Nebraska Center for Writers

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About Twyla Hansen


Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet
Copyright © 2011
by Twyla Hansen and Linda Hasselstrom
The Backwaters Press, 2011

A sharp prairie wind blows through this paired collection, driving away all sentimentality and soporifics about the West along with the detritus of the past century. Twyla Hansen and Linda Hasselstrom have given us the words and rhythms of their lives. — Mary Clearman Blew, author of Jackalope Dreams and This is Not the Ivy League

Just an ordinary love song. Covering the quite ordinary span of extraordinarily lived lives of rapt attention. It’s a duet I’d love to hear sung in Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, or the 11th Street Bar in Bandera, Texas.” — David Lee, So Quietly the Earth and The Porcine Canticles

In Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, Twyla M Hansen and Linda M Hasselstrom reflect on the influence of the Great Plains. These seasoned poems celebrate clouds, water and the earth; as well as their love of all things farm and ranch, green and blooming, feathered and furred, wild and domesticated, warm and breathing. "Two of the most significant poetic voices in our region, our nation—together at last. The music they create is a miracle, born of the generations, of soil and sky, wildflowers and birdsong, flesh and spirit. This book is a song to help reorient our relationship to the earth and to each other. A song to live by. — John T Price, author of Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships

How little and how much a poet can do to gentle the world — that’s what the poems in Dirt Songs show. Poets, the lesser and the great, look at each day and address it. We write of deer, dogs, grandmothers, fathers, lovers, wars, news and breakfast. The poems in Dirt Songs are mugs of drip coffee shared over a scratched table; they are not tiny cups of cappuccino in a wi-fi cafe. They ask you to roll up your sleeves, stay awake, pay attention, and grab a pen. — Alex Mergen, Rattle, April 2012

These poets complement one another and while each poet retains her distinctive voice, their two voices have the harmony that characterizes the best duets. The landscape of the West sings along with them through their poetry. — 2012 WILLA Literary Awards judge comment

In Our Very Bones
Copyright © 1997
by Twyla Hansen
A Slow Tempo Press

In poem after poem ... Hansen seeks out solitary discoveries. Her literary ancestors, Walt Whitman, Theodore Roethke, and Mary Oliver have taught her that the ways of nature can be read and interpreted as lessons for the inner self, what Whitman dared to call the "soul" in his famous visionary poems "Song of Myself" and "A Noiseless Patient Spider." — Steven Schneider, Nebraska Territory

Prairie Suite: A Celebration
Copyright © 2006
by Twyla Hansen & Paul Johnsgard

Hansen has a good ear for the music of landscape and language. Prairie Suite is a work that strives to make the elements of the natural world of the tallgrass prairie a part of our personal and cultural imaginations [,…] a celebration of the things we too often overlook and the things that still persist in spite of all we’ve done to them. — Tom Lynch, Assistant Professor of English, University of Nebraska — Lincoln

Potato Soup
Copyright © 2003
by Twyla Hansen
Backwaters Press
How to Buy

Twyla Hansen has written about true things — a book full of honest speech by a poet who loves the small beauties of everyday life, one you'll share with people you care about for years to come. — Jonis Agee

Potato Soup is rich with climate, place, color, detail and life, capturing within the covers of a single engaging and lovely collection so much of our part of the planet. — Ted Kooser

Twyla Hansen connects the human and the natural worlds in surprising — and often stunning — ways. A poet of the prairie, she is equally a poet of the human spirit. — William Kloefkorn

Sanctuary Near Salt Creek
Copyright © 2001
by Twyla Hansen
Lone Willow Press

Each poem rises, elevating our understanding of the world and ourselves. — Susanne George-Bloomfield

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