Monday, October 31, 2011

NAKED CITY INVITES POETS

Whether you are a “poet, performer, diary confessing teenager, storyteller, or quirky haiku genius, Naked City at 101 North Meade in Wichita has a spot for you – in front of a microphone, that is. You needn’t be shy.

“A Night in Verse” is an open-mic event every third Thursday sponsored by Naked City magazine. April Pameticky’s work will not appear until the November issue is released, but April will be the featured poet at 7 pm on November 17, and will be reading during the first portion of the program. Other writers in the community are invited to sign up for open-mic and to share their own work.

April has an eye-catching (you'll see what I mean) flyer on her blog at http://aprilpameticky.wordpress.com.

DON'T MISS SALINA POETRY READING !

Six Salina and area writers will read poems in celebration of the Kansas Sesquicentennial and publication of a new anthology, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, on Saturday, November 12, at the new Ad Astra Books and Coffee House, 141 N. Santa Fe, Salina.

Poets Patricia Traxler, Jackie Magnuson Ash, Hazel Smith Hutchinson, and Harley Elliott from Salina will be joined by Paula Ebert, Manhattan, and Lori Brack, Maryville, Mo., at 7 pm. The reading is free and books will be available for purchase.

Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems was edited by Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Lawrence, to mark 150 years of Kansas statehood and includes the work of 93 poets. It was published by Woodley Press, Topeka. The poems originally appeared online at http://150kansaspoems.wordpress.com.

The site for the reading, Ad Astra Books and Coffee House, is a worker-owned collective and central Kansas’s newest independent bookstore. Located in historic downtown Salina, the business will sell new and used books, Blacksmith Coffee roasted in Lindsborg, and is committed to hosting and promoting literary events. The coffee house expects to open for business on November 25.

Patricia Traxler is author of three poetry collections including Forbidden Words (Missouri), and has published her poetry widely, including in The Nation, Ms. Magazine, Ploughshares, Agni, LA Times Literary Supplement, Slate, The Boston Review, and Best American Poetry. Awards include two Bunting Poetry Fellowships from Radcliffe, Ploughshares’ Cohen Award, and a Pablo Neruda Award from Nimrod.

Jackie Magnuson Ash grew up on a farm in central Kansas, later to return to raise two children and help her husband manage the farm business. She holds an English degree from Emporia State University and is a member of Prairie Poets and Writers, a Salina group which self-published its work in PlainSpoken: Chosen Lives, Chosen Words.

Hazel Smith Hutchinson grew up in Maine. She began her life in Kansas 33 years ago. Hazel has been published in The Flint Hills Review, The Mid America Poetry Review, The Awakenings Review, Animus, and others.

Harley Elliott’s books of poetry include Animals That Stand In Dreams and Darkness at Each Elbow, both available from Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn, New York, and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and the memoir Loading the Stone, both from Woodley Press.

Paula Glover Ebert is an English graduate student at Kansas State University. A native of Colorado, she spent 30 years as a journalist in Colorado and Wyoming before coming to Kansas. She is recently married to a farmer who works his family farm outside of Manhattan.

Lori Brack’s work has appeared and is forthcoming in The Packingtown Review, North American Review, Another Chicago Magazine and other journals. Her first chapbook, A Fine Place to See the Sky, a poetic script written as a collaboration with her grandfather’s 1917-1922 Kansas farming journals and with the performance art of Ernesto Pujol, was published in 2010 by The Field School, New York.

Come hear these fine poets share their work with you.

'THE LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE'

Will the little Christmas tree be chosen? What happens when it gives up hope? Surprising things happen.

Mary Ann Wittman’s debut children’s book is an entirely local Topeka production, written by Wittman, illustrated by Andy Valdivia, published by Jack Cobos Design, and printed at Josten’s.

The Little Christmas Tree will be available for sale from 9-4 on Saturday, November 12, at the Washburn Tech Holiday Fair. Wittman’s first book signing will be at 1 pm on Saturday, November 19, at Above All Books and Gifts, 2607 SW 21st. During the December 2 First Friday Art Walk, Witttman will be signing at Elective, 900 North Kansas.

CAN WE HAVE THE WORLD WE WANT?

We can, according to Bryan Welch, publisher of Mother Earth News, in his book Beautiful and Abundant: Building the World We Want.

