Carl Sandburg

Prayers for the People

This hour-long, high-definition  NET Television production, taped at the Merryman Performing Arts Center at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), won an Emmy Award in 2010 for "Best Arts/Entertainment Program/Special" at the 2010 Heartland Regional Emmy Awards.

The program gives viewers the opportunity to rediscover Sandburg's work, especially as he celebrated the great expanse of the prairie and its people.

The stage performance was conceived and written by UNK English professor Kathryn Benzel. Featured performers in the program are Chuck Peek, UNK emeritus professor; Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate; and the musical quartet, Mike Adams & the Sandtones, performing songs Sandburg collected for "The Great American Songbag."

Peek and Kooser read several of Sandburg's poems, such as "Haze," "River Road," "Prairie," "Caboose," Shenandoah," "Sunset from an Omaha Hotel Window" and "Testament."  Interwoven with the readings are images of the prairie, people and the past.  Mike Adams & the Sandtones perform "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie," "Sucking CIder Through a Straw," "John B. Sails" and "The Wide Mizzoura."

"Carl Sandburg: Prayers for the People" was funded in part by the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  The program premiered during National Poetry Month (April) of 2009 and is shown periodically on NET Television.