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Students Have Works Published in New Softcover Book

Students Have Works Published in New Softcover Book

NORFOLK, Neb. -- When it comes to generating the written word and art, some Northeast Community College students are bound to have their work end up in collections.

That's because the best writing, poetry, and artwork submissions have been chosen for “Voices Out of Nowhere 2024,” a softcover 181-page book generated by Northeast students. Work chosen for the collection was unveiled on Thursday, May 2, in Union 73. 

Bonnie Johnson-Bartee, Northeast English instructor and Visiting Writers Series coordinator, oversees the annual effort that started in the 1970s. 

 Johnson-Bartee told those attending the 2024 unveiling that this is one of her favorite projects during the school year. It is easy to see why.  

There were about three tables extended together, featuring artwork and photography from the students displayed. All the works shown on the tables were in the book. In addition, students read some of the prose and poetry published in the book.  

While not every published piece will connect with every person, there are plenty of varied art subjects and written pieces bound to connect with various ages and interests. 

Topics include fear, parents, lost love, time, animals, youth, nature and more. Some works combine several themes. 

The judges for the contest were people who did not know the students, and the students’ identities were hidden as another way to keep submissions anonymous. 

The judges were published writers, passionate readers, and representatives from the Norfolk Arts Center. Poetry judges were Scott Abels and Neil Harrison. The prose judges were Jessica Chamberlain and Jen Ippensen. Art was judged by Sherry Ruden and Dustin Southwork. 

Winners were: 

Poetry – 1. Katherine Edminsten, “Love Letter to a Previous Owner.”  2. Sophia Wostrel, “june nights.” 

Prose – 1. Alex McKeown, “Ex Marks the Spot.” 2. CJ Bates, “Monster.” 

Madison Parker had the artwork chosen for this year’s book cover. 

Parker, who is a first-year student from Tilden majoring in preprofessional radiologic technician, said the idea for her artwork was inspired by her major. The illustration is a detailed drawing of a rib cage, including a spine and clavicle. 

It was drawn by hand by Parker during her senior year at Elkhorn Valley High School last May. While Parker said she enjoys art, she hopes to work in a field involving CT scans, so she will have another year after she completes the program. 

Free copies of Voices Out of Nowhere will be available at the Northeast library while they last. 

Book Cover cutline

Madison Parker, a first-year student from Tilden, had one of her drawings chosen this year for the cover of “Voices of Nowhere,” a new paperback that contains prose, poetry, artwork, and photographs of Northeast Community College students. (Northeast Community College)