In the lives and accomplishments of farmers, gardeners, inventors and entrepreneurs, Beautiful and Abundant finds a path toward a world vision we can proudly pass on to future generations – a vision that is aesthetically beautiful, economically abundant, ethically fair and irresistibly contagious

Welch will speak and sign books at 3 pm on Thursday, November 3, at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive, Lawrence. More at www.beautifulandabundant.com or www.doleinstitute.org

Sunday, October 30, 2011

HEADLINER FOR KWA CONFERENCE

William Bernhardt collects rejection letters, although he doesn’t receive as many new examples as when he first sent his writing efforts off to magazines and other publications.

Besides now being a best-selling author, Bernhardt shares what he has learned about rejections at workshops. Bernhardt will be the keynoter presenter next March 16-17, 2012, for the Kansas Writers Association Scene Conference in Wichita.

Follow Bernhardt at http://williambernhardt.com, or KWA Writers at http://kwawriters.org

AN (ALMOST) RECTANGULAR STATE

Well, there is that little northeast corner that lends itself to the contours of the Missouri River, which gives us that extra ‘signature’ effect that set us off from all the other rectangular states.

Cheryl Unruh, author of Flyover People: Life on the Ground in a Rectangular State, will be talking about Kansas and Kansans in an appearance at 6 pm on Tuesday, November 1, at the Louisburg Library.

Unruh is an Emporia Gazette columnist and frequently is heard on Kansas Public Radio. Her website is a cornucopia of photographs of Kansas. (Cheryl, if you read this before you leave, I hope you will have time in Louisburg for a stop at a charming coffee spot about where KS Highway 68 crosses Broadway. If you don’t have time to stop for food – I had bagels and coffee, but there are other more interesting items on the menu – at least try to get a picture. The building surely was a gasoline station in the 1920s.)

LUSTING LIBRARIAN IN LAWRENCE

Nancy Pearl, the librarian who writes about lust, will speak in Lawrence at 7 pm on Friday, November 2, as a fundraiser for the Lawrence Public Library Foundation. (See www.lawrence.lib.ks.us)

Pearl is famous for her well-known books, variously entitled Book Lust, More Book Lust, Book Lust to Go, Book Crush, Book Crush Journal and Book Lust Journal, all of which sound racier than gothic romances. Pearl is regularly heard talking from Seattle about books on National Public Radio (NPR).

Sorry, the fundraiser is all sold out, but all we struggling writers can still lust for the day when Pearl will be talking about our books.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

FROM NIXON TO BUSH (W, THAT IS)

Out in September (I’m only one month late) is Governing at Home: The White House and Domestic Policymaking, a collection of essays edited by Michael Nelson and Russell L. Riley, and published by University of Kansas Press.

The contributors here offer an unusual balance of practical wisdom and social science knowledge. Their insights address a number of key questions throughout the book: What role does the presidential campaign have in shaping the subsequent activity of the White House? How are the specifics of domestic policy, and priorities, established once a president is elected? Who, and what, is routinely involved in trying to sell domestic policy preferences to the American people? And what lessons can be learned from past successes and failures to enhance the ability of future presidents to succeed?

Governing at Home covers presidential administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, and includes references to Barack Obama’s handling of domestic issues.

NOT TO OVERLOOK MANHATTAN

The Strecker-Nelson Gallery will be the setting for readings at 7 pm on Friday, November 4 by Kansas’ Poet Laureate, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and by Kansans whose work is appearing in Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, a book which celebrates 150 Years of Kansas’ Statehood.

The Strecker-Nelson Gallery is at 406 ½ Poyntz Avenue. For information about other readings in progress around the state, go to the website at http://150kansaspoems.wordpress.com/readings

KWA 2011 CONTEST IS OPEN

The Kansas Writers Association 2011 contest has been open for quite a while, but, hey, you still have time – the deadline is December 31, 2011. Prizes will be awarded at the annual Scene Conference in March, 2012.

Categories are First Chapter, Short Fiction, Short Stories for Youth and Non-Fiction. Adult Division Poetry categories are Rhymed Poetry and Free Verse. Youth Division (age 18 and under) categories are Prose: Fiction/Non-Fiction and Poetry: Rhymed/Free Verse. Go to www.kwawriters.org for entry fees and guidelines.

IT WASN'T WHAT I EXPECTED

It was even better.

