. We get to see the readers or authors we bring in, they get really excited about a welcoming audience and a chance to share their stuff. That really makes it rewarding.”

Fellow Nebraska poetry authors William Trowbridge and Neil Harrison plan to share their work in the next Plains Writers Series event, which is scheduled for Mar. 21 in the Humanities building lounge.