Nebraska Authors

Nancy McCleery

Born 1933-03-21 Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Died 2017-02-19
Lincoln, NE

The author combines poetry with other art disciplines (visual art, dance, theatre). McCleery took part in Nebraska Arts Council's artist residency program. She made small handmade books, contributed libretti for musical theater compositions. She worked as Artist in Residence in over 100 schools and communities over the course of her career.

McCleery studied with poets Greg Kuzma and Bill Kloefkorn.

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
Hastings, NE
Broken Bow, NE
Pittsburgh, PA
Pensacola, FL
Key West, FL
Princeton, NJ
Little Britain, NY
Anchorage, AK

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry


Poetry; Libretti; Poetry Reviews;


BS and MA from University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Poetry writer for Saltillo Review
Writing consultant
Self-employed poet
Artist in the Schools/Communities in NE, MT, AK

Places Worked

Colleges/Universities in Tarkio, Missouri and Anchorage, Alaska


John H. Ames Reading Series, Featured Reader, 17 January 1991, 17 March 1994 and 14 November 2002
1986 and 1980 Individual Artist Grants, Alaska Arts Council
1990 Merit Award Poem, 'Codicil to a Will,' AK Arts Council
1977 Scholarship, Carolyn Kizer's W'shop, Centrum, Port Townsend, WA
1978-88 3 Travel Grants AK Arts Council
1971 Academy of American Poets Award, Third Prize, UN-L
1971-1973 Regents Scholarships, UN-L
1995, Recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council Merit Award
Poetry included in Nebraska Poets Calendar


Mother of Nebraska poet David McCleery
Composer Robert Walters (used McCleery's poems as libretti)
Julie Baugnet, photographer


Forty Nebraska Poets. 1981.
Night Muse. 1981.
Staying the Winter. 1987.
Polar Lights. 1994.
Postcards From London. 1985.
All My Grandmothers Could Sing. 1999. (contributor)
Girl Talk. 2002.
Blown Roses. 2001.
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017. 2017. (contributor)

January 1991 Ames Reading Series:

March 1994 Ames Reading Series:

November 2002 Ames Reading Series:

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to heritage@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

Nancy McCleery

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

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