Saturday, April 30, 2011


At Ground Zero, a disaster preparedness handbook by Mission Police Officer Marty Augustine, was reviewed in Saturday’s Kansas City Star, Page 5 of the Olathe News segment. If you don’t get that neighborhood tabloid, go online at 'At Ground Zero - a guide to disaster preparedness.

Marty will be at Books Plus, 6104 Johnson Drive in Mission (a couple of doors east of I Love A Mystery) at 1 pm today, Saturday, April 30, for a book signing.

Friday, April 29, 2011


In his Friday contribution to the writerswhokill blog Warren Bull has posted a review of his newest book, Murder Manhattan Style. Reviewer Susan Hillary tells what she likes and offers suggestions to Warren, and in turn, Warren asks his readers for their opinion.

It’s the blog posting for today, April 29, headed “Book Review and Question,” Check it out and leave a comment.


In the autumn of 1971, reports in the media portrayed for the American public “the image of a dysfunctional military on the edge of collapse. For a time (what happened at Firebase) Pace became the face of all that was wrong with the American troops during the extended withdrawal from Vietnam.”

Author William J. Shkurti, who served as an artillery officer not far from Pace, has used “declassified reports, first-person interviews, and other sources to reveal that these incidents were only temporary disputes involving veteran soldiers exercising common sense.”

Soldiering On In A Dying War: The True Story of the Firebase Pace Incidents and the Vietnam Drawdown will be published in May by the University Press of Kansas.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Bill James, better known for his books about baseball, such as 27 Men Out, or The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, now “examines our cultural obsession with murder – delivering a unique, engrossing, brilliant history of tabloid crime in America” with his new book, Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence.

Bill will be at the Plaza Branch, Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main, at 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 4, in a program arranged by Rainy Day Books.


A new book coming out in May “not only significantly updates the previous two-volume field guide Birds in Kansas but also reflects a more than 10 % increase in known species – 47 more than previously listed, including the Long-billed Murrelet, Ross’s Gull and the Broad-billed Hummingbird.”

No fewer than seven authors have contributed to the book: Max C. Thompson, Charles A. Ely, Bob Gress, Chuck Otte, Sebastian T. Patti, David Seibel, and Eugene A. Young.

Birds of Kansas, from the University Press of Kansas, “will be a vital addition to the library of anyone who seeks a better understanding of the diverse and ever-fascinating Kansas avifauna.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


William Sheldon, the author of two collections of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley Press) and Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill Press), is the winner in the professional category of the third week of the To The Stars Poetry Contest. His poem, Driving the Heart, is Poem No. 53 at 150 Kansas Poems.

You have one more chance to enter the contest. Fourth and final contest ends on Friday, April 29, theme is Blue Skies or Blossom, GO HERE for guidelines.


Or maybe not. In Jenna Blum’s new novel, The Stormchasers, when Karena Jorge’s twin brother, Charles, from whom she has been estranged for twenty years, goes missing from a Wichita mental-health clinic, Karena believes he may be chasing storms. Frantically searching for him, she overcomes her terror of severe storms to join a storm-chasing team.

With its vivid, eye-of-the-tornado descriptions, it sound like the perfect book to be reading while the skies around us darken and the air fills with the screeching howls of tornado warning sirens – or maybe not.

She’ll be at Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas Avenue, Wichita at 7 pm on Monday, June 6.


The last time Alarie Tennille was scheduled to read from her new chapbook, Spiraling Into Control, inclement weather intervened and the event was cancelled. The new date is 7 pm Tuesday, May 3, but still at the Johnson County Library Corinth Branch, 8100 Mission Road, Prairie Village.

Ordering information for the chapbook, and some examples to read, CLICK HERE.


Oh, my gosh, if Dan Pohl’s poem didn’t take me back a few years to a time when we neighborhood kids had access to a barn with a hayloft. It was a great place to play Hide-and-Seek.

Dan is the winner in the amateur category of the Week Three of the ToThe Stars Poetry contest with his A Hayloft Belongs to Children.

Go find it on And if you never played in, or even visited, a barn as a child, you can do it now in your imagination.

The fourth and final contest ends on Friday, April 29, the theme is Blue Skies or Blossom, and the guidelines are at


Winners of the Kansas Writers Association 2010 contest have been announced on their website at The 2011 contest will open in August and close in November.


In Journeys of Ursuline Academy & College: Photographs and Memories from Paola, Kansas, 1894-2009, Mildred Haley, lead writer, and Roger Shipman capture the day-to-day and person-to-person impact of the Ursulines on Paola and of the town on Ursuline. In addition to newspaper, yearbook, and historical society archives, the authors had the use of personal scrapbooks and photo albums loaned by local residents. Many current and former residents wrote personal narratives of moments they and the Ursulines shared when the academy and college were part of the Paola landscape and community.

The book is available at the Miami County Historical and Genealogical Society, 12 East Peoria, and from

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I had a lovely visit today with Lloyd Zimmer, of Zimmer Books and Maps, 117 SW 6th Avenue in Topeka. Zimmer’s specializes in used books, rare books, lovingly-preowned books, with emphasis on Kansas, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and regional history (including sports, to judge by the window display), and maps, and prints. (His walls are like an art gallery.)

Go to his website and you’ll find a link to a listing of part of his stock – he has a jillion catalogs ranging from Africa to Zoo, with Culinary Arts and Outlaws in between.

Zimmer’s is a regular stop on the Topeka First Friday Art Walks, and on May 6 will feature Max and Carol Yoho (more about that later).


That poem you just finished . . . or flash fiction . . . or personal essay is exactly what you need to enter the Whispering Prairie Press 2011 Writing Awards competition. The contest opens NOW, and ends on June 30, 2011

Poetry can be any style, any subject, limit 36 lines. Flash fiction is a complete fictional short story with a beginning, middle and end, 1,000 words or less. A non-fiction personal essay should be 1,000 words or less.

For all the details, prizes, entry fees, guidelines go to the Kansas City Voices website, and scroll to the bottom of the page. While you’re there, you might also look at the Calendar to see the upcoming events that will feature writers and artists whose work has appeared in previous issues of Kansas City Voices.


Big timber somewhere in Kansas? Surely giving places the name of Big Timber was the scheme of 19th Century railroad magnates, hoping to lure Easterners to come take up farming in far western Kansas.

One internet site mentioned a new book (I think it’s new, but I’m not sure) entitled Hampton and the Big Timber Valley: On The Fort Dodge – Fort Hays Trail. The town of Hampton ceased to exist many decades ago, but there once was enough of a town to leave a cemetery behind, located near Big Timber Creek which meanders through Big Timber Township in Rush County and flows northward to join the Smoky Hill River in Ellis County.

The internet is thorough, however, and before I finished pinpointing Big Timber Creek in Rush County, I had also found a Big Timber Creek in Cheyenne County, another in Jewell County, and yet a third Big Timber Creek flowing from Decatur County into Norton County.

Two Rush County neighbors, Carolyn Thompson and Shirley Higgins, are credited with writing the book. describes the book as having a ‘limited availability’.


