Nebraska Authors

Kathleene K. West

Born 1947-12-28 Genoa, NE (USA)

Died 2013-07-15
Las Cruces, NM (USA)

Genoa, NE (USA)

West worked in the "Poet-in-the-School" programs in Washington State and in Nebraska. She apprenticed as a letter-press printer with Copper Canyon Press and with Abbatoir Editions before pursuing her doctorate in literature. She published numerous collections of poetry. Her poetry appeared in All My Grandmothers Could Sing. See review in Prairie Schooner by Stephen Behrendt. West did research and travelled extensively in Cuba, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Beijing, Mexico, Latin America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua), Iceland, and the United Kingdom. She was a Fulbright scholar, spending two years in Iceland and was Professor of Poetry at New Mexico State University.

West worked as a reader of fiction for Prairie Schooner, and was poetry editor, Puerto del Sol at New Mexico State University.

Places Lived

Genoa, NE (1947-1967)
Lincoln, NE (1967-1969, 1982-83, 1985-87)
Wayne, NE (1980-81)
Omaha, NE (1981-82)
New Mexico

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Poetry


Creative Writing; Translation; Editing; Nebraska Subjects; Great Plains Subjects


Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1967, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Master of Arts Degree, 1975, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Ph.D, 1986, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE


Professor of English and Creative Writing, New Mexico State University
Printer and Book Designer

Places Worked

Public Schools in Nebraska and Texas
Apprentice, Copper Canyon Press, Townsend WA, 1978-79
Poet in Schools in Nebraska and Washington, 1975-81
Teaching Assistant, University of Nebraska -Lincoln, 1985-85
Professor at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Prairie Schooner


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 21 November 1985 and 15 April 2004
Fulbright scholar, ICELAND, 1983-85
Icelandic Government Scholar, 1983-84
Kenneth Patchen Prize for The Road to Mandalay.
Artist of the Year for Water Witching
Omaha Library Award, 1982


Elizabeth Bishop
Harry Duncan
Madeline DeFrees
David Wagoner


No Warning. 1977.
The Armadillo on the Rug. 1978.
Land Bound. 1978.
For My Brother, Kuzma. 1981.
The Garden Section. 1982.
Water Witching. 1984.
Plainswoman. 1985.
Songs for the Granddaughters. 1986. (chapbook of poetry by Friends of the Lincoln - Lancaster Commission on the Status of Women)
The Farmer's Daughter. 1988.
Leaning Into the Wind, 1997. (Contributor)
Death of a Regional Poet, Canto 1 1999.
The Road to Mandalay. 1999.
Romance Tercermundista/ Third World Romance. 2000. (bilingual)
Woven on the Wind. 2001.
The Summer of the Sub-Comandante, a novel. 2002.
Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry. 2007.
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017 (Contributor)
Nebraska: The Individual Voice. n.d.

Contributor to: Woman Poet, The West, Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Great Plains Poetry Anthology, All My Grandmothers Could Sing.

Kathleene West's presentations at the Ames Reading Series can be seen here:

November 1985:

April 2004:

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Kathleene K. West

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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)