Nebraska Authors

Robert Vivian

Born Omaha, NE (USA)

Vivian grew up in the Dundee neighborhood in Omaha. At the beginning of his career it looked as if he would be mainly a playwright, and he was very successful as such, but Vivian has also developed into a novelist (the Tall Grass Trilogy) and, especially, a much-admired essayist.

"Something is Wrong" was staged by the Blue Barn Theatre of Omaha; he has also had more than twenty plays staged in New York City.

Vivian was an All-State Baseball Player before he became an English major and a playwright.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Lincoln, NE
Alma, MI

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Play/Screenplay
  • Poetry
  • Nonfiction


Essays; Playwright; Personal Writing; Novels; Literary Fiction


High School Diploma, Omaha Westside High School, Omaha, NE
Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1990, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha, NE
Master of Arts Degree, 1994, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha, NE
Ph.D., 2001, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE


Professor of Creative Writing

Places Worked

Alma College, Alma, MI


2002 Nebraska Book Award in Non-Fiction for Cold Snap as Yearning
2002 Midland Writers Award Winner for Adult Non-Fiction for Cold Snap as Yearning
Essay chosen for Best American Essays of 2014
Numerous essays nominated for Pushcart Prize


University of Nebraska Press
Ladette Randolph was Vivian's first editor at University of Nebraska Press.
Kristen Elias Rowley
Linda Pratt
Ted Kooser


Something is Wrong. (play)
Cold Snap as Yearning. 2005.
Lamb Bright Saviors. 2010. (Flyover Fiction series, edited by Ron Hansen)
The Least Cricket of the Evening. 2011.
Another Burning Kingdom. 2011. (Flyover Fiction)
Water and Abandon. 2012. (Flyover Fiction)
The Mover of Bones. 2012. (Flyover Fiction)
Mystery My Country. 2016.

Essays represented in
Fourth Genre
Sycamore Review
South Dakota Review
Salt Hill
Creative Nonfiction
Onset Review

Poetry represented in
New York Quarterly
Columbia Poetry Review

The author has published over 20 plays and numerous essays.

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Robert Vivian

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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)