Click on the cover images below to view tables of contents, award poems, and essays from recent issues.
Plainsongs’ title suggests not only its location on the Great Plains but also its preference for the living language, whether in free or formal verse. Published twice a year from our home base in Hastings, Nebraska, Plainsongs presents poems that seem to be aware of modernist and postmodernist influences, not necessarily by imitation or allusion, but by using the tools provided by that rich heritage. Featuring poetry that runs the gamut from traditional to experimental, from realist to surrealist, Plainsongs strives to capture the multiplicity of voices, including those of feminist, nonwhite, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ writers, that make up this vibrant and diverse Midwestern soundscape. Poets from all fifty states and many foreign countries contribute regularly to Plainsongs.
Plainsongs poetry magazine was named recipient of the 2010 Jane Geske Award by the Nebraska Center for the Book. The Jane Geske Award recognizes a Nebraska association, organization, business, library, school, academic institution, or other group that has made an exceptional, long-term contribution to one or more of the following fields in Nebraska: literacy, reading, book selling, books, libraries, or writing.
Plainsongs began in 1980 at Peru State College and was published at Hastings College from 1983 to 2020. Former editors include Dwight Marsh and Laura Marvel-Wunderlich. Eric R. Tucker was the editor of Plainsongs from 2015 to 2023. Associate editors include poets Becky Faber, Michael Catherwood, and Eleanor Reeds.