Nebraska Authors

Jonis Agee

Born 1943 Omaha, NE (USA)

Agee lived north of Omaha in a rural farming area until age 7, then moved to Missouri for several years before returning to Omaha, where she attended Central High School. She finished college at the University of Iowa, and recieved her M.A. and Ph.D. in English form SUNY Binghamton in Binghamton, NY. She lived in Los Angeles, CA and taught at the college level in Minnesota and Michigan and Minnesota again before returning to Nebraska where she is Adele Hall Professor of English.

"I own land in the sandhills of Nebraska, outside Valentine and continue to go there for peace and quiet and inspiration." Several of her novels have been set in the Sandhills, including Strange Angels, The Weight of Dreams, and The Bones of Paradise.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Columbia, MO
Versailles, MO
St. Charles, MO
Iowa City, IA
Binghamton, NY
Los Angeles, CA
St. Paul, MN
Ann Arbor, MI
Lincoln, NE

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry


Midwest fiction; Sandhills; Poetry; Short Stories; Novels; Essays;


Graduated from Central High School, Omaha
Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, University of Iowa
Master of Arts Degree in English, State University of New York-Binghamton, NY
PhD in English, State University of New York-Binghamton, NY


Teacher of Literature and Creative Writing
University of Nebraska, Adele Hall Professor of 20th-Century Fiction and Creative Writing

Places Worked

College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Macalaster College, St. Paul, MN
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Dept. of English, 2000-


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 18 January 2001 and 23 October 2016
Nebraska 150 Books honor for Strange Angels, 2017
Omaha Public Library "Omaha Reads" selection, 2017, for Bones of Paradise.
Nebraska Center for the Book "One Book One Nebraska" selection, 2022, for Bones of Paradise.
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction
Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship in Fiction
Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, Bend This Heart were each named Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times
Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Fiction
Loft-McKnight Fellowship in Fiction
Nebraska Book Award for fiction published in 1999 and 2000
ForeWord Magazine's Editor's Choice Awards for Taking the Wall
Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road


Spouse is writer Brent Spencer


Houses. 1976. (long poem)
Aquila Rose Chapbook Series. 1978. (chapbooks)
These Women and Secrets. 1978. (editor, fiction collection)
Mercury: A Short Story 1981. (story chapbook)
Two Poems. 1982. (chapbook)
Border Crossings. 1984.
Stiller's Pond. 1988.
Pretend We've Never Met. 1989.
Bend This Heart. 1989.
Sweet Eyes. 1991.
Strange Angels. 1993.
My Mother's hands. 1994. (chapbook)
A .38 Special and a Broken Heart: Short-Short Stories. 1995.
South of Resurrection. 1997.
The Weight of Dreams. 1998.
Taking the Wall. 1999. (short stories)
Acts of Love on Indigo Road. 2003.
The River Wife. 2007.
The Bones of Paradise. 2016.

Ames Reading Series presentations:

January 2001:

October 2016:

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Jonis Agee

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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)