When you're out on the plains of Nebraska, there is very little to obscure your vision. And I think that's why the visions of Nebraskans have been so far reaching in their impact…Today we can see Nebraska reflected in classic works by people who are some of the great writers of the world and we continue to produce great writers. Bill Kloefkorn, "Writers on the Plains," 1997
Nebraska has a diverse literary landscape, spanning from the diaries of our first explorers and pioneers, through the columns of Nebraska's earliest newspapers, to modern poets and best selling novelists. We inherit a literary tradition informed and nurtured by Nebraska as a place, a people, a heritage. It is a tradition of striking quality and scope for a state relatively sparse in population.
Careful cultivation of connection and community among Nebraska's writers explains some of the ambition and the unique quality of the state's literary tradition. If writing itself is solitary, support and constructive criticism from teachers and peers has helped writers find their voices and their subjects. The fiction of Willa Cather and the histories of Mari Sandoz are recognized as among the most knowledgeable and detailed explorations of the settlement of the last American frontier. Native Americans have found Nebraska poet John Neihardt's record of his encounter with Black Elk crucial in preserving their own spiritual traditions and history. Nebraska has produced some of the English language's most widely published and influential nature writers. Nebraska poets and mystery writers, social critics and romance novelists, historians and journalists have achieved regional, national and international recognition. There are myriad and sometimes surprising historical and personal connections between these writers. This website will allow you to explore some of those connections.
The literature of Nebraska exemplifies our state and our website is an opportunity for readers everywhere to experience Nebraska through the voices of our great writers. NebraskaAuthors.org celebrates individual writers and the community of Nebraska authors; it is a tribute to the creative continuation of Nebraska's wonderful literary tradition.