February 27 Framing the Flame: Art That Ignites
Program begins at 6:30 PM; cash bar opens at 5 PM

In partnership with the Nebraska Writers Collective (NWC), Joslyn is pleased to welcome Matt Mason, Ryan Boyland, Gina Keplinger, Fernando Montejano, and Traci Schacht—notable writers and members of NWC who will each present a unique piece of poetry or prose in response to a work of art in the special exhibition, Fact and Fiction in Contemporary Photography. Framing the Flame is a 60-minute gallery walkthrough designed to shed light on the ekphrastic experience and visual art's ability to inspire and engage other artists.

MATT MASON is the Nebraska State Poet and Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective. He runs poetry programming for the State Department, working in Nepal, Romania, Botswana and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his poem “Notes For My Daughter Against Chasing Storms” and his work can be found in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. The author of Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know (The Backwaters Press, 2006) and The Baby That Ate Cincinnati (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2013), Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia.

RYAN BOYLAND is a writer and wanderer currently based out of Omaha, Nebraska. After he studied neurobiology and astrophysics in college, his love for both science and poetry motivated him to combine the two at every opportunity. His work addresses issues of identity, love, and death. And stars. Because they’re cool. His goal through his performance is to touch minds and hearts around the world, and considers it a victory every time he is able to do so.

Despite being relatively new to the world of poetry, Ryan nonetheless has begun to leave his mark on the stages he graces, earning a spot on the Omaha National Poetry Slam (NPS) team, as well as earning the opportunity to represent the city of Omaha on the international level at the Individual World Poetry Slam, both in 2018, his first year of eligibility. In 2019, Ryan served as a member of the Omaha Poetry Slam competition team, traveling to share his stories on stages at Rustbelt and the Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam. His work has been featured on Button Poetry, and can be found on SoundCloud, Facebook, and YouTube.

In the past, Ryan served as a Teaching Artist with the Nebraska Writers’ Collective, where the amazing work of his students constantly warmed his “cold [sic], cruel [sic] heart.”

When he is not writing, Ryan enjoys listening to music, stargazing, and being Black, mixed in with the occasional intense discussion regarding the validity of the Star Wars prequels.

As Program Manager of the Nebraska Writers Collective (NWC), GINA KEPLINGER works closely with the youth slam poetry festival, Louder Than a Bomb Great Plains. She leads writing workshops inside correctional facilities through Writers’ Block, an NWC-sponsored program that brings creative opportunities to incarcerated writers. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Rumpus, Young Scholars in Writing, One Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, Black Heart Magazine, Nebraska’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology, and Leopardskin & Limes. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

has been writing and performing in Omaha since 2010, his senior year in high school. He started his journey reading at open mic nights in the old market, testing his performance mettle with slam poetry. As he and his writing grew, he began using his poetry as therapy, a way to better see the world through his mental illnesses. Now Fernando has been invited to read at events hosted by organizations like The Boys and Girls Club, NAMI, and, of course, The Nebraska Writers Collective. During the day, Fernando works at a school for high risk youth with developmental disabilities and coaches poetry after school for Louder Than A Bomb. Fernando is working towards his first full length book of poetry, writing a comic book centering around mental illness in the superhero world, and just generally trying to keep it together.

is a performance poet and storyteller. She works for the Nebraska Writers Collective as a coach for Louder Than A Bomb, the high school slam poetry program, and as a Core Teaching Artist for their middle school program. She is a traveling artist for the Nebraska Arts Council representing the Poetry Out Loud program as well as a teaching artist in residence with the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Ne. She was the 2019 winner of the OEAA for best performance poet. Recently she has been collaborating with local musicians and comics. She has a bossy cat, Hondo Mo, and a judgmental dog, Jack, who will howl his feedback. Having not started writing poetry until she was 42, after a severe car accident, she credits slam poetry and storytelling with being a large part of her healing journey and one of the main reasons why life for her is such a darned good time.

This program is FREE for members; special Thursday evening ticket pricing $5 for general public adults.  We are no longer accepting advance registrations. Tickets will be issued to walk-ins as space permits. 

For more information, please contact Joslyn's Director of Adult Programs at (402) 661-3862 or sseverson@joslyn.org.