Writers of all kinds are invited to attend the annual Writer’s Workshop, hosted by the York College English Department on Saturday, April 13. This year’s featured speaker will be Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason and will take place in the Miller Room of the Mackey Center (1125 E 8th St).

The free event will include a lecture and reading from Mason at 2 p.m., followed by a reception and book signing at 3 p.m. The workshop component will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend, though registration is requested. Participants should be ready for a full range of experiences, including reading, writing, and sharing poetry.

Mason is the executive director of the Nebraska Writers Collective and has served as board president for Nebraska Center for the Book and as state coordinator for Poetry Out Loud. He has worked with Louder than a Bomb: Great Plains Festival, which develops and showcases teen poets. “What it does is brings students in who find that writing poems, they’re figuring out the world, they’re saying what’s important to them and they’re finding ways to say it in a powerful way so that people are listening to them,” Mason said of Louder than a Bomb in a recent interview on NET Radio.  

Mason was installed as the Nebraska State Poet in February. He will serve a five year term in the role, using the platform to bring poetry to communities and schools across the state. The selection process was led by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Library Commission, which looked for candidates with a history of both writing expertise and community outreach.

Mason and his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, live in Omaha. Mason’s work with poetry has taken him to Nepal, Romania, Botswana, and Belarus. He has published two full length books of poetry, including The Baby That Ate Cincinnati, as well as seven poetry chapbooks, including Old Froggo’s Book of Practical Cows. His poems have also appeared in many periodicals and anthologies. He performs poetry regularly at festivals, events, colleges and high schools, and libraries. His work has earned numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the Nebraska Book Award, and the Governor’s Arts Award for Emerging Leaders.

Mason holds degrees in English and creative writing from Santa Clara University and University of California, Davis.

Humanities Nebraska provides major funding for the Writer’s Workshop at York College. HN receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and private donations.