The folks at the Louisburg Library and the Louisburg High School allowed me to participate in a concluding event of the 2011 One Book, One Burg: Louisburg Reads.

This years Louisburgians were all encouraged to read Hate List, a young adult book written by Jennifer Brown. Don’t be put off by the fact that Hate List is described as a young adult story – this is a powerful book.

When the program kicked off several weeks ago, Louisburgians were invited to drop by the Louisburg Public Library at 222 South Broadway to pick up a free copy of the book. After they finished reading the book, they were invited to sign their name and pass the book on to another reader, or return it to the library to be passed along to another individual.
The author, Jennifer Brown, a Kansas City regional writer, paid a visit to Louisburg. Members of three book clubs chose to read the book.

By the time I learned of the program, the only remaining scheduled event was an intergenerational discussion by Louisburg High School juniors, who had chosen to write a paper about the book, and members of the community. I envisioned a large group discussion, and thought that since I do not live in the community, I would be permitted to observe from the fringes.
It wasn’t until I arrived at the high school that I realized that no one would be permitted to remain silent, that the students and the adults would be seated in small groups at separate library tables. The paperbook copies of the second edition had questions in the back. My first edition copy had no question. By a very fortunate, and totally unexpected circumstance, one of the other adults turned out to be a member of my writing group, and fortunately for me, he was willing to sit at the same table to help stimulate the conversation.

Twice, the student groups were asked to move to different tables. The first group my colleague and I had were all girls, the second group were all boys, and the third group was mixed. All of them were very knowledgeable about the book, and very articulate about their impressions and opinions. And the event was much more meaningful for me because I was a participant, not an observer.

The Louisburg Library sponsors a joint reading program every other year, and offers the entire community a chance to be involved. Two years ago the chosen book was The Wizard of Oz. I’ll be curious about which book will be chosen for 2013. Whatever the title, Louisburg will be a more cohesive community because the residents, students included, will have a shared reading experience.

(And it shouldn’t be too difficult for other communities to emulate Louisburg’s example.)

(Oh yes, Pizza Hut supplied a delicious, ample luncheon. Thanks Pizza Hut.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

HE'S A PLAYWRIGHT, TOO

From Tom Mach:

Hi! I am excited to tell you that a play I wrote will be performed on stage by the EMU Theater at the Lawrence Arts Center on October 31 at 8 PM. The name of my play is Brain Trust. I hope you can come to the performance, but come early because I’m told they’ll have crowd attending. It’s such a thrill to see what you’ve written acted out!

Brain Trust by Tom Mach examines the protagonist's attempts to make sense of his correspondence and mysterious meeting with a woman who claims to have had contact with an inhuman species she believes to be of extraterrestrial origin.

The EMU Theater is located at 938 New Hampshire Street. For details: http://emutheatre.net. More about Tom Mach's works at www.TomMach.com

TO A VENUE NEAR YOU

The Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems poets who will read at 2 pm on Saturday, November 5, at Watermark Books and Café, 4701 East Douglas, include Elizabeth Black, Roy J. Beckemeyer, Ronda Miller, Rick Nichols, Bill Sheldon, Olive Sullivan, Diane Wahto and Pam McMaster Yenser.

The poets who will read at the program at 7 pm on Thursday, November 3, at Eighth Day Books, 2838 East Douglas are listed in a previous post headed: UPDATE ON NOVEMBER 3 READINGS.

Reading at Watermark Books and Cafe are:

Roy J. Beckemeyer, a retired aeronautical engineer from Wichita, studies fossils insects that lived in Kansas 250 million years ago, and edits two scientific journals. He has been writing poetry since he sent his first love poem to his high school sweetheart, Pat, now his wife of fifty years.

Elizabeth Black grew up on a farm in southwest Kansas. After a long career as a teacher, writer, journalist, and editor in the Washington D.C. area, she moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 2007. Elizabeth is the author of the novel Buffalo Spirits, which drew on her experiences growing up in western Kansas.

Ronda Miller moved to Lawrence from NW Kansas where she attained degrees in Creative Writing, University of Kansas. She is a certified Life Coach, graduate of World Company Citizen Journalism Academy and author of The 15Oth Pony Express Re-ride. She writes for The Examiner, and created poetic form ‘Loku’. Her poetry can be found at The Smithsonian Institute of Art, Tallgrass Voices, Blue Island Review, etc. She is the mother of a daughter and a son.

