book an engagement

Sarah ReadsSarah’s extensive experience in workshops, seminars, and readings has opened countless minds to the wonders of poetry, and she can bring these skills to your school, business, or event. Most of her experience and achievements are available on this website, but a full résumé is available on request.

Payments are based on a sliding scale to accommodate all budgets, and are available by appointment only. Please contact Sarah so she can tailor a session to your needs.


“When I began hosting poetry festivals for local high school students over six years ago, Sarah was one of the first people who stepped up to share her immense talent and enthusiasm for the written word with our students. Over the years, her talent for inspiring even the most reluctant writers and hidden poets among these young people has been a sight to behold. I am impressed by how she always bring fresh activities, is willing to share her own work, and how she gracefully guides students in their own writing. She is a natural teacher who has the capacity to work with students in large groups and individually.” - Daniel Boster, English Teacher, Ralston High School

“Sarah is a great poet and poetry teacher. Her fun, creative workshops inspired my students to create extraordinary poems through description and imagination. Her humor and warmth created such a comfortable atmosphere that even the most reluctant writers were participating. I can’t recommend her enough.” - Kerry Johnson, Teacher, Uta Halee Girls Village

“I’ve known Sarah for half a dozen years; heard, read, and admired her work; seen her teach. She is an enormously talented, award-winning writer and teacher, poised and generous with students and community, passionate about her work.” Lisa Sandlin, Chair, Writer’s Workshop & author of The Famous Thing About DeathMessage to the Nurse of DreamsIn the River Province, You Who Made the Sky Bend and The Do-Right.

“Sarah’s poetry writing workshop is a great team building exercise for all size groups. She led the Omaha Network members through her poetry-writing workshop and received rave reviews.” Jill Slupe, Founder and CEO Verde Martin

“The poems in Sarah’s stunning first collection are “accessible” in the best sense of that word, in the sense that Stephen Dunn’s, Dorianne Laux’s, and Ted Kooser’s are. The subjects come mostly from everyday life-Picture Day at school, a Folgers commercial, comfort food, December in Omaha, “the Tall, Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed, Smart, Talented Woman who Keeps Hitting on my Husband” -in which the poet discovers the extraordinary. The lines seem like intense conversation, but they are, at the same time, deeply engaging poetry that shows a mastery of sound and rhythm and a gift for creating fresh, radiant metaphors.” William Trowbridge, Missouri State Poet, Author of Ship of Fool and Put This On, Please

“The experience during the writing workshop was a way for me to open my mind to poetry in general, and Sarah’s playful format made it easy to personalize-by the end I was thinking of all the things I could write an Ode to! For the group, the workshop was a fun opportunity to come up with something we could all share and remember; creating an ode together helped us to reflect upon our shared experiences and celebrate the team!” Lydia Catone Operations Coordinator, College Possible

“It’s been the mission of the Good Thunder Reading Series for all of its 30+ years to bring some of the most vital and exciting voices in contemporary writing to our stage. Sarah McKinstry Brown’s deep-felt work, along with her passionate presentation style, guaranteed our audience would remember her visit for years to come.” - Richard Robbins, Professor of English & Director of Creative Writing, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Director of the Good Thunder Reading Series, 1986-2014

“As the coordinator of the MCC Writing Center Reading Series, one of my goals is to bring in featured readers who will appeal to the diverse audience that is our student body. It is difficult to find artists who are widely accessible while still challenging their listeners to reexamine the world and consider new points of view. Sarah McKinstry-Brown is that rare artist who thrills and challenges. After her most recent visit to MCC, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the responses roll in from students who had never been to a poetry reading, perhaps never even read a poem, and to see how energized and excited they were following her visit was deeply rewarding.” Liz Kay, English Faculty, MCC

“Sarah hosts poetry-writing workshops for our residents and a great time is had by all.  The first group of poems she wrote with our residents were typed up and displayed on our walls within a few days of her visit because we were so impressed with them.  So many people have had the chance to stop and enjoy the poems; I’ve had numerous compliments on the work generated in Sarah’s poetry-writing workshop. We are thankful that Sarah continues to share her time and talent with us.” - Erica N. Brock, Recreation Director/Volunteer Coordinator, Good Samaritan Society- Millard

