Sunday Afternoon at the Museum at Neihardt State Historic Site

The Neihardt State Historic Site is offering two “Sunday Afternoon at the Museum” programs in March.  On March 8, 2015, Nebraska author and historian Melissa Amateis Marsh will discuss her research and publication Nebraska POW Camps:  A History of World War II Prisoners in the Heartland.  Ingeniously weaving fact and narrative, Marsh’s book tells the story of several camps in Nebraska—at Camp Atlanta, Fort Robinson, and Camp Scottsbluff—where Axis prisoners were held during World War II.  Reviewed in the latest volume of Nebraska History, the Nebraska State Historical Society quarterly, Sheryl Shmeckpeper of Norfolk Daily News writes, “Marsh’s book is a direct and easily readable account of a subject that has been long neglected.  It provides a glimpse into the camps—both the main camps and the satellite camps-scattered around the state.  It analyzes the reason for their existence, the daily life of the prisoners they held, and the impact of the camps and the prisoners on the area economy.  It also shares stories of the relationships forged between some of the prisoners and the Nebraskans they encountered.”


The following week, and just in time to kick off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Irish poet Desmond Egan will return to entertain us with poetry and story.   Egan lives in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland and visits the United States annually for a tour of readings and workshops. He appeared at the Neihardt Site in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2014, and will be here once more on March 15 to share some of his new works. Egan is recognized as one of Ireland’s most distinguished poets, teaching literature and serving as poet-in-residence at University College in Dublin and creative director of the annual Gerard Manley Hopkins International Summer School.  He certainly has universal appeal, with over twenty collections of poetry and prose translated into a more than a dozen languages; one example is an anti-apartheid poem which graces Desmond Tutu’s bedroom wall. His most recent publication September Dandelion is a dual-language (English/Chinese) collection of poems published in China this past March.  His work has been the subject of two documentary films, he holds an honorary doctorate from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and he continues to garner awards, such as the 2004 Macedonian Poetry Award.  His poetry is often humorous but more likely to be observations on the painful realities of poverty and war, such as his poem “Peace.”  Greatly influenced by American Jazz music, in the 1970s he used to come to New York to “starve about the place,” while absorbing the rhythms and nuances which color many of his works. Of his lighter pieces, among the most popular is his set of “Hokums,” an Irish blarney parody of Japanese Haiku poetry, a style he greatly admires for its simplicity and deep feeling.


Each presentation will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Neihardt State Historic Site.  General programs are free and open to the public with a reception following.  The John G. Neihardt State Historic site is located at 306 W. Elm Street in Bancroft, Nebraska. For information call 1-888-777-4667 or 402/648-3388 or e-mail at  Visit our website at and Like us on Facebook.

March SAM Program Poster

About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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