Staff and Teaching Artists

Matt Mason

NWC Executive Director

Matt Mason has been Executive Director of the NWC since 2009, greatly expanding the reach of its Poets On Loan program while adding an Omaha affiliate of Chicago’s Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival to the lineup. He excels at coordinating large projects and at recruiting professionals and volunteers to the causes the Nebraska Writers Collective. This work earned him a 2014 Governor’s Arts Award in the Emerging Leader category.

Matt was named Nebraska State Poet in 2019 and has been featured in Ted Kooser’s weekly newspaper column “American Life in Poetry.” He has been on six teams at the National Poetry Slam and has won a Pushcart Prize and two Nebraska Book Awards for his work. He was also tapped by the US Department of State to implement poetry programs in Nepal, Botswana, Belarus, and Romania.

In addition to his duties with the Nebraska Writers Collective, Matt has served as the president of the board of directors for the Nebraska Center for the Book and is the Nebraska State Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recital program sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Stacey Waite

NWC Lincoln City Coordinator

Stacey Waite is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and has published four collections of poems: Choke, Love Poem to Androgynythe lake has no saint, and Butch Geography. Waite’s articles on the teaching of writing have appeared most recently in College Composition and Communication and Writing on the Edge. Waite’s newest book is Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing published in 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Press.

Core Teaching Artists

Nicholas Bell

Nicholas Bell attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned his BA in Creative Writing. He then went on to pursue his graduate degree at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina where he received an MFA in Poetry. He now works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Nebraska Writers Collective, where he also serves as a Core Teaching Artist for the annual youth poetry festival known as Louder than a Bomb. He is the program director of Writers Block, which brings local artists into prisons to teach poetry workshops to inmates throughout Nebraska. 

Devel Crisp

Devel Crisp is a Spoken Word Poet, Actor and Teaching Artist for the Nebraska Writers Collective and the Omaha Community Playhouse.  He has traveled across the US as the 2016 Omaha Slam Poetry Champion and won an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Best Performance Poet in 2017. 

Gina Keplinger

Gina Keplinger has competed at both the National Poetry Slam (NPS) and the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). In July 2018, she was awarded a writing residency with the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her creative work can be found in Black Heart MagazineLeopardskin & LimesShot Glass Journal, and Nebraska's Emerging Writers. She is currently pursuing an MA in English at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Pat McEvoy

Pat McEvoy has served as an NWC Teaching Artist since 2012 and has been a Core Teaching Artist for the past three years. He has extensive performance poetry experience, including competing on three teams at the National Poetry Slam. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Celie Knudsen

Celie Knudsen is a poet and spoken word artist based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. She has competed at CUPSI, the national college poetry slam, twice in Chicago and Philadelphia and is the coordinator of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln fall poetry slam series. She is the winner of the 2017 Irby F. Wood Prize in poetry and has been published in Laurus Magazine. 

Colleen O’Doherty

Colleen O'Doherty has had her poems published in 13th Floor (2018), Burnt District and The Flatwater Stirs (2017). Her plays have been produced with Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee (2017), Cone Man Running Productions in Huston (2017), Cleveland Public Theater (2018), Funky Little Theater Company in Colorado Springs (2018) and What's On Tom Productions in Kilkenny, Ireland (2018), among others. She has earned Theater Arts Guild awards for her performances in such plays as Doubt (Best Supporting Actress) and Speech and Debate (Best Ensemble) at Snap! Productions. She earned an Omaha Performing Arts nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England in 2017. She has directed and acted for the Great Plains Theater Conference for almost a decade. She has her MFA in play and screenwriting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Board of Directors

Carolyn Anderson
Ayanna Boykins
Michelle Friend
Michael Hollins
Chris Hochstetler
Casey Logan
Tina Lonergan
Carol Kloss McClellan
Ana Palma
Ferial Pearson