Nebraska Authors

Barbara Schmitz

Born 1945 Omaha, NE (USA)

Born in Omaha, Barbara Schmitz grew up where "the Platte and the Missouri rivers meet and kiss" and taught writing and literature at Northeast Community College for thirty years, founding the Visiting Writers Series there. Two of her poetry books, including How Much Our Dancing Has Improved, have won honors from the Nebraska Center for the Book. Schmitz recounts her spiritual search in her memoir Path of Lightning: A Seeker's Jagged Journey (2012). Always The Detail won Honor Book in Poetry in 2015.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Norfolk, NE

Author Of

  • Play/Screenplay
  • Poetry


Poetry; Plays; Poetic Prose


Bachelor of Arts in English, Wayne State College, Wayne, NE
Master of Arts, 1971, University of Nebraska - Omaha, Omaha, NE
Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO



Places Worked

Northeast Community College, Norfolk, NE
Wayne State College. Wayne, NE


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 19 February 1987 and 19 November 1998
Received $1,000 Encouragement Award from Nebraska Arts Council, 1997
Reading at Nebraska Literature Festival, Kearney, 1992
2005 Nebraska Center for the Book Award for Poetry.


Studied with Allen Ginsberg and helped Ginsberg assemble his notebooks, 1977
Poets-In-Schools (selection board), 1983-85
The Plains Writers Circuit (project director), 1992-93, 1995-present
Studied under Neihardt, William Stafford, Kathleen Spivack
Featured author at the 2007 Wayne State College Language Arts Festival.


Moonstone: A Book of Moon Poems. 1982.
Making Tracks. 1985.
Lives of the Saints. 1996.
How to Get Out of the Body. 1999.
How Much Our Dancing Has Improved, 2004.
What Bob Says. 2010.
Path of Lightning : A Seekers Jagged Journey. 2012.
Always the Detail. 2014

In Collections:
All My Grandmothers Could Sing.
Poets of Nebraska.
The Decade Dance.
Plain Sense: Poems By Outstate Nebraska Poets.
Path of Lightning: A Seeker's Jagged Journey. 2012.
Always in Detail.2015.
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017. 2017.(Contributor.)

February 1987 Ames Reading Series presentation:

November 1998 Ames Reading Series presentation:

In October 2017 Barbara Schmitz was one of the authors to read their work in an Ames Reading Series program, which can be viewed here:

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Barbara Schmitz

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)