If there’s a heart to the sprawling body of Nebraska Literature, it’s quietly beating in the Heritage Room.                    

– Ted Kooser

The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s mission is to “encourage the collection, preservation, and promotion of work by and about Nebraska authors through support of the Lincoln City Libraries special collection, the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors, and to foster the creation and appreciation of this literature through programs, collaborative partnerships, and the use of technology.”

Lincoln City Libraries staff began developing this special collection in 1949. It was moved to its present location on the third floor of Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1978 and was supported by city funding until 1981.

When city funding was eliminated, due to fiscal constraints, the Junior League of Lincoln formed the Nebraska Authors Project to provide continued support for the growing collection. The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association (NLHA) grew out of this project. NLHA was established in 1983 under the auspices of the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries.

NLHA provides financial and programming support for the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors. The room currently houses more than 13,000 volumes representing more than 4,000 authors. Financial support comes from membership dues and from the Spelling Bee (begun in 1984). The Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries administers the Heritage Room Endowment Fund which contains funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant (1989) and funds deposited by NLHA. Money raised by NLHA helps maintain public access to the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors collection and supports NLHA programs.  NLHA membership news is published in the The Bookmark, the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries newsletter.

Programs sponsored by NLHA include the Writers Write workshop for 8th graders, the Lunch at the Library programs, and the Read to Me programs in elementary schools. All are designed to encourage an interest in reading and writing and to further knowledge and understanding of Nebraska authors.

Since 1988, NLHA has sponsored the Literary Heritage Award, currently presented at the annual Spelling Bee. This award recognizes a writer or a group that promotes excellence in writing and literature in Nebraska.

Membership in NLHA is open to anyone interested in supporting Nebraska authors.
Click here to join us!



The Nebraska Literary Heritage Association’s 32nd Annual Adult Spelling Bee

Float Like a Butterfly, Spell Like a Bee

Hosted by John Baylor

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

7:00 p.m. – Come early for dinner and conversation.

Single Barrel

10th & P Streets, Lincoln


Lunch at the Library

Bring your lunch and enjoy coffee provided by The Mill!  Programs begin at 12:10pm in the 4th Floor Auditorium

Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th Street, Lincoln, NE.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, support group for the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors

2015-16 Schedule

Wednesday, February 3: Aubrey Streit Krug, Doctoral Student UNL. Before Black Elk: John G. Neihardt’s Omaha Stories.

Wednesday, March 2: Pat Leach, Library Director, Lincoln Libraries. Notable Books 2014.
Wednesday, April 6: Phyllis Moore, Fiber Artist and Essayist. From Sampler to Sunset

For more information, call 402.441.8516; email:



John Ames Reading Series

The John Ames Reading Series, begun in 1985, showcases Nebraska authors reading their own works. This series is  provided by Lincoln City Libraries and held in the the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors.

Recent programs are available on demand through 5 CITY-TV at  Program DVDs are available for check-out and inter-library loans.

2015-16 Schedule

Sunday, March 13 – Steve Langan, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Erik Campbell and Bradford Tice, Poets

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s recent books are An Apparently Impossible Adventure (BlazeVOX [books]), Wake (Aldrich Press), and Leaves of Absence: An Illustrated Guide to Common Garden Affection (Red Dashboard). Her collaborative book Intimates and Fools with Sally Deskins is an Honor Book for the 2015 Nebraska Book Award. She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. She teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and at 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center’s online writing program.

Erik Campbell’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in New Letters, Tin House, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Rattle, and other literary journals. His first poetry collection, Arguments for Stillness (Curbstone Press 2006), was named by Book Sense as one of the top ten poetry collections for 2007. Red Hen Press will publish his second collection, The Corpse Pose, in spring 2016. A high school English teacher for many years, he is currently an adjunct professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University, but likely is not by the time you read this.

Bradford Tice is the author of two books of poetry: Rare Earth (New Rivers Press, 2013), which was named the winner of the 2011 Many Voices Project and a 2014 Debut-litzer finalist, and What the Night Numbered (Trio House Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Trio Award. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, as well as in Best American Short Stories 2008. His poetry was also selected as the winner of Prairie Schooner’s 2009 Edward Stanley Award. He currently teaches at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.

For more information, call 402.441.8516; email: