Nebraska Authors

Sarah McKinstry-Brown

Born 1977 Albuquerque, NM (USA)

Winner of two Nebraska Book Awards, Sarah McKinstry-Brown studied poetry at the University of New Mexico and in the University of Nebraska MFA in Writing program under Missouri's poet laureate, William Trowbridge. She's been published everywhere from West Virginia's standardized tests to literary journals such as Rattle and The South Dakota Review. Sarah lives in Omaha with her husband, , and their two bright, feisty daughters.

Author quote: "Slam poetry and spoken word were a huge influence on my early writing, as was Carolyn Forché's The Country Between Us."

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Sheffield, England
Albuquerque, NM

Author Of

  • Poetry


BA in Creative Writing, Poetry, University of New Mexico, 2001
MFA in Poetry, University of Nebraska Low Residency Program, 2010


Research Assistant
Creative Writing Instructor

Places Worked

University of Nebraska
Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, NE


Featured Reader, John H. Ames Reading Series, Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors
Blue Light Poetry Prize, 2008
Academy of American Poets Prize, 2010
Blue Light Book Award, 2010
Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for Cradling Monsoons, 2011
Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2013, 2014, 2015
Nebraska Book Award for Poetry Anthology for The Untidy Season, 2014
Semi-Finalist, SPIR at the University of Mississippi, 2016
General Contributor, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 2016
Nebraska Book Award winner, 2020, for This Bright Darkness


Spouse of Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason


When You Were Born. 2005.
Cradling Monsoons. 2010.
This Bright Darkness. 2019.
The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets. 2013. (co-editor with Liz Kay, Jen Lambert and Heidi Hermanson)

Slamma Lamma Ding Dong: An Anthology by Nebraska's Slam Poets. 2005.
The Spoken Word Revolution Redux. 2007.
Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry. 2007.
A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. 2008.
The History of a Day. 2015.
River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century. 2015.
Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867-2017. 2017.

Smartish Pace
Green Mountains Review
The South Dakota Review
The Briar Cliff Review
Sugar House Review
Tinderbox Poetry Journal
Ruminate Magazine
The Chicago Quarterly Review
Cimarron Review
The Sow's Ear Poetry Review

In April 2017, Sarah McKinstry-Brown was one of the authors to read from their works in an Ames Reading Series program, which can be viewed here:

January 2012 Ames Reading Series program:

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Sarah McKinstry-Brown

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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)