Rick Nichols penned 51 Burma Shave-like rhymes and a poem, “Messengers,” for his book 50 Sermons, 50 States: Presentations from the Pulpit for the People of America. Residing in an old river house with a good view of Missouri at Leavenworth, he has dubbed himself the “Border Bard.”

William Sheldon lives with his family in Hutchinson, Kansas where he teaches and writes. His poetry and prose have appeared widely in small press publications, including Columbia, Epoch, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner, and Midwest Quarterly. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and the chapbook Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill Press). Mammoth Publications will bring out his new collection, Rain Comes Riding, in summer 2011.

Olive L. Sullivan, an award-winning writer, grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas. Since then, she has lived in cities, mountains, deserts, two foreign countries, and an island, but she returns to Kansas landscapes for the images in her work. She lives with two big dogs and travels every chance she gets.

Diane Wahto’s poetry has been published in Midwest Quarterly, AID Review, and Coalition Connections: The Feminization of Poverty. Awards include the American Academy of Poets Award and the 2011 Salina Spring Reading Series New Voice Award. She lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and two dogs.

Pamela Yenser (formerly Pam McMaster) grew up in Wichita. She holds a BA in English (WSU), MA (PSU), and MFA (UI). Yenser was student editor of Mikrokosmos and The Midwest Quarterly Review. Nominated for AWP and Pushcart Prizes, and recipient of an American Academy of Poets Prize, she teaches college writing in Albuquerque.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

150 YEARS OF OUTLAWS, ETC.

From murder of the Reverend Thomas Johnson (for whom Johnson County is named) in 1865, to the death of Ali Kemp at 19 years of age in 2002, Monroe Dodd’s new book, Kansas City Crime Central, covers 150 years of outlaws, kidnappers, mobsters and their victims.

Dodd spoke last night before the Kansas City Press Club to an audience, some of whom had a working knowledge of the history of many of the crimes, at least in more recent years. In an informal guessing game, members of the audience were able to quickly identity most of the individuals pictured (or portrayed) on the front cover.

Painstakingly researched, meticulously written, and abundantly illustrated, Kansas City Crime Central is a publication of
Kansas City Star Books.

I HAVE . . . IN MY HANDS . . .

. . . a copy of a most marvelous book, to be exact, Born Again: 150 Kansas Poems.

For starters, the wrap-around photo cover is striking. Many of us have been driving on rain-spattered roads, beneath clouds like those, but rarely have we seen such a view captured on film. The photograph was taken by Stephen Locke in June, 2009, near Wellington.

Once you open the pages, don’t be too hasty. This is a book to treasure, to cherish, no speed-reading here – you want to savor every nuance of every line, the flavor of every word.

The book was published by Kansas’ own Woodley Press, always a purveyor of quality literature. Kansas’ own Poet Laureate, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, shepherded the project to completion.

There will be numerous readings across the state in the months to come. Keep watching this blog – I’ll try to keep you informed. And in the meantime, get the book, available at many Kansas book sellers, and at www.amazon.com.

'BRAINSTORM' # 90 ON AMAZON

Gordon Kessler’s Brainstorm just reached # 90 on Amazon !

Best-selling authors have praised Brainstorm (Daniel McMaster Series). James Rollins MY Times best-selling author of action thrillers Map of Bones, Black Order, and others says: Gordon Kessler’s Brainstorm is a wild ride into the reality of human consciousness forcing us to . . . well, drat, I can’t make Facebook show me the rest of the message, but you get the drift . . .

Congratulations, Gordon ! You can follow Gordon at http://www.wmxblog.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'COURAGE BEFORE EVERY DANGER'

Courage Before Every Danger follows “the men of the 31 Bombardment Squadron as they fight their way through the Pacific in World War II.” The book shares their “wide range of emotions from hilarity to boredom, from pride to utter despair.”

Courage Before Every Danger begins in 1938 with the 31st Bomb Squadron's transfer from the Mainland to Hawaii. The book follows the Squadron through the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 and the ensuing four years as it played a vital role in the United States' island hopping campaign in the Pacific Theatre.

