Staff, Teaching Artists, & Board
Staff and Teaching Artists
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 has been a Finalist for the position of Nebraska State Poet and was 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.
Michelle Troxclair is the Deputy Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective and has worked to improve operations and program efficiency for the organization since 2014. She is a mother of 3 who has worked over the past 20 years in both non-profits and the arts. She holds a Bachelor’s in English, a Master’s in Public Administration and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Poetry, all from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Michelle is a poet/ spoken word artist, arts coordinator and advocate, spending the past 17 years honing her craft.. Having surrounded herself with talented artists in all genres, she has hosted open mics including her latest as a co-host with Felicia Webster of Verbal Gumbo, now entering its 5th year. She is a founding member of the spoken word troop, The Wordsmiths, who perform poetry and storytelling in the African American Oral Tradition around the state and are part of Humanities Nebraska’s Speakers Bureau. The troop was recently selected as Artists-in-Residence for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’ Carver Bank program.
Michelle has worked with a number of organizations and causes for the betterment of her community and artists including FLIYE Arts, Juneteenth Nebraska, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Creighton University College of Business, and more.
Steve Langan is founder and director of the Seven Doctors Project, a Nebraska Writers Collective program formed in 2008 and originally based at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He also teaches in the University of Nebraska MFA in Writing program and the University of Nebraska at Omaha English Department. Langan is the author of three collections of poems–Freezing, Notes on Exile and Other Poems, and Meet Me at the Happy Bar. He serves as executive director of HONOReform Foundation, a national patient advocacy organization dedicated to safeguarding the medical injection process.
Stacey Waite is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and has published four collections of poems: Choke (winner of the 2004 Frank O’Hara Prize), Love Poem to Androgyny (winner of the 2006 Main Street Rag Chapbook Competition), the lake has no saint (winner of the 2008 Snowbound Prize from Tupelo Press), and Butch Geography (Tupelo Press, 2013). Waite’s poems have been published most recently in The Cream City Review, Bloom, Indiana Review, and Black Warrior Review. Waite is also the co-host of the radio podcast Air Schooner produced by Prairie Schooner.
Core Teaching Artists
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 in Charlotte, North Carolina at Queens University where he received an MFA in Poetry. He now works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Nebraska Writers Collective, where he serves as a Core Teaching Artist for the annual poetry festival Louder than a Bomb: Great Plains. He is also the program director of Writers’ Block, an NWC program offering poetry workshops to inmates in prisons throughout Nebraska.
Devel Crisp is a writer, spoken word artist, and actor who also serves as a creative consultant through his business E.O.M. Authentic. He has been with the NWC since 2013 when he coached the Omaha North Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains team. He has extensive performance poetry experience, and has participated in the National Poetry Slam and in the Individual World Poetry Slam
Gina Keplinger participated in LTAB as a student and has returned to coach teams after graduating as she pursues an English degree and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Black Heart Magazine, Laurus Magazine, and Leopardskin & Limes. She has competed at both the National Poetry Slam (NPS) and the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI).
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.
Colleen O’Doherty is working towards her MFA in Playwriting at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has her MA in Teaching from the College of Saint Mary. She has been teaching for three years and has taught with Omaha Public Schools and Millard Public Schools. She is a board member of SNAP Productions and has acted in many theaters around Omaha.
Board of Directors
Tina Lonergan, Vice-President
Carol Kloss McClellan
Ana Palma, Secretary/Treasurer
Bradley Watkins, President