The Prairie Art Brothers and Kearney Public Library invite you to celebrate poetry throughout the month of April 2023 with How the Light Gets In: Celebrating Poetry in Central Nebraska. We have a variety of events and projects planned to recognize, inspire and celebrate how poets view our world and our feelings.
We took the name of our event from the lyrics by poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen from his 1992 song, Anthem. Like most of his work, the song explores religion, isolation, loss and — ultimately, redemption:
We feel that poetry offers a slight opening in the darkness of the world, a place where the bright light of hope, insight and thoughtfulness can shine through. You can join us to help celebrate poetry during the month of April 2023 with a list of events featuring poets from Kearney and Nebraska.
Events are free unless noted
|Friday||March 31, 2023||7:30 p.m.||Screening of Dead Poets Society||The World Theatre||$|
|Saturday||April 1, 2023||4 p.m.||Open Mic Poetry Reading||The G.W. Frank Museum|
|7:30 p.m.||Screening Dead Poets Society||The World Theatre||$|
|Sunday||April 2, 2023||2 p.m.||Screening of Dead Poets Society||The World Theatre||$|
|Monday||April 3, 2023||1 p.m.||Celebrating Poetry: More About Poems||Kearney Public Library ||$|
|Tuesday||April 4, 2023||Noon||Workshop with poet Bruce Whitacre||Kearney Public Library||$|
|7 p.m.||Reading by poet Bruce Whitacre||Kearney Public Library|
|Monday||April 10, 2023||1 p.m..||Celebrating Poetry: More About Poems||Kearney Public Library||$|
|Tuesday||April 11, 2023||Noon||Workshop with poet Matt Mason||Kearney Public Library||$|
|7 p.m.||Reading by poet Matt Mason||Kearney Public Library|
|Sunday||April 16, 2023||3 p.m.||Open Mic Poetry Reading||Kitt's Kitchen & Coffee|
|Friday||April 21, 2023||7 p.m.||Cowboy poets R.P. Smith, Jake Riley||The Archway|
|Thursday||April 27, 2023||Noon||Workshop with Adkins, Plettner & Saiser||Kearney Public Library||$|
|7 p.m.||Reading by Adkins, Plettner & Saiser||Kearney Public Library|
In addition to readings by established poets and writers, How the Light Gets In includes opportunities for writers in the community to contribute to the festival. We will be collecting poems, writings and ideas through March 27, 2023, for a community poem. Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason will use the writings and ideas of community members to create a group poem.
The deadline is March 27, 2023.
You can contribute to the project by downloading a form here, print it, entering your poem/ideas and take it to a drop box at Kearney Public Library, 2020 First Ave., Kearney. You may also email your work to:
Matt will synthesize the material, move ideas around, incorporate lines or use the writings for inspiration — all on the theme of Kearney’s 150th anniversary. Matt encourages poets to write about what keeps them in central Nebraska, the strong sense of history in Kearney and even their hopes for the future.
Matt Mason will reveal a video recording of the community poem at the final event of the festival at 7 p.m., Monday, April 27, 2023, during a reading with Lincoln poets Lucy Adkins, Amy Plettner and Marjorie Saiser.
Staff at the Kearney Public Library will create a physical display of poems and poetic thoughts on their Poet-Tree — with words contributed by the public. Come to the library to help build this creative and interesting display where you can include your efforts and read the work of others.
How the Light Gets In: A Celebration of Poetry in Central Nebraska is presented with the support of:
The Nebraska Arts Council
The Nebraska Cultural Endowment
Kearney Public Library
You can help support this project in several ways:
Spread the word – Remind your friends about the events and encourage them to attend. Posting information on social media also helps to let community members know about the project.
Participate – Attend the events, share your poetry, watch the videos and purchase a copy of the companion book, Swimming Against the Light.
Financial Support – You can also support Prairie Art Brothers by donating funds to the organization through Kearney Area Community Foundation. Visit the website or call 308-237-3114 for details.