Author Joanne Pfannenstiel Emerick was born in 1951 and was raised on a farm near Ness City, Kansas. She graduated from Ness City High School in 1969 and from Fort Hays State University in 1973 with a BA in History. She taught secondary social studies in Kansas public schools for 31 years before retiring in May, 2005. Joanne's avid interest in the 31st developed because her late father was a medical corpsman with the Squadron during

Emerick will be making several appearances in the next few weeks, beginning at the Kansas Authors’ Round-up 1-4 pm Community Center, Abilene; November 8, Veterans’ Day Celebration sponsored by the Lyon County Historical Society and the Emporia Public Library, evening; November 11, Veterans’ Day Celebration, Lakin, noon and November 15, Trego County Historical Society, Wakeeney, evening.

On December 7 (the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) Emerick will be at the Officers’ Club at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, during a late morning brunch. Read more about the book at the website http://couragebeforeeverydanger.com

HELP WITH GIFT SELECTIONS

Make it easy on yourself and plan to start your Christmas shopping at the Lawrence Holiday Bazaar on Sunday, November 20.

Kansas Authors club District # 2 will have a booth of members’ books for your selection, any time between 10 am to 5 pm. The Holiday Bazaar will be in the Lawrence Community Building near the intersection of 11th and Vermont.

It’s hard to beat books as welcome gifts. Plan to come browse. And bring your shopping list.

LAWRENCE READINGS, PART TWO

And the rest of the list (See Post below: AND READINGS IN LAWRENCE, TOO)

Amy Nixon, Tom Reynolds, Elizabeth Schultz, Melissa Sewell, Mary Stone-Dockery, Roderick Townley, Wyatt Townley, Timothy Volpert, Diane Wahto, Iris Wilkinson, Pamela Yenser, Max Yoho.

Again, The Raven Bookstore will have books available at the library for purchase (and I would imagine they would continue to carry the book afterwards at the store at 6 East 7th).

Rick Nichols penned 51 Burma Shave-like rhymes and a poem, “Messengers,” for his book 50 Sermons, 50 States: Presentations from the Pulpit for the People of America. Residing in an old river house with a good view of Missouri at Leavenworth, he has dubbed himself the “Border Bard.”

Amy Nixon is an award-winning poet and song-writer who lives in Manhattan, KS with her teenage son and three very spoiled cats. She is passionate about architecture, genealogy, and guacamole, among other things.

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008.

Elizabeth Schultz, having retired from the University of Kansas in 2001, now balances scholarship on Herman Melville and on the environment with writing essays and poems about the people and places she loves. She has published two critical works on Melville, two collections of poetry, one book of short stories, and published her scholarship and poetry widely.

Melissa Sewell lives in Topeka, Kansas, where she slings coffee and scrubs her daughter’s painty fingerprints from the walls. She loves raspberries and being divorced. Her poems have resided in Susquehanna Review, Inscape, seveneightfive magazine, and the upcoming Kansas City Voices.

Mary Stone Dockery’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Foundling Review, Blood Lotus, Breadcrumb Scabs, and many other fine journals. In 2011 she received the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry. Currently, she is an MFA student at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where she teaches English classes and co-edits the Blue Island Review and Stone Highway Review.

Roderick Townley, although known primarily as a children’s author (The Great Good Thing, The Door in the Forest, The Blue Shoe, and others), has published works of criticism and nonfiction, as well as two volumes of poetry: Three Musicians (NY: The Smith) and Final Approach (VT: The Countryman Press). His honors include the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award, a Master Artist Fellowship, the Peregrine Prize for Short Fiction, the Thorpe Menn Award, and two first prizes from the Academy of American Poets.

Wyatt Townley is a fourth-generation Kansan. Her work has appeared in journals ranging from The Paris Review to Newsweek. Books of poetry include The Breathing Field (Little, Brown), Perfectly Normal (The Smith), and her new collection, The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley), completed with a Master Fellowship from the Kansas Arts Commission.

Timothy Volpert, in addition to being a poet, is also a musician, and co-manages Blue Planet Cafe in Topeka. His poems have been published by the wonderful folks at seveneightfive magazine, Coal City Review, Inscape, Blue Island Review and more. He loves you, and wants the best for you.

Diane Wahto’s poetry has been published in Midwest Quarterly, AID Review, and Coalition Connections: The Feminization of Poverty. Awards include the American Academy of Poets Award and the 2011 Salina Spring Reading Series New Voice Award. She lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and two dogs.

