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The first Backwaters Press reading tonight: Hansen, Schmitz, Kuzma, Catherwood

State Poet Twyla Hansen reads from her work tonight along with three other Nebraska writers in the first of the new Backwaters Press reading series at Shelterbelt Theater in Omaha. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the theater at 3225 California St.

Hansen, who was named Nebraska state poet last year after William Kloefkorn passed away, is the third poet to hold the post after Kloefkorn and John Neihardt. Two of her books were published by Backwaters Press.

The Backwaters Press is a nonprofit small press in Omaha that has published mostly poetry since1997; poet Greg Kosmicki is the editor.

Poet Greg Kuzma has written several dozen books, including the 2007 book "All That is Not Given is Lost," published by Backwaters Press. Kuzma, who has himself edited a small press, has been published in The New Yorker magazine and has taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also an essayist whose reviews of books of poems by nature writers have appeared in Prairie Schooner. He moved to Nebraska after receiving bachelor's and master's degrees from Syracuse University.

Barbara Schmitz has taught at Northeast College in Norfolk, Neb. Her books include "How Much Our Dancing Has Improved" (Backwaters Press, 2005, winner of the Award for Poetry from the Nebraska Center for the Book).

Michael Catherwood's book "DARE" was published by Backwaters Press. He has taught at Creighton University.