“I consider Sarah’s Poetry as Witness class to be one of the best classes I have taken at UNO. I left everyday feeling like my mind was literally working in different ways. Her class made me not only familiar with, but empathetic toward the plight of human crisis. In that invaluable class I learned the difference between media reporting and creative witnessing and how to use language and rhetoric on multiple platforms to tell real stories.  I left each class feeling hope that one day I could make an impact on a larger scale with something as small as a poem! I was recently awarded an internship with PEN American Center, which I applied for because they are a nonprofit which blends advocacy / humanitarian work and creative writing, which are two passions I have that I didn’t realize I could blend until I took Sarah’s class!” - Alexandria Hodge, Pen American Center Intern & Graduate Student, University College of London’s Institute of Education.

“Sarah’s writing and poetry is profound, totally common, and always beautiful in the way truth is a type of beauty.  I collaborated with Sarah on a series of paintings I did blindfolded.  I commissioned her to title the paintings, as I had no idea what they looked like, and I totally trusted her vision and insight.  She exceeded all expectations and many if not most of the paintings sold due to the strength of her titles.

I believe Sarah to be one of the preeminent writers in the world today.” - Bill Hoover, Hoover Studios

selected workshops/panels/presentations

Uta Halee Girl’s Village; 2004, 2010

Vermillion Literature Festival; 2005

National Poetry Slam, sponsored by A Room of Her Own Foundation; Albuquerque, NM; 2005

University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Intro to Poetry; 2005

Girl’s Inc.; 2006

Ralston Poetry Festival; 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010

Midland Lutheran College; Fremont; 2008

Bellevue West; 2010

Vermillion Literature Festival; 2005, 2011.

Catching the Spark: Creative Writing Workshop for ESU 3 Gifted Program; 2013, 2014.

How to Build a Writing Life Post-MFA; University of Nebraska; 2013.

The Persona Poem: Breathing Life Into Core Curriculum; Omaha Nation Public School; 2013.

Body Language: Engaging the Five Senses to Make Writing a Physical Experience; The Lied Center for Performing Arts; 2014.

Intimate Impressionism And The Persona Poem; University of Mankato; Mankato, MI; 2014.

selected readings

The Plains Poetry Festival; Wayne State College; 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009

Nebraska’s Festival for the Book; 2002, 2007

Brownville Festival for the Book; 2003, 2006, 2009

Briar Cliff College; Sioux City, IA; 2003

Morningside College; Sioux City, IA; 2004

Midland Lutheran College; Freemont; 2004

KUNM FM’s, “Spoken Word Hour;” Albuquerque; 2004

Joslyn Art Museum; Joslyn College Night; 2004

Omaha Public Library-Sorensen branch; 2004

Briar Cliff University; Sioux City, IA; 2004

Kearny State University Reading Series; 2005

The Downtown Omaha Lit Fest; 2005, 2006, 2007

Doan College; Crete, NE; 2005

Women of Note; Lincoln; 2005

Briar Cliff College; Sioux City; 2005

Midland Lutheran College; Fremont; 2005

The Holland Performing Arts Center; Day of the Arts; 2005

University of Nebraska-Kearney; Reynolds Writers and Readers Series; 2005

Northeast Community College; The Visiting Writers Series; Norfolk; 2005

Wave Books Poetry Tour Bus; Omaha; 2006

University of Nebraska-Kearney; Reynolds Writers and Readers Series; 2006

The Milton Writer’s Conference; Vermillion, South Dakota; 2007

Mount Marty College; 2007

Vermillion Literary Festival; University of South Dakota; 2007

UNO Library’s Criss Reading Series, 2010

Mount Marty College; Yankton, SD; 2007, 2011, 2012.

Vermillion Literary Festival; University of South Dakota; Vermillion, SD; 2007, 2011.

The Writer’s Place; Kansas City, MO; 2011.

The Nebraska Arts Council Braided River Series; Omaha, NE; 2011.

Metropolitan Community College; Omaha, NE; 2011, 2014. 2015.

John H. Ames Reading Series; Lincoln, NE; 2012.

Briar Cliff University; Sioux City, IA; 2012.

Letras y Voces: El Museo Latino Reading Series; Omaha, NE; 2013.

Creighton University; Omaha, NE; 2014.

University of Mankato; Mankato, MI; 2014.