Iris Wilkinson lives in North Lawrence just off the banks of the Kaw River. She enjoys leading a creative writing group for the women at the county jail and is thankful for her day job as a college professor at Washburn University.

Pamela Yenser (formerly Pam McMaster) grew up in Wichita. She holds a BA in English (WSU), MA (PSU), and MFA (UI). Yenser was student editor of Mikrokosmos and The Midwest Quarterly Review. Nominated for AWP and Pushcart Prizes, and recipient of an American Academy of Poets Prize, she teaches college writing in Albuquerque.

Max Yoho, a Topekan and native Kansan, is a retired machinist, and award-winning Kansas author. This poem was originally published in Felicia, These Fish Are Delicious,

AND READINGS IN LAWRENCE, TOO

Guided by Kansas’ Poet Laureate, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems has now been released.

A program of readings will be offered from 2-4 pm on Sunday, November 6, at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont. The Raven Bookstore will have books available for purchase.

Poets who are expected to participate include the following (and since blogger allows only 200 characters for “labels” on each post, this list will be carried over to succeeding posts): Karen Barron, Roy Beckemeyer, Jan Duncan-O'Neal, Paula Ebert, Kat Green, Anne Haehl, Joseph Harrington, Nancy Hubble, Gary Lechliter, Dixie Luben, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Rick Nichols, Amy Nixon, Tom Reynolds, Elizabeth Schultz, Melissa Sewell, Mary Stone-Dockery, Roderick Townley, Wyatt Townley, Timothy Volpert, Diane Wahto, Iris Wilkinson, Pamela Yenser, Max Yoho.

K. L. Barron has a weakness for landscapes, Kansas being the most enduring. She lives in the Flint Hills and teaches literature and writing at Washburn University. She’s published poems, fiction and non-fiction in New Letters, The Bennington Review, Midwest Quarterly, The Little Balkans Review, and Chickenbones et al.

Roy J. Beckemeyer, a retired aeronautical engineer from Wichita, studies fossils insects that lived in Kansas 250 million years ago, and edits two scientific journals. He has been writing poetry since he sent his first love poem to his high school sweetheart, Pat, now his wife of fifty years.

Jan Duncan O’Neal, after a twenty-year career in librarianship, retired to Overland Park where she writes poetry. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Thorny Locust and Coal City Review. She has written eleven language arts resource books for teachers. Jan has done storytelling workshops in 25 states. She is currently an editor for I-70 Review. Her chapbook, Voices: Lost and Found, will be published in autumn 2011 by The Lives You Touch Publications.

Paula Glover Ebert is an English graduate student at Kansas State University. A native of Colorado, she spent 30 years as a journalist in Colorado and Wyoming before coming to Kansas. She is recently married to a farmer who works his family farm outside of Manhattan.

Katherine Greene lived in ten states and thirty seven houses before settling in Kansas in 1977. She is a writer, a law librarian, a lover of words, and an avid reader. She lives in North Lawrence with her husband in the middle of a beautiful garden and still travels from time to time.

Anne Haehl is a lover of words, both in writing and in storytelling. She lives with her husband of 43 years, three cats and a dog. They have two grown children. She has been published in, among others, Coal City Review, Studio: a Journal of christians [sic] writing, and Chiron Review. Her chapbook, Daughter and Mother, was published by Snark Press in 2004.

Joseph Harrington is the author of Things Come On: an amneoir (Wesleyan University Press 2011), Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan 2002), and the chapbook earth day suite (Beard of Bees 2010). His creative work also has appeared in Hotel Amerika, The Collagist, Otoliths, Fact-Simile, and P-Queue, amongst others. He teaches at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Nancy Hubble has been a teacher at KU as well as various alternative and public elementary schools. She has had poetry published in the Lawrence Journal World, a variety of small zines and a publication by Imagination and Place, The Wakarusa Wetlands in Word & Image. Her work includes a CD and chapbook: Dharma Dog.

Gary Lechliter’s poetry has appeared in Atlanta Review, Chance of a Ghost: an Anthology ofContemporary Ghost Poems, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, New Mexico Poetry Review, Straylight, Tears in the Fence, and Wisconsin Review. He has a recent book, Foggy Bottoms: Poems about Myths and Legends, published by Coal City Press.

Dixie Lubin is a long-time resident of Lawrence, Kansas. She has written for pleasure since she learned to read. She is the author of Slightly Tilting into the Void and has had poems in anthologies, including The Carbon Chronicle-Harvest of Arts Poets 1992-1996, Flatland Press, Lawrence, Kansas and Kaw, Kaw, Kaw-as the Poets Fly from Lawrence Kansas, a CD. Dixie facilitates community writing workshops and writes with incarcerated teens. She is an outsider artist, and a founding mother of the annual “Bizarre Bazaar” in Lawrence.

Ronda Miller moved to Lawrence from NW Kansas where she attained degrees in Creative Writing, University of Kansas. She is a certified Life Coach, graduate of World Company Citizen Journalism Academy and author of The 15Oth Pony Express Re-ride. She writes for The Examiner, and created poetic form ‘Loku’. Her poetry can be found at The Smithsonian Institute of Art, Tallgrass Voices, Blue Island Review, etc. She is the mother of a daughter and a son.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the poet laureate of Kansas 2009-2012, and the author of over ten books, including four collections of poetry, The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body, and several anthologies. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also leads writing workshops widely. With singer Kelley Hunt, Caryn offers Brave Voice writing and singing retreats, collaborative performances and co-written songs

STALIN -- AT WAR WITH THE WORLD

Out in paperback in October is Robert W. Stephan’s Stalin’s Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence Against the Nazis from the University Press of Kansas.

Simultaneously, Soviet State Security continued to penetrate the world’s major intelligence services including those of its allies, terrorize its own citizens to prevent spying, desertion, and real or perceived opposition to the regime, and run millions of informants, making the USSR a vast prison covering one sixth of the world’s surface.

Stephan served in the CIA from 1987 to 2006. He is adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics.
www.kansaspress.ku.edu

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BIG READ AUTHOR IN WICHITA

Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, which is the title chosen for the BIG READ program in Wichita, will speak at 9 am (yep, that’s in the morning) on Saturday, November 5, at Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas, in Wichita.

A Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Things They Carried is a collection of stories about soldiers and the items they took with them as they went to war. Numerous events and displays have been available in connection with the BIG READ.

The BIG READ is a project of the National Endowment of the Arts, and offers about 20 titles and several poets to choose from. Information about the application process is at www.neabigread.org.

Many of the titles were written by authors who are no longer living. The Wichita BIG READ project gives readers to talk to the author in person.

MORGAN ON MIDWEST CIRCUIT

Why didn’t the boundaries of the United States end at the Missouri border? Historian Robert Morgan answers that question with Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westwards Expansion, a book filled with illustrations, portraits, maps, battle plans and timelines.

Morgan will be on a circuit that starts at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 3, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park, sponsored by Rainy Day Books of Fairway.

Thursday, November 4 will find Morgan at
Watermark Books,
4701 East Douglas in Wichita, in a program that gets underway at 7 pm.

Previous works of Morgan are October Crossing and Boone: A Biography.

An aside: Hmmmm . . . can’t help but wonder who might be the heroes and who the villains?

HORWITZ AT RAINY DAY, WATERMARK

Kansans know more about John Brown that the rest of the United States, so our interest will be keen in Tony Horwitz’ new book, Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War.

Unlike most abolitionists, Brown was prepared to shed blood in the cause of freedom. After fighting against slavery in Bleeding Kansas, he secured money and guns from clandestine backers called the Secret Six, and convened a guerilla band that included three of his sons, his teenaged daughter, a former slave desperate to free his wife from bondage, and a dashing poet who acted as a spy inside Virginia

Horwitz will make several appearances in the Midwest, beginning at the Institute for Constitutional Heritage in Norman, OK, on November 8.

Rainy Day Books will host a booksigning at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 9, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 West 47th Street, Kansas City, MO.

Horwitz will be at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 South Main, in Wichita on Thursday, November 10, for a booksigning hosted by Watermark Books.

Among other books by Horwitz are Confederates in the Attic, and Baghdad Without a Map
.

UPDATE ON NOVEMBER 3 READING

The reading of poems from the 150 Kansas Poems project – Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems -- at 7 pm on Thursday, November 3, at Eighth Day Books will include several poets whose work appears in the book.

