Mike Mennard
Mike Mennard turned the music from his CD "Pirates ... Do the Darndest Things!" into a musical called "That's What Makes Them Pirates!" (Courtesy Photo)

The Lincoln Journal Star has dubbed Mike Mennard "Nebraska's Poet Laureate of Silliness," but he likes to call himself a "Renaissance Man for Kids."

Since 2004, Mennard has performed his children's music throughout the United States and has recorded five CDs, the latest titled "We've Got it All in Nebraska."

This year, he will release his first collection of kids' poetry, "To the Ledge at the Edge of the Universe." He also plans to record a sixth album, with a pirate Christmas theme.

An English teacher at Union College, Mennard has won awards and accolades as a poet, author, folklorist, songwriter, speaker and storyteller.

He promotes literacy through music, speaking and performing in classrooms across the state.

To encourage students to participate in the arts, he holds poetry contests for elementary students, with Mennard turning the winning poem into a song.

He lives in Lincoln with his wife, Michelle, and son, Ramsey. For more on Mennard and his music visit his Web site at www.mikemennard.com.

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