Nebraska Authors

Matt Mason

Born 1968 Omaha, NE (USA)

Matt Mason has organized poetry programming with the State Department in Nepal, Romania, Botswana, and Belarus. He has over two hundred publications with numerous honors including a 2013 Pushcart Prize for his poem “Notes For My Daughter Against Chasing Storms.”

Mason has been appointed Nebraska State Poet, 2019-2023, (succeeding Twyla Hansen).

Mason is well known as an advocate for poetry. He serves as executive director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, through which he promotes the Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival (since 2011). He has served as board president of the Nebraska Center for the Book and has served as the Nebraska State Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, a Poetry Foundation/National Education Association program. Mason founded and administers poetrymenu.com, the Nebraska poetry website, important for literary news and events statewide. He writes that "Galway Kinnell and slam poetry changed my life... I love poetry which entertains as well as it influences and touches..."

Mason's 2018 poem "The Start" was published by the New York Times in 2021, in response to violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Mason is the spouse of poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown.

Places Lived

Bellevue, NE
Omaha, NE
Santa Clara, CA
Des Moines, IA
Davis, CA
Denver, CO
Grand Forks, ND

Author Of

  • Poetry
  • Other


Slam Poetry; Editorial; Poetry Performances


Bachelor of Arts in English, Santa Clara University
Master of Arts, University of California-Davis


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 17 January 2008
1994 American Academy of Poets Award
2006 Nebraska Book Award for Best Anthology
2007 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry
2007 Pushcart Prize nomination
Finalist for Nebraska State Poet
Nebraska State Poet, 2019-2023

Also noted for poetry performances including National Poetry Slams in Albuquerque (2005), Austin (2007), Chicago (2003), Minneapolis (2002), and Oakland, (2008), as well as many local performances.


Local poetry slams
Runs Morpho Press


Old Froggo's Book of Practical Cows. 1997. (chap book)
Desire for More Cows. 1998. (chap book).
A Blessing and a Curse. 2000.
Coffee and Astronomy and Other Poems. 2001.
A Still, Small Voice. 2001.
Mistranslating Neruda. 2002.
The Great American Road Show. 2003.
When the Bough Breaks. 2005.
Slamma Lamma Ding Dong: An Anthology of Nebraska's Slam Poets. 2005. (editor)
Things We Don't Know We Don't Know. 2006.
Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry. 2007. (contributor)
Filling the Empty Room. 2010. (editor)
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017. 2017. (contributor)
The Baby That Ate Cincinnati. 2013.
I Have a Poem the Size of the Moon. 2020.

Matt Mason was the featured author of the January 2008 Ames Readings Series:

In September 2019, Matt and Stacey Waite were the featured authors of the John H. Ames Reading Series:

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Matt Mason

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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)