Aqueous Books will be releasing its first 2011 publication, The Saints Are Dead, a collection of short stories by Aaron Polson of Lawrence. “The stories, which some might call dark magical realism, blur the lines between fiction genres as they move from horror to science fiction to fantasy.”

Monday, April 25, 2011


There’s a neat article written by Carol Ann Robb in the Pittsburg Morning Sun which mentions several books in which storms play a significant role. For example, Bonar Menninger’s recounting of the disastrous storm that hit Topeka in 1966 in And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado, and Nancy’s Pickard’s use of storms in her last two books, The Virgin of Small Plains and The Scent of Rain and Lightning.

The article even includes mention of Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz. The link to the page is HERE, but with newspapers, something new every day, the link may not be available too long. I wouldn’t wait.


Kipp Van Camp, the son of a veterinarian who became a people doctor, nonetheless developed a special interest in dogs, and a very special interest in a Bichon Frise (the comfort dogs of the French nobility) who joined the Van Kamp family in 1991.

Kipp will be talking about Chelsea Alexis, and the book he wrote about her, Always Allie, at 2 pm on Sunday, May 1 in the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Avenue, in the library’s ‘Afternoon with an Author’ series.

On Dr. Van Kamp’s website, he invites readers to share “Your Story”, complete with the name of your pet.


‘Branching Out’, a launch party for two new books, will be held at 7 pm on Friday, April 29, at the Plaza branch, 4801 Main St., of the Kansas City (MO) Public library.

Wyatt Townley’s new release is a book of poetry titled The Afterlives of Trees. The book uses trees as its motif to explore the theme of transformation, featuring her poems with exquisite black-and-white photographs by Michael Johnson. Wyatt’s poetry and essays have appeared in publications ranging from Newsweek to The Paris Review.

Roderick Townley’s new novel for children, The Door in the Forest, is a fantasy involving three kids at the midpoint of three towns, in the center of three streams, and in the heart of the forest. Roderick Townley is best known for his Sylvie Cycle trilogy and more recently, The Blue Shoe.

And, you might go home with a tree. Trees, donated by the Arbor Day Foundation, will be given out as door prizes. The program is free, but make your reservation with the library, ONLINE, or by phone at 816-701-3407.


Wyatt Townley’s poem, Inside The Snow Globe, has won first place in the professional category of Week Two of the To The Stars Poetry contest. Wyatt was the first place winner of the first week’s competition.

You have one more chance to enter your poetry -- the deadline for the fourth and final week of the competition is Friday, April 29; the theme is Blue Skies or Blossom. You can read Wyatt’s poem, and the previous winners in both the amateur and professional categories on


With newly-assumed American names, 80 Kaw Indian braves enlisted in Company L, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, U.S. Army, and served from 1863 until 1865.

The history of The Kanza and the Civil War will be presented by Pauline and Doug Sharp at 2 pm on Sunday, May 1, at the Kaw Mission State Historic Site, 500 N. Mission Street in Council Grove.

Prior to enlisting, the Kaw tribe had been living on a reserve south of Council Grove. In order to serve, they were required to take on the names of white men. Two related websites are and


“Nearly 200 striking black-and-white images in Historic Photos of Kansas trace a progression from Bleeding Kansas, a period of violent struggle between free-state abolitionists and pro-slavery sympathizers, to the state’s many contributions to westward expansion, railroads, agriculture and America at war.” – From the product description on

The text was written by David Knopf, editor and freelance journalist. The coffee table book can also be ordered from Barnes and Noble.


Are you surprised that the full title of this book is Kansas Politics and Government; The Clash of Political Cultures? Published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press, the book was co-authored by H. Edward Flentje, professor of public administration in the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at Wichita State University, and Joseph A. Aistrup, professor of political science at Kansas State University

Sunday, April 24, 2011


It’s okay to begin a sentence with the word ‘it’ and it’s also okay to split infinitives. And it’s also okay to start a sentence with a conjunction.

These tips I learned today when I discovered the Grammar Monkeys of the Wichita Eagle. Writers who are struggling with sentence or paragraph construction may find some help at this blog. A recent post discussed the proper use of hyphens, and used as an illustration the phrases, 30-odd editors as opposed to 30 odd editors. (As writers, we've all known a few of the latter types.)

Appropriately enough, the top-of-the-website banner of the Grammar Monkeys blog is a slippery banana peel.


One reviewer writes: “An entire narrative in itself, The Language of Small Rooms nudges the boundaries of both poetry and story.”

New from Judith Bader Jones, The Language of Small Rooms will be published this summer and can be ordered from Finishing Line Press. Judith’s publishing credits are many, but her most recent chapbook is Moonflowers on the Fence, also available from the same publisher.

And before Moonflowers, there was Delta Pearls, stories of the Missouri bootheel country, winner of the William Rockhill Nelson 2007 Fiction Award.


The guest speaker for the 11th annual Confederate Heritage Dinner on Saturday, April 30 in Osceola, MO, will be Maser Sgt. Paul R. Peterson, the author of Quantrill in Lawrence: The Untold Story.

Petersen is the author of Quantrill of Missouri, which received the Perry Award for Best Books in 2004, and Quantrill in Texas, awarded the 2009 Milton F. Perry Non-Fiction Award. The event is sponsored by the Colonel John T. Coffee Camp No. 1934. RSVP by April 26. For more information contact Gary Ayres at (417)754-8397, or garyayres at centurytel dot net.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State, knows a lot about Kansas folks, Kansas places, and the hard-to-define, limitless spirit of Kansans. Cheryl will be at the Authors’ Tent at the Kansas Sampler Festival May 7-8 at Ray Miller Park in Leavenworth.

Stop by and talk to Cheryl, and buy the book to take home with you. Says Marci Penner, director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, “If I were to choose one book to put in a time capsule to describe our state, it would be this one.”


“Everybody said, ‘ You should write a book,’ so I went and wrote a book,” says Marty Augustine, an officer with the Mission Police Department.

Officer Augustine, who teaches safety training and emergency preparedness, titled his book At Ground Zero, and filled it with information about disaster preparedness and emergency planning.

On Saturday, April 30, Officer Augustine will be signing (and no doubt answering questions from readers worried about disasters, natural and otherwise) at Books Plus, 6104 Johnson Drive in Mission. (I don’t have a time, but I will try to get it.)


Coming in May, The Pope’s Soldiers, by David Alvarez, published by the University Press of Kansas. Alvarez is professor in the Department of Politics at St. Mary’s College of California.

“Most students of history assume that the age of the ‘warlord popes’ ended with the Renaissance, but, long after the victory of Catholic powers at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 (in which Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra suffered a hand injury, apparently not his writing hand, or Don Quixote might never have seen the light of day, but I digress) the Papacy continued to entangle itself in martial affairs.” Alvarez’ work covers this “little-known aspect of the Papacy in the first general history of the papal armed forces.”


But I missed it – it was done and past by the time I learned about it. Talk about fleeting fame! So for those of you who missed it, as I did, here is my poem that appeared on the Johnson County Library website on April 6:

Beauty Is In The Eye . . . .

The ugliest dog I ever saw
was pug-ugly,

A handler ran him
around the parking lot.
The animal’s owner,
face tilted upward,
waited impatiently,
shouted a command.

Two bodies,
joyfully colliding.

The ugliest dog I ever saw
belonged to a blind man.

For poems for the rest of April, go to Click on the ‘April is Poetry’ Month box on the right-hand sidebar. A new poem every day.

Friday, April 22, 2011


You betcha!

A coffee-table book, titled 150 Years of Kansas Beef and dedicated to lifetime Kansas rancher, Jack Vanier, is the project of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Beef Cattle Institute and K-State’s Frontier Program. The book will be out this spring. The Vaniers, Jack and Donna, own the CK Ranch in Brookville.

“With chapters reaching as far back as the great cattle drives of the 19th century, this historical and photograph-rich book will take readers through the challenges and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half,” according to Justin Kastner, director of the project. “Dozens of families contributed ranch histories, photographs and other paraphernalia . . . some of which are described in an online podcast series available through the Beef Cattle Institute at Online orders can be placed at

(Put the left-overs back in the refrigerator, honey, we’re going out for steak dinner tonight.)


Be there! At the Raven in Lawrence, at 7 pm on Thursday, April 28. You’ll hear William Trowbridge, whose newest book of poetry, Ship of Fool, has just been published by Red Hen Press, Kate Lorenz, a founding editor of Parcel, a new literary magazine, on whose website there is information for submitting works, and Kim Condon, the playwright.

All at the Big Tent in that book-crammed store around the corner from 7th and Mass in Lawrence, 6 East 7th street.


Is there still more to be learned about William Clarke Quantrill? Raytown author Paul R.Petersen believes there is more to be told. The release date for his newest book, Quantrill at Lawrence: The Untold Story, is May 1, 2011.

Petersen’s previous books about Quantrill have been Quantrill in Texas: The Forgotten Campaign, published in 2007, and Quantrill of Missouri: The Making of a Guerilla Warrior—The Man, The Myth, The Soldier, published in 2003. All available from

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Mary A. Lake is the author of Departings, “a novel told in three parts, each detailing the life of one of the main characters. It speaks of lost hopes and the youth of the 1920s who started out with so much abundance. Oil and advancing technology propelled the average guy into a rich man. Women were coming into their own. They could vote, drive, speak out. It all seemed so fun and promising – it promised to never end. But it did.” Mary tells the story – or maybe the word should be stories – of Amanda, her feisty older sister, Lorraine, and her husband, Bo.

Mary is a native Kansan, who has lived in Eureka, Wichita, Arkansas City, and now Lawrence. She is a retired teacher, having ended her career at the Lawrence Alternative High School. Look for Mary at the Author’s Tent at the Kansas Sampler Festival, May 7-8 in Ray Miller Park in Leavenworth

'IF THIS OLD TREE . . . . '

If This Old Tree Could Talk to Me is the tale of a very, very old Hedge tree growing along the route of the Santa Fe Trail, written in rhyme. The story starts with a narrator telling what he thinks the tree may have seen in its lifetime until he daydreams that the tree is talking.

A children’s picture book, with a universal appeal, the book has been bought by people of all ages, say the writers and illustrators Tom Dunn and Jancy Morgan, who invite everyone to visit them in the Author’s Tent at the Kansas Sampler Festival, May 7-8 in Leavenworth.

“You can’t miss our booth, we have a very extensive display, including our animatronics version of The Tree.”


Kansas City area writers are eligible to submit books published in 2010 for consideration for the 31st Thorpe Menn Award for Literery Excellence. Books may be fiction, non-fiction, children’s books or poetry. To nominate a book, send two copies to: Thorpe Menn Nominations, 4555 Main Street, #301, Kansas City, MO 64111, deadline May 1, 2011.

The award, named for a former Kansas City Star Book Editor, is sponsored by the Kansas City Branch of the American Association of University Women.


Even Sunflowers Cast Shadows, a novel written by Douglas Armstrong, has been awarded the Anne Powers Book-Length Fiction Award by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Armstrong’s book is “set in small-town Kansas starting in the 1920s and was inspired in part by his mother’s tales of growing up.”


The Wichita Divide, a new book by Stephen Singular, could have been titled The National Divide.

Singular writes on his website, “On May 31, 2009, when abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down by Scott Roeder inside his Kansas church, I began researching my 20th book, The Wichita Divide: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller and the Battle Over Abortion.”

The book is “about the new American civil war that’s infected our country for roughly the past four decades. It’s about how deeply personal issues, especially sexual issues like reproduction, have been used to demonize entire segments of the population, and how this has been driven by some of the most successful people in our culture. The book’s narrative focuses on the lives of two families, Dr. Tillers and Scott Roeder’s, and describes how both were trapped inside this war and experienced their own tragedies. I’ve tried to show the heart and the cost of this conflict, mostly through the eyes of Roeder’s ex-wife, Lindsey, who found out first hand what it’s like to marry a relatively “normal” man and watch him turn into an American terrorist.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Jerilynn Henrikson will be featuring her picture books, Raccoons in the Corn, and Grandma’s Prairie Patchwork: A Kansas Color Book at her booth/table/corner on Kansas Sampler weekend, May 7-8, in Leavenworth.

The Raccoon story targets third/fourth graders. Jerilynn envisions a book to be enjoyed as adults read to kids, and later as children begin reading themselves. “Any sweet corn grower knows that raccoons love the stuff. They wait until the crop is perfectly ripe and strike with military precision. In the wake of their attack is the frustrated gardener, licking his lips over what might have been the best crop ever.”

Grandma’s Prairie Patchwork pictures Kansas animals and scenes narrated by a ‘Kansas Grandma’ for her grandchild. Of course, a color book is for anyone with crayons who loves to make black and white into a rainbow.

Local friend and illustrator Joshau Finley captures Farmer B’s cuddly character and single-minded focus on sweet corn. The artist’s raccoons are ornery and adorable. Jerilynn says, “Hopefully readers will be as thrilled as I am with the way Josh’s pictures have brought my words to life. His color book grandma’s welcome smile almost invites grandkids into her lap for a cuddle.”

With the help of quilter friends, Jerilynn has designed quilt patterns for both books; patterns will be available . More about Jerilynn at her blog


T. L. Needham’s newest book, When I Was a Child, is a “stunning story of love, death, and survival on the Kansas Prairie.” Needham is also the author of Pesky Poems. Both books are available from Kansas Originals Market.
(I know what ‘pesky poems’ are – they are those phrases that keep running through my mind, demanding to be put down on paper when I’m busy doing laundry or vacuuming the floors – they make me think I am a poet whether I want to be or not.)


The winners of the 2011 Kansas Voices poetry/prose competition will participate in a dinner and reading at 6 pm on Saturday, May 7, at Baden Square, 700 Gary, Winfield.

Winners are: Adult Short Story, First Place, Richard Pannbacker, Manhattan , Defenestration. Honorable Mention, Dana Bowman, Lindsborg, More Today Than Yesterday; Lora Reiter, Ottawa, With Roses Bedight; B. Marie Indyk, Lawrence, The Well.

Adult Poetry, First Place, Graham Barnes, Topeka, Kansas as a Quilt. Honorable Mention, Jeff Fouquet, Topeka, oilpatch rememberances; William Coleman, Wichita, The Burden of Blood; Jamie Lynn Heller, Lenexa, The Minute Hand Fell Off My Clock; Hazel Spire, Sedan, Crying for Crider; William Clyde Brown, Salina, Near the Church of the Incarnation.

Youth Short Story, First Place, Katie Guyot, Lawrence, Stained; Honorable Mention, Brenna Lawless, Wilmore, Cowboy; Noah Trammell, Valley Center, The Hunt; Kaia King, Arkansas City, Living Cage.

Youth Poetry, First Place, Noah Trammell, Valley Center, After Saxophone Practicing. Honorable Mention, Noah Trammell, Valley Center, Driving With Both Windows Down; Nathan Biller, Manhattan, The Idea Is; Tanner Boyle, Winfield, Shades of Green, Nicole Rieth, Grainfield, The Leaf and the Petal.

This year’s sponsors of the annual contest are Winfield Daily Courier, Cowley College, CornerBank, Winfield Consumer Products, GE Engine Services, Bob and Nancy Love of Wichita, and underwritten by the Winfield Convention and Tourism.

Kansas Voices writing competition is now in its’ 22nd year. Check in for the 2012 contest details early next year. (And thanks to Cheryl Tate for sending this along.)


No? Well, it’s time you did. Zortz is about two feet tall, is green, and will be appearing with Joyce Long on Wednesday, May 4, a Mother/Daughter Banquet at the Christian Church in Dennis (west of Parsons in Labette County).

Zortz also appears in several books, created by Joyce and her sister/illustrator, Margie Trotter. Book Three is Zortz Finds Gold. Books Four and Five are on the way.

Joyce has sent me pictures, which I’m having trouble learning to manipulate, but in the meantime, why don’t you read the really nice article in the Montgomery County Chronicle?


‘Narratives of the Damned.’ Now, wouldn’t a writing workshop with a title like that catch your attention? That’s what Kansan Max McCoy will be talking about at the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) annual conference May 5-7 in Oklahoma City.

Max McCoy talks about interviewing and writing about those on the edges of society, from a-bomb survivors in Hiroshima to serial killers on American death rows — and what their stories reveal about truth, writing, and (maybe even) art.

A list of the speakers, and other information is at OWFI


When you learn that a humourist has just published a new mystery novel, and the description says: “Set in a small Kansas town, Crossbow begins with a series of deaths,” you wonder whether you’ll be laughing or crying. Among the many situationally-challenged characters in Gordon Kirkland’s book, is Duke, the doughnut-hunting police dog. This is the author’s seventh book, the others being collections of short, humorous essays from his syndicated humour columns in both Canadian and US newspaper.


The fourth and last poet in the Salina Spring Poetry Series will be Diane Wahto, English instructor at Butler Community College, reading at 7:30 pm at Moka’s Bakery and Bistro, 109 North Santa Fe, on Tuesday, April 26.
The poetry series is now in its 26th year, sponsored by the Salina Public Library and Salina Arts and Humanities.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The Kansas Sampler Foundation annual Festival, that is, on May 7-8 in Ray Miller Park in Leavenworth. “There will be Kansas booths, children’s activities, stagecoach rides, Wild West entertainers, music, food and historic re-enactments, and I might add BOOKSIGNINGS.

I’m trying to contact the authors who are on the schedule, and I hope to be able to tell you more about their works. If you are an author who plans to be there, send me an e-mail at onefreenation at yahoo dot com and I will share it with blog readers.


The list is growing – Poem No. 49 has now appeared on the list at 150Kansas Poems, ‘Snowstorm’. Diane Wahto’s winning poem was entered in Week Two of the ‘To The Stars Poetry Contest.’

You still have time to enter Week Three, with a theme of ‘Heat and Light’, deadline April 22, and Week Four, with a theme of ‘Blue Skies or Blossom’, deadline April 29.

A line from Diane’s poem reads: “my VW bug, almost buried in white.” Reminds me of one winter day in Pullman, when the snow fell so deeply it made a VW vanish before my eyes.


Alex Heard, author of The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex and Secrets in the Jim Crow South, will be speaking at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 20, at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive in Lawrence.

From the author’s website: “The Eyes of Willie McGee is a true story of race, rape, trial, punishment, politics, history and family . . . the first complete account of a famous episode from the early days of the civil rights movement . . .it’s about (the author’s attempts) to figure out what really happened during this mysterious event, a process that ended up taking five years of steady spare-time work . . . thousands of hours of archival research and reporting, dozens of interviews with relatives of the main characters, Freedom of Information requests, and a few lucky breaks.”


Traveling to the State University of New York at Fredonia, Elizabeth Dodd will be speaking on ‘Questions of Travel’ on Thursday, April 21. The evening before, Wednesday, a group of graduate English students will present a program that features Dodd’s newest book, In the Mind’s Eye. Dodd is a professor at Kansas State University.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Is that really fair? For Steve Kraske of KCUR’s Up to Date, to broadcast live from Judith Fertig’s kitchen and sample some of the delicious food, all the while whetting (but not satisfying) the appetites of the listeners?

Tuesday, April 10, on KCUR, 89.3 FM, Steve will be talking to cookbook author Judith Fertig, about her new book, Heartland: The Cookbook, 150 recipes for farm-bounty fare.


The news is out! “ Poet Jose Faus of Overland Park, and fiction writer Sanda Moore Coleman of Wichita are the recipients of the 2011 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. In poetry, the first runner up was Michael U. Obenieta from Topeka and the second runner up was Pat Daneman of Lenexa. In fiction, the first runner up was Jean Grant, Lawrence, and the second runner up was Patricia Lawson, Kansas City.”

Only Kansas writers were eligible to apply for the 2011 award sponsored by Poets and Writers Magazine.


The Raven Book Store in Lawrence is excited to host a bilingual reading by poets William J. Harris and Stanley Lombardo at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 26.

Italian publisher, Leconte Editore, recently released Harris’ bilingual chapbook, Domande Personali/Personal Questions, in Rome to inaugurate a poetry series intended to introduce American poets to the Italian audience. Harris will read the English and Stanley Lombardo the Italian. Lombardo will also read from his new translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Harris has published two books of poems, Hey Fella Would You Mind Holding This Piano a Moment and In My Own Dark Way, and has appeared in many anthologies, including To The Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Poetry Project, Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans, and A Geography of Poets. He is the author of The Poetry and Poetics of Amiri Baraka: The Jazz Aesthetic, the editor of The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader, and published in numerous journals, such as The American Scholar and African American Review. He is Interim Director of the MFA program at the University of Kansas English Department.

Lombardo’s new version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses follows his translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, the poems of Sappho, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Dante’s Inferno. He will read selections from the Roman poet’s narratological paradise of such poignant and shanky myths as Orpheus and Eurydice, Salmacis and Hermaphrodite, Cadmus and Harmonia – or the audience may request a favorite.

For more information, including 'Una Poesia Su Papa/A Daddy Poem', from the collection, Visit Here. The Raven is at 6 East 7th in Lawrence.


Max R. Terman, professor emeritus at Tabor College in Hillsboro, has used an ancestor’s diary and letters to create a novel, Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman’s Civil War. Pvt. Terman served with the 82nd Ohio Volunteer infantry from Richland County. For a time he was held in a Confederate prisoner of war camp. Available from


Author Imam Omar Hazim “hopes to clarify some of the misconceptions and distortions about the religion of Islam" as he shares Islam in the Heartland of America in an appearance at 2 pm on Saturday, April 23, atBarnes and Noble, 6130 SW 17th Street in Topeka, KS.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Judith Fertig has done it again – produced a spectacularly tasty cookbook. Heartland, published by regional publishers Andrews and McMeel, features mid-western food fare and is accompanied by full-color farmscapes and food-laden table scenes.

(A piece of advice: Do not ever join a critique group in which Judith is a member if it meets in the morning, just before lunch. Merely listening to Judith’s descriptions will promote a hearty appetite.)


Louis A. DiMarco will be speaking about Horses and Fort Leavenworth at 7 pm on Thursday, April 21, at the Frontier Army Museum, 100 Reynolds, Fort Leavenworth (bring your driver’s license or passport to get through the gate). The event is hosted by the Fort Leavenworth Historical Society.

DiMarco, LTC (Ret.), US Army, is associate professor at the USA Command and General Staff College. If you’ve never been to the Frontier Army Museum before, count on making that a tour for another day. Among other things at the museum are the carriage that Abraham Lincoln rode on his visit to Eastern Kansas prior to the opening of his presidential campaign, and the sleigh used by General Armstrong Custer. More about DiMarco’s works at his website and his blog.


In view of any other announcement, that I know of, I’ll tell . . . winner of the Johnson County Library Week writing contest was Dawn Downey. The winning essay will appear in the 2011 issue of Kansas City Voices. You’ll find Dawn at

Dawn shared the limelight on Saturday afternoon with Wendy McClure, the author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the lost World of Little House on the Prairie. Dawn did not know if she would be invited to read her piece, but she went prepared. Dawn is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group, and sometimes leads an off-semester group of Kansas City area writers. This is the first year the Johnson County library has sponsored a writing contest, that I am aware of, but let’s keep tuned, they may do it again.


Kansas farm boy, Clyde Tombaugh, discovered Pluto BEFORE he earned bachelor and master degrees from the University of Kansas. Alas, Pluto was down-scaled in 2007 sometime after Tombaugh’s death.

Percival’s Planet is a depression-era novel by Michael Byers, professor of English at the University of Michigan. Percival Lowell was the founder of Lowell’s Planetarium where Tombaugh’s discovery was made. Byers will be speaking in a program at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 19, at the Kansas Union Ballroom at the University of Kansas. Sponsored by the Hall Center.


The Winter War against Finland was a rehearsal for what the Soviets called the Great Patriotic War, Stalin’s war against Germany during World War II. Why Stalin’s Soldiers Fought, Roger R. Reese’s study of the Red Army’s military effectiveness in World War II is being published in April by the University Press of Kansas. Reese is a professor of history at Texas A&M University and the author of several works about the Red Army and the Soviet military.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


With the topic of ‘Storms’, Wyatt Townley won first place in the professional category for the To The Stars Poetry Contest, and you’ll find her poem, ‘Centering the House’ at

The Week Two contest has closed, but there’s still Week Three and Week Four. Go to for ALL DETAILS.


Pilots, aviators and ordinary folk heard today from an aviation pioneer. U.L. ‘Rip’ Gooch spoke in a program today, Saturday, April 16, at the Kansas Aviation Museum, 3350 George Washington Boulevard, Wichita.

The grandson of freed slaves, Gooch became an aircraft pilot and forged a career for himself in the aircraft industry. He later served in the Kansas legislature. Following the program, he signed copies of his book, Black Horizons: One Aviator’s Experience in the Post-Tuskegee Era.


It’s out – Ex-FBI Agent William Ouseley’s Mobsters in Our Midst: The Kansas City Crime Family (read Civilla here), and Bill will be signing at 2 pm on Sunday, April 17, at the Kansas City, MO, Central Library, 14 West 10th Street (Tenth and Main). Make your reservation HERE.

Bill Ouseley’s previous book was Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family, 1900-1950. I heard Bill talk about this book at a signing several months ago. Three people in the audience stood up afterwards and identified themselves as descendants of the individuals written about in the book. Bill asked them all to meet with him after the talk was over.


Well, in books, anyway, such as Richard Ellis’ The Great Sperm Whale: A Natural History of the Ocean’s Most Magnificent and Mysterious Creature. (Captain Ahab thought so, too.)

Richard Ellis is a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History. Published in April by the University Press of Kansas: “Offering a rich tapestry for anyone with an interest in the marvels of ocean life, Ellis’ book provides an indispensible guide to the life and times of one of the planet’s most intelligent, elusive and endangered species.”


S. Eugene Cohlmia, the author of The Chains of St. Peter, will be at Barnes and Noble at Bradley Fair, 1920 North Rock Road in Wichita from 6-8 pm on Friday, April 22 for a book signing.
A brief description: “The Apostle Peter’s chains fall to the ground and he walks past soldiers who seem blind of his passing out of prison to freedom. A witness to the event vows to get the relics to safety.”

Friday, April 15, 2011


And the winner is . . . the winner of Week One of the Kansas Poetry Week One Contest, amateur category, is . . . "A Kansas Native Discusses Natural Disasters", by Israel Wasserstein of Topeka, posted as poem No. 47 on

Topic of the second contest, which ends today, at midnight, one presumes, is ‘Snow and Ice’. Third week contest topic is ‘Heat and Light’, deadline April 22, and the fourth and final topic is ‘Blue Skies or Blossom’, deadline April 29. Enter as amateur or professional by sending your poem to (you’ll have to hand enter the address, this is not a link). Full details at (this is a link).


You remember your history, how the Golden Spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, in 1868 to mark the completion of the first transcontinental railway. There soon followed a frantic chase to build a southern rail route that would connect Chicago with Los Angeles. Walter Borneman chronicles the story in Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad.

Borneman will be in Kansas City for two appearances, the first on Thursday, April 21, at 6 pm at the National Archives Central Plains at 400 West Pershing Road in Kansas City, MO. On Friday, April 22, from 11 am to 1:30 pm, he will be speaking at a luncheon at the Union Station. Check HERE for information, and remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. (Can’t find an address for the Union Station, but you know where it is – north across Pershing Road from the Liberty Memorial.)

In my lifetime, I’ve ridden this famous southern rail route (450-some miles through Kansas, state line to state line) in its full length, not in one contiguous journey, but by segments. Not sure if the original route from Chicago to Kansas City went through St. Louis, MO, or Galesburg, IL, but given a choice between the two, it’s awfully hard to choose.


You’ve got to read Warren Bull’s post today, Friday, April 15, on the blog he shares with several other writers, at Warren talks about his latest book, Murder Manhattan Style, and other sundry matters. I’ll bet you’ve all had similar experiences.


By the time she was nine, Tracy Seeley had lived in thirteen different houses, mostly in Wichita. What’s more, her mother had kept a written record of all the street addresses. (Except for the Wichita part, it sounds like my nomadic childhood, except my mother didn’t keep an address book for me.)

In My Ruby Slippers, Seeley re-visits, re-traces, re-locates, re-lives the ambience, in an exploratory memoir said to be immersed in Kansas, but with a sense of universality. Seeley will be coming to Kansas in July, with visits scheduled for Watermark Books and the Rockwell Public Library in Wichita, Hays Public Library in Hays, and the Jackrabbit Hollow Books in Peabody (you know where that is, downtown Peabody, in the southwest corner of Marion County.) And maybe the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, I think I’ve heard.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Rescued from the archives, the World War II diary of a black journalist has been published as Roi Ottley's World War II by the University Press of Kansas. The journal was buried in a collection of Roi Ottley’s papers at St. Bonaventure University until discovered by Mark Huddle, assistant professor of history at Georgia College and State University.

“Already famous as the author of New World A-Coming – in which he decried the hypocrisy of America fighting for freedom in Europe while denying it to blacks at home – Ottley was sent to cover the experiences of African American soldiers that neither white journalists nor the American military felt obliged to report.” (Description from University Press website.)

Huddle’s book includes additional materials that rounds out Ottley’s career and contributions, “showing that Roi Ottley was both a brilliant writer and one of America’s keenest observers of race issues.”


Salina poet and visual artist, Harley Elliott, will be reading from his new book, Fugitive Histories, a collection of Elliott’s “ lifelong exploration of the Kansas landscape, weather, history, mythology and the indigenous peoples” at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 19.

Elliott is the third of four poets participating in the Salina Spring Poetry Series at Moka’s Bakery and Bistro, 109 North Santa Fe (I hear the tuna sandwiches are GREAT.)

Check the sponsors’ sites for details, Salina Public Library and Salina Arts and Humanities.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


On such a lovely day, it’s hard to think about snow and ice, but in order to compete in this week’s To The Stars Poetry Contest, you’ll have to recall those bitter, wintery days. ‘Snow and Ice’ is the theme, deadline is Friday, April 1.

Send your entries, either amateur or professional category, attached as a Rich Text document of a Word document to Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg at (You’ll have to copy, this is not a direct link.)
Next weeks’ contest theme is ‘Heat and Light’ with the final week’s closing contest theme of ‘Blue Skies or Blossom’.


The popular duo of Polly Swafford and Maril Crabtree are together again for the Poetry Reading Series, 7 pm on Tuesday, April 19, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street in Overland Park.

No one knows haiku like Polly, whose latest publication, Early Freeze, is available from Finishing Line Press. Maril’s new chapbook, Moving On, was published by Pudding House Press. Both authors have been widely published – here’s your chance to hear them in person.


It isn’t always easy, but Robert Collins will be in Oklahoma City April 15-17 at the Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition at the Stone Garden Hotel. You’ll find Robert at a table in the ‘dealer’s’ room. Check the Steampunk website for additional information, and/or read his blog. A quick link is on the sidebar, ‘One Kansas Author.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


And who should know better than a sixth-generation Kansan, Jim Gray, who has written it all down (most of it) in a new book, Desperate Seed: Ellsworth on the Violent Frontier. You can hear Jim talk (gotta hurry, this is short notice) at noon on Wednesday, April 13, at the Seward County Community College Library in Liberal.

Jim will be talking about ‘Kansas Cattle Towns’ and you can be sure Ellsworth will be included. The talk is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council.


The launch of Marci Penner’s new book, 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook, will mark the opening of an 8 Wonders exhibit at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene 2-4 pm on Saturday, April 16. The exhibit of Kansas-related artifacts and memorabilia will remain on display until September 5.

The 216 photographs are the work of Harland Schuster. The book was printed at Mennonite Press, Newton. A limited hard-cover version was bound by Koeperich Bookbinders, one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce finalists, located in Selden in Sheridan county.

Don't leave home without it.


It’s all very murky, especially to an outsider, but apparently the appearance of Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas’ poet laureate, at 4 pm on Saturday, April 16, at the M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Auditorium of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at the Johnson County Community College will be free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day invited scholars and writers will participate in a symposium. “We want to let people know that JCCC is taking the study and promotion of writing about Kansas seriously,” according to Dr. James Leiker, director of Kansas Studies Institute. “So if this works out, we would like to do a writers conference on an annual basis.” A new website (new to me) provides MORE INFORMATION.


The author of Long Knives and Thunder Wagons: Civil War on the Kansas Plains, 1861 – 1865, will present the third program of the Kaw Councils 2011 Educational series at 2 pm on Sunday, April 17.

Arnold Schofield is a Civil War historian and superintendent of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre and Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Sites in Linn County. The program is sponsored by the Kansas State Historical Society and the Friends of Kaw Heritage.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Tomorrow will be National D.E.A.R. Day, or, spelled out, Drop Everything And Read Day. And no, it doesn’t mean that you should pick up that novel you’ve been saving and go off in some corner and read by yourself, DEAR Day encourages everyone to pick up a book and start reading to a child. Share the magical world of how words are woven into enchanting stories with a youngster who has not quite made that discovery for themselves.

Whether family member or stranger, there is a lasting bond created by the reader and the readee. I remember reading to my grandson, who at six months could barely sit up, which made holding the child and the book at the same time a balancing challenge, but when I turned a page and he seemed to laugh at the picture, I KNEW he was absolutely the most brilliant child ever born.


New, I think, on the Kansas Heritage Center website, is the Kansas Symbols Coloring Book, by Phillip R. Buntin. There’s a regular storehouse of interesting items available from their website, everything ranging from stuffed buffalo toys to maps of the Great Plains Cattle Trails and Cowtowns.

And lots of books, hmmm, wonder what The Delectable Burg: An Irreverent History of Dodge City, 1872 to 1886, by Frederic R. Young, is all about?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The winner of the Johnson County Library “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library” will be part of a program at 2 pm on Saturday, April 16, at the Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street in Overland Park, that marks the close of National Library Week.

Wendy McClure, the author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, will also be featured. The event is sponsored in part by Rainy Day Books of Fairway.


Today is the opening of National Library Week – what is your library doing to celebrate?

Across the state, many public libraries will have special programs to mark the week. Find out what your local library is doing, and join in the celebration. It’s your way to say thank you to the tireless librarians who work all year long to bring you the best in library service.

If your library is doing something special you’d like to share with other Kansas writers, send me an e-mail with the details at onefreenation at .

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I’m a bit late, just found out, but the winning twaiku will win a $50 Amazon gift certificate. But get it done by Wednesday, April 13. What’s a ‘twaiku?”

A twaiku is a haiku sent by twitter. The contest began at the opening of School Library Month. Not being a writer of kaiku myself, the details are all a bit confusing, but you can read all about it at .


“Confess until the wind catches itself by the tail.”

You’ll have to confess that’s a inveigling line, from Kansas native Ed Skoog’s Mister Skylight. Hear more of Ed Skoog’s work at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 15 at the Little Theatre, Kansas State Student Union, Manhattan.


Well, the book signing happened a couple of days ago, but the title is certainly worth some attention. Goran Sabah Ghafour, a Fulbright student in journalism at the University of Kansas, is the author of Iraqi Fulbrighter: Removing Fear and Hatred Between American and Middle Eastern People. The book is available at and , and probably at the KU bookstores

Friday, April 8, 2011


Visitors to the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, ten miles northeast of Great Bend on K-156, on Sunday, April 17, are invited to attend a program by Peter Kummerfeldt from 1-5 pm. The author of Surviving a Wilderness Emergency, Peter Kummerfeldt is the owner of OutdoorSafe, Inc. The program is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The Johnson County Library, in connection with The Writers Place, is celebrating April as Poetry Month with a poem a day on their website. Today’s poem is Main Street Rag by Shawn Pavey from his book Talking to Shadows. Poems on the list were selected from contributions submitted by members of The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO.

Click on National Poetry Month and follow the prompts.


Robert Collins and Tom Mach are two Kansas “Originals” who will be at Kansas Originals Market and Gallery on Sunday, April 10, Exit 206 from I-70 at Wilson (the far northwest corner of Ellsworth County).
Robert Collins is the author of three science fiction novels, historical rail road books, Civil War biographies. His most recent book is Kansas, 1874, Triumphs, Tragedies, Transitions. Tom Mach is a novelist, poet, essayist – and short story writer with his newest book, Stories to Enjoy. Robert’s blog is “One Kansas Author”, Tom’s is “The World of Prose and Verse” (See right-hand sidebar.)
Max Yoho will be there, too. See Max Yoho post on April 4


How would you describe an evening that put Nancy Pickard, Sally Goldenbaum and Michelle Black (see blog in side-bar at right) all together on the stage at the same time? I Love A Mystery Bookstore, sponsor of the evening, describes it this way:
What if you could get three multi-published authors into a room and get them to talk candidly about what it’s really like to write novels, find agents, work with editors, get published, and survive in publishing for decades? That’s just what we’ll be doing when our three authors get together for a lively conversation about the writing life. With nearly 60 published books among them, these three friends and writing buddies have great stories to tell!
At 7 pm, Wednesday, April 13, Plaza Library, Kansas City, MO.


Joseph Harrington will be reading from his amneoir, Things Come On, at 4 pm on Wednesday, April 13, at the Jayhawk Ink bookstore at the Kansas Union, University of Kansas. Joseph Harrington is an associate professor of English at the University of Kansas.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Four scholars and authors of books about the Civil War joined to present a symposium on March 27 at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka. Participating were David Blight, author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Dwight Pithcaithley, former chief historian of the National Park Service, and Arnold Schofield, former historian of the Fort Scott National Historic Site. James Denny, a Missouri-based historian, co-authored, with John Bradbury, Jr., The Civil War’s First Blood: Missouri, 1854-1861.


The poems of May Williams Ward are remembered by Lana Wirt Myers, in a biography entitled Prairie Rhythms: The Life and Poetry of May Williams Ward. The author presented a program and book signing last Sunday, April 3, at the Winfield Public Library. Lana Wirt Myers is a free-lance writer who lives in Newton.

May Williams Ward became a nationally recognized poet during more than fifty years of creativity, both as a writer and a maker of block prints. She grew up in Osawatomie, lived in Wellington in the latter years of her life. Her collected papers are archived at Wichita State University. You’ll find more about May Williams Ward on the Map of Kansas Literature.


Snakes and People: When They Meet, Stuff Happens is the program that will be given a 2 pn on Sunday, April 10, at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center by Joseph Collins, of the Center for North American Herpetology.

Collins will sign copies of his book Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles of Kansas. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is 40 miles south of I-70 at Great Bend.


Charley Green has created his legacy with Conversations with Charley: Uncle Charley’s Living Your Dream, and will provide the inspiration, encouragement and examples of how others can create their own legacy and have a good time doing it. Charley will be at the Edgerton Library, 319 East Nelson at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, April 12. The Edgerton Library used to be a dull, staid, somber, dark bank building, but it has been converted to a bright, light, airy place to enjoy books and entertaining programs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The second poet in the Salina Spring Poetry Reading Series, Nedra Rogers will be reading at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 12, at MOKAS Bakery and Bistro, 109 N. Santa Fe. Nedra’s book of poetry, Soul’s Night Out, was published by Woodley Press.

The poetry reading series is sponsored by the Salina Public Library and the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission. Still to be heard are Harley Elliott and Diane Wahto.


Cowboy Tad keeps his head hidden under a hat because he is different. More about Cowboy Tad, the Triangle Man, by the author, Sherry Galloway Willis, at 2 pm on Saturday, April 9, at Barnes and Noble, Bradley Fair, 1920 N. Rock Road, in Wichita.


Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute, will be speaking about his most recent book, Consulting the Genius of the Place, on Wednesday, April 13, at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Land Institute, located in Salina, is an organization that works to scientifically develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of natural growth coupled with a high grain yield.


Dr. Ted Cable, Kansas State University Professor, and author of Driving Across Kansas: A Guide to I-70, will “share stories of the land and people that have shaped the region surrounding one of America’s busiest interstate highways,” at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 12, at Shawnee Town Museum, 11600 Johnson Drive. (I haven’t heard Dr. Cable speak, but surely he will talk about the childhood home in Abilene of President Dwight David Eisenhower, the “father” of our nation’s modern highway system.)

Monday, April 4, 2011


Kansas Originals Market at Wilson is the place to be from 11 am to 3 pm on Sunday, April 10, where you’ll meet Max Yoho, a true Kansas original, so he’ll fit right in. Max will be signing With the Wisdom of Owls.
for a "Meet the Authors" event.

Located at the junction of Interstate 70 and K-232 highways, Kansas Originals Market is a showcase for the “exceptional work of Kansas artists, craftsmen and woman and food producers.” Take a look at Max’s other books at


Now there’s a book I could sink my teeth into, a book that is said to capture the flavor of the Little Balkins area of southeast Kansas in more ways than one. Written by Kaye Lynne Webb and Carolyn Loss Winters, besides recipes for ethnic foods, it includes a rich cultural history.

My grandfather’s favorite dessert was raisin pie, which he called his “rebate”. Grandmother made the pies with a rather thick crust, which made it possible for me to scoop a piece up in my hand on my way out of the house through the kitchen door.


Two area poets, Gary Lechliter and Brian Daldorph, will present the Riverfront Reading program at 8 pm on Friday, April 8, at The Writers’ Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Gary is editor of I-70 Review ( a new issue of which will soon make its appearance). He has been a winner of a Langston Hughes Poetry Award. Brian is the author of From the Inside Out: Sonnets, and Jail Time. (Amongst his teaching responsibilities at the University of Kansas, Brian finds time to work with the inmates at the Douglas County Jail.)


At 7 pm on Friday, April 8, a Top City (Topeka City, what else?) audience will hear the poetry of Joseph Harrington, author of Things Come On (an amneoir – best that he explains it to you), and Earth Day Suite.

The Top City Poetry Reading Series takes place at the Blue Planet Café, in downtown Topeka at 110SE 8th Avenue.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Sure and you’re bound to enjoy hearing the voice of the Irish poet, Moya Cannon, when she reads from her works at 3:30 PM on Friday, April 8 at the K-State Student Union Little Theatre in Manhattan.

Moya Cannon’s appearance is part of the K-State Visiting Writers and Speakers program. Born in Donegal, her poetry is influenced by the landscapes and seascapes of Galway, Clare and Donegal. (Ah, to visit The Burren again, not unlike some vistas in western Kansas.)


Dr. Norman Caulfield, professor of history at Fort Hays State University and the author of Nafta and Labor in North America, has won the Harvey Johnson Best Book Award from the Southwest Council on Latin American Studies.
Dr. Caulfield’s book, Nafta and Labor in North America, was published by the University of Illinois Press.


Several events during the week at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County will culminate in the Prairie Fire Festival on the weekend, April 8-9.

At 6:30 on Tuesday, April 5, at the Emma Chase café, Ron Parks, former director of Kaw Mission in Council Grove will speak about a book he is currently writing on Kaw Trails West. Information and other details of the festival, GO HERE.

What's YOUR Kansas Story?

The Kansas Humanities Council “invited Kansans to share stories from their past to help us better understand where we’ve been and to offer insight into where we might be headed.” Recent stories have been “Quantrill’s Raid Survivor”, “The Lost Cow Town and the Central Branch Railroad”, and “The Big Leagues Come to Blue Rapids.”

It’s not a contest, there are no prizes, just a chance to contribute your little bit to the record of Kansas’ history – what makes us the kind of people we are. Find the DETAILS HERE.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Been busy at work on that poem for the To The Stars Poetry Contest? Deadline for the first of four contests, with the topic of Stormy Weather is April 8. Maybe that gem you’re working on might best suit one of the other topics, which are: Snow and Ice, deadline April 15; Heat and Light, deadline April 22; Blue Skies or Blossom, deadline April 29.

Submit your poems either as an amateur or a professional to (this is NOT a link, you’ll have to copy the e-mail address). Winning poems may be posted on the Kansas Arts Commission website, or on the 150 Kansas poems website. If you haven’t yet looked at this growing collection of poems commemorating Kansas’ 150th Birthday, you need to take a look – you’ll find some pretty amazing work there.


Newbery Prize Winner Clare Vanderpool will be reading at 7 pm on Monday, April 4, at the Reading Reptile, 328 West 63rd, Kansas City, MO. Vanderpool’s debut children’s novel, Moon Over Manifest, is the story of Abilene Tucker, spending the summer in the Kansas town of her father’s childhood. Vanderpool’s research for the book included newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards.

Reading Reptile is a fascinating, entertaining, enchanting children’s book store in the vibrant, historic Brookside neighborhood. While you’re there, check out the other shops, especially Foo’s Fabulous Custard.


Jim Hoy will be talking about the Cowboy’s Lament: A Life on the Open Range, by Frank Maynard, a book which Jim edited, at 6 pm on Wednesday, April 6, at the National Archives in Kansas City, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO. Call 816-268-8000 for information.

(Remember Eddie Arnold’s classic, Cattle Call. I’ll bet I’ve got that on an old CD somewhere.)


Mention in the previous post of Christopher H. Hamner’s new book, Enduring Battles: American Soldiers in Three Wars, 1776 to 1945 reminds me of The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters, written by Kansan Joseph Stanley Pennell.

Rome Hanks is an astounding work about the Civil War that reaches far beyond the boundaries of “Bleeding Kansas.” More about the book, and the author can be found at the Map of Kansas Literature. It was a best seller of 1945, and still very worthwhile read.


“Drawing on the combat experiences of American soldiers in three widely separated wars – the Revolution, the Civil War and World War II – Christopher Hamner explores why soldiers fight in the face of terrifying lethal threats and how they manage to suppress their fears, stifle their instincts and marshal the will to kill other humans.” Quote from the website of the University Press of Kansas.

Christopher H. Hamner’s book, Enduring Battle: American Soldiers in Three Wars, 1776-1945, is out in April. Hamner (Not Hammer) is assistant professor of history at George Mason University.

Friday, April 1, 2011


The “Poetry, Prairie and Place” poetry workshop with Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on Saturday, April 2, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled. Always lots of activities going on at The Writers Place, You’ll find Caryn at


A book by an Emporia doctor will be featured on April 11-13 at the London Book Fair in London, England.

Surviving Cancer: The Use of Complementary and Alternative Methods in the Treatment of Breast Cancer was written by Joseph E. Bosiljevac, Jr., MD, PhD, FACS, a doctor with a practice in Emporia. The history of a specific patient is followed by Dr. Bosiljevac’s doctoral dissertation.


Somebody who needs your life more than you do.” Isn’t that a cryptic line? Maybe Albert Goldbarth will tell his audience a little more when he reads from To Be Read in 500 Years at the opening program of the Salina Spring Poetry Series at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 5.

All of the April readings in the series will be on Tuesday evenings at the MOKAS Bakery and Bistro at 109 North Santa Fe in Salina. The series is sponsored by the Salina Public Library.


Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest, has earned yet another award – that of the Western Writers of America – for the 2011 Best Western Juvenile Fiction.

I know the book is written for juvenile readers, but I gotta read that book.


Max McCoy has done it again – won another Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. McCoy’s Damnation Road, the final novel in a trilogy featuring Jacob Gamble, was named best mass market original novel for 2011.

The first novel in the trilogy, Hellfire Canyon, also won a Spur Award.
In 1992 McCoy won a Spur Award for a first novel, The Sixth Rider, the story of the Dalton raid on Coffeyville.


Always Allie, the story of a Bichon Frise dog that became the center of the Van Camp family, will be discussed by the author, Dr. Kipp Van Camp, during a program at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, April 5, at the iRead Lounge of the Mabee Library, 1700 SW College Avenue, on the Washburn University campus in Topeka.

The book will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka. Writes Dr. Van Camp: “Allie’s story was one of life and laughter and living each day to its fullest.”


How did Michelle Black manage to be present (and very involved) with two separate writers' events in two separate states all on the same weekend? Does she have a stand-in? A clone? That crazy Michelle tells you all about it in her blog. Check out the "Writers about Writing" sidebar on the right-hand side and click on "Victorian West."


Perhaps what might be the first of annual symposiums will be held on April 16 at Johnson County Community College. The day’s events will be capped with a lecture at 4 pm by Dr. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas poet laureate.

Kansas as a”place” will be the subject of the symposium. Invited writers include historians, fiction writers, poets, essayists and scientists. The event is sponsored by JCCC Kansas Studies Institute and the English Department. For more information, GO HERE. (An informational website has about the longest URL I’ve ever seen, so I hope the link really works.)


Coming out in April is Robert A. Rossum’s new book, The Supreme Court and Tribal Gaming. Rossum explores in depth the 1987 decision of California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, which supported the sovereignty of Indian nations, and opened the door to the growth of Indian casinos in all states.

The book is the second book authored by Rossum to be published by the University Press of Kansas. The first book was Antonin Scalia’s Jurisprudence, published in 2006.