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Poetry in the Galleries



Graduate students in a writing seminar taught by author Kwame Dawes read original poetry in dialogue with artworks on view in the galleries of Sheldon on September 29, 2022. The poets are a part of the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, which attracts some of the most gifted writers emerging today. They hail from across the United States and around the world, bringing rich experiences and passions to this community of artists.

Kwame Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and essays. He is the George W. Holmes University Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He teaches in the Pacific MFA Program and is the Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Series, Director of the African Poetry Book Fund, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He is a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Editor of American Life in Poetry, Kwame Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Participating students and the artworks (by exhibition) to which they responded:

Sheldon Treasures
  • Kimberly Reyes (The Farmhouse by George Inness)
  • Syble Heffernan (Headlands, Monhegan by Rockwell Kent)

Clocking In: Visions of Labor
  • Shannon Valkr (Subway Drillers by Dan Rico, Paving by Joseph LeBoit, and Night Repairs by Louis Lozowick)
  • Bianca Swift (Mother of Us All, from the Queen Nanny of the Maroons series)
  • Caroliena Cabada (Dressing Room No. 1 by Dame Laura Knight)
  • Nathaniel Nelson (Files by Ian Davis)
  • Caleb Petersen (Cotton Bowl by Hank Willis Thomas)
  • Alina Nguyen (Lavanderia #5 by Christina Fernandez)
  • Ber Anena (Window Cleaning by Aaron Douglas)

Storyville: The Intersection of Abstraction, Allusion, and Depiction
  • Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (Intruders by T.L. Solien)
  • Penny Molesso (Pearl Farm II by Lisa Sanditz)
  • Ian Maxton (Wishing for the Farm by Elizabeth Murray)