Barbara Schmitz


Barbara Schmitz is emeritus professor of English at Northeast College (Norfolk, NE.) where she taught literature and writing for thirty years, coordinated the Visiting Writers Series and was an editor for Elkhorn Review.

She has published in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Laurel Review, Nebraska Review, South Dakota Review, Iconoclast, Poetry Motel, Chiron Review, River Styx, and Kansas Quarterly, and in several anthologies, most recently Nebraska Presence, and Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace. She is the author of Making Tracks (Suburban Wilderness Press), The Lives of the Saints (Main-Traveled Roads #8, l996), How to Get Out of the Body (Sandhills, 1990), The Upside Down Heart (Sandhills, 2003), and How Much Our Dancing Has Improved (Backwaters Press, 2005, winner of the Award for Poetry from the Nebraska Center for the Book). Her most recent collections are What Bob Says (Pudding House 2010), Path of Lightning: A Seekers Jagged Journey (Pinyon Publishing 2012), Always The Details (Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2014, winner of the 2015 Nebraska Center for the Book Award for Poetry), What Bob Says (Some More) (WSC Press 2018).

Former Writer-in Residence at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, she won a Nebraska Arts Council Grant in 1997, and she is on the staff of The Caravan of the Beautiful (Sarasota, Fld.), teaching writing to spiritual seekers.

Selected Works

What Bob Says (Some More) is about pleasure and delight, talking and listening/not listening, sex on the porch, being right, giving up, God, hearts and wings, yogurt, books, sirens, red/blue ambulance lights, happily ever after.
A deep drink of human joy and sorrow. Songs of Living Aware, richly.
"By the end of this chapbook, Bob has become as real as your crazy uncle.
--Phil Wagner
“Barbara Schmitz is the Lucinda Williams of the poetry world.”
--Paul Zarzyski
“. . . chillingly honest. Schmitz is a courageous poet. She tells us the truth.”
--Greg Kuzma
Intense narrative poems about poet’s pilgrimage to Israel
"Schmitz endeavors to understand 'the mystery and beauty of being alive.' I name her the Queen of Constancy for her devotion to meditation and never letting up of giving up on her spiritual journey. Enjoy the rich trip."
-- Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones