Nebraska Authors

Marjorie Saiser

AKA: Marge

Born 1943 El Paso, TX (USA)

Image of Marjorie Saiser

Image of Marjorie Saiser

Marjorie Saiser is the author of eight volumes of poetry. She has won critical recognition, including an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Vreelands Award, the Nebraska Literary Heritage Award, the Mildred Bennett Award for exceptional literary contributions, the Willa Award, and several Nebraska Book Awards. She has co-edited two anthologies: Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace: Writing by Women of the Great Plains (with Lisa Sandlin and Greg Kosmicki, and Road Trip: Conversations with Writers (with Shelly Clark). Her novel-in-poems, Losing the Ring in the River, served as the basis for Brigid Amos's play of the same title, produced in 2018 by the Angels Theater Company at the Johnny Carson Theater in Lincoln.

Student of Bill Kloefkorn.

Ted Kooser has said that "no contemporary poet is better at writing about love" than Saiser. - Kooser quoted from his column "American Life in Poetry," Lincoln Journal Star 1-15-2017.

Places Lived

Naper, NE
Blair, NE
Lincoln, NE
Green Valley, AZ

Author Of

  • Poetry




Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, 1965, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Master of Arts Degree in Creative Writing, 1980, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE



Places Worked

Meadow Lane Elementary School, Lincoln, NE


Featured Reader, John H. Ames Reading Series, Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room: 1992, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2013, 2017
Vreelands Award, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1980
University of Nebraska, Lincoln Academy of American Poets, 1981
Outstanding Educator Award, 1992
Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s Literary Heritage Award, 1999
Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 1995, 2002
Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for Bones of a Very Fine Hand, 2000
Literature Fellowship, Nebraska Arts Council, 2000
Merit Award, Nebraska Arts Council, 2000
Special Mention, Pushcart Prize, 2003
Best Cover Design/Illustration, Nebraska Book Awards, Nebraska Center for the Book, for Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace, 2003
Poetry Honor Book, Nebraska Book Awards, Nebraska Center for the Book, for Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace, 2003
Nebraska Book Award for Best Anthology for Road Trip, 2004
Nebraska Book Award for Best Cover Design/Illustration for Road Trip, 2004
Leo Love Award, Taos Summer Writers Conference, 2007
Distinguished Artist in Poetry, Nebraska Arts Council, 2009
Little Blue Stem Award in Poetry for Beside You at the Stoplight, 2009
WILLA Award for Losing the Ring in the River, 2014
The Mildred Bennett Award for service to Nebraska's writers and readers, 2016
Nebraska 150 Books honor for Lost in Seward County, 2017
Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for The Woman in the Moon, 2019
High Plains Book Award for Poetry, 2022


Nebraska Literary Heritage Association
Prairie Trout Writing Group
Audubon Society
Nebraska Writers Guild
Society of Southwest Authors
Larksong Writers Place, board member


Bones of a Very Fine Hand. 1999.
Lost in Seward County. 2001.
Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace. 2002. (Co-editor and contributor)
Moving On: Poems., 2002.
Road Trip. 2003. (Co-editor)
Beside You at the Stoplight. 2010.
Rooms. 2010.
Losing the Ring in the River. 2013
Fearing Water. 2013.
I Have Nothing to Say About Fire. 2016.
The Woman in the Moon. 2018.
Learning to Swim. 2019.
The Track the Whales Make: New and Selected Poems. 2021.

Contributor to:

Gleanings: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction From the Workshop for Poets and Storytellers. 1979.
Adjoining Rooms. 1985.
Songs for the Granddaughters. 1986.
Wellsprings: A Collection of Poems From Six Nebraska Poets. 1995.
Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West. 1997.
Woven On the Wind: Women Write About Friendship in the Sagebrush West. 2001.
Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the West. 2004.
Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry. 2007.
The Untidy Season: Poetry by Nebraska Women. 2013.
Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer's Block and Transform Your Life. 2013.
Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai. 2013.
Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. 2013.
It's About Time. 2016.
To Unsnare Time's Warp: Poems and Stories about Dogs. 2016.
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017. 2017.
Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems. 2017.
Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time. 2017.
Misbehaving Nebraskans: An Eclectic Collection of Poetry, Stories, and Art. 2017.
Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness & Connection. 2019.
Local News: Poetry about Small Towns. 2019.
More to Come: Tribute to Ted Kooser. 2020.
Pandemic Puzzles. 2020.
How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. 2021.
Stories that Must Be Told. 2021.
The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy. 2022.

Works published in:

American Life in Poetry
Atlanta Review
Briar Cliff Review
Chattahoochee Review
Cider Press Review
Cimarron Review
Crab Orchard Review
Cream City Review
Dos Passos
Fine Lines
Fourth River
Georgia Review
I-70 Review
Laurel Review
Mud Season
Nebraska Life
Poet Lore
Poetry East
Prairie Fire
Prairie Schooner
Smartish Place
Third Wednesday
Water-Stone Review
Writer's Almanac
Zone 3

Marjorie Saiser has been a featured reader in the Ames Reading Series program a number of times, both as an individual and as part of group readings. The programs can be viewed here:

In May 2023, Marjorie and the other members of Prairie Trout Writing Group appeared in an Ames Reading Series program and discussion:

April 2017, one of the authors to read from their works:

October 2013. Her appearance begins at the 33 minute 45 second mark in the video:

October 2011 program:

September 2003 appearance:

October 1999 presentation:

April 1999 program:

December 1992 reading:

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Marjorie Saiser

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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)