In addition to Roy Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto, listeners will hear Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas’ Poet Laureate who initiated and directed the year-long project, Bill Sheldon, Iris Wilkinson, and Pamela McMaster Yenser.

Eighth Day Books is located at 2838 East Douglas. Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems can be ordered from Amazon.

Roy J. Beckemeyer, a retired aeronautical engineer from Wichita, studies fossil insects that lived in Kansas 250 million years ago, and edits two scientific journals. He has been writing poetry since he sent his first love poem to his high school sweetheart, Pat, now his wife of fifty years.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the poet laureate of Kansas 2009-2012, and the author of over ten books, including four collections of poetry, The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body, and several anthologies. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also leads writing workshops widely. With singer Kelley Hunt, Caryn offers Brave Voice writing and singing retreats, collaborative performances and co-written songs.

Bill Sheldon lives with his family in Hutchinson where he teaches and writes. His poetry and prose have appeared widely in small press publications, including Columbia, Epoch, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner and Midwest Quarterly. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Retreiving Old Bones (Woodley) and the chapbook Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill Press). Mammoth Publications brought out his new collection, Rain Comes Riding, in 2011.

Diane Wahto's poetry has been published in Midwest Quarterly, AID Review, and Coalition Conventions: The Feminization of Poverty. Awards include the American Academy of Poets Award and the 2011 Salina Spring Reading Series New Voice. She lives in Wichita with her husband and two dogs.

Iris Wilkinson lives in North Lawrence just off the banks of the Kaw River. She enjoys leading a creative writing group for the women at the county jail and is thankful for her day job as a college professor at Washburn University.

Pamela Yenser (formerly Pam McMaster) grew up in Wichita. She holds a BA in English (WSU) MA (PSU) and MFA (UI). Yenser was student editor of Mikrokosmos and The Midwest Quarterly Review. Nominated for AWP and Pushcart Prizes, and recipient of an American Academy of Poets Prize, she teaches college writing in Albuquerque.

Monday, October 24, 2011

THE REST OF THE READERS

Dang! Blogger will permit a list of only 200 characters with each post, not nearly enough to get everyone on the labels list. Here are the rest of the names, and for details, check the post immediately below – ALREADY – ANOTHER 150 POEMS READING

ALREADY -- ANOTHER 150 POEMS READING

From 6-9 pm on Sunday, November 13, at Prospero’s Books, just across the state line at 1800 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO. It’s a release party for Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas’ Poet Laureate.

You’ll hear Lorraine Achey, Marie Asner, Maril Crabtree, Jo McDougall, Jan Duncan-O’Neal, Will Leatham, Amy Nixon, Mark Scheel, Olive Sullivan, Wyatt Townley, Iris Wilkinson, and Donna Lash Wolff. (If I can’t get all these names onto the “labels” list, I’ll add another post.) All contributing poets are welcome to attend and join in the reading. Read the poems online at www.150kansaspoems.wordpress.com. Yep, I can already see that there is not enough room for all the names -- see the post above -- THE REST OF THE NAMES

Lorraine Achey, a life-long autodidact, has studied subjects ranging from anatomy & physiology to Zimbabwean mbira. Poetry writing started with her sixth grade teacher’s encouragement, and has continued with varying success over the years. She also writes for her personal and business blogs, and recently sent her first poetry collection, Diner on Dark’s Last Corner in search of a publisher. Lorraine has lived quietly with the stark beauty of the prairie of southwest Missouri/southeast Kansas all her life, and shares her home with three dynamic “Diva Dogs.” She works as a massage therapist when she is not reading, writing, or grooming dogs.

Marie Asner is an entertainment reviewer in the greater Kansas City area and with Chicago outlets. She has had regular appearances on KCUR-FM (Kansas City NPR). Marie is a free lance writer, poet, workshop presenter and past member of Kansas Arts on Tour. She is a contributor to the Last Book project with displays in Buenos Aires, Zurich and New York City.

Maril Crabtree has lived in Kansas most of her adult life. Her poems are published in Coal City Review, Flint Hills Review, Steam Ticket, Kalliope, New Works Review and others. She is Poetry Co-editor of Kansas City Voices. Her most recent chapbook is Moving On (Pudding House Press, 2010).

Jo McDougall lives in Leawood, Kansas. She’s Associate Professor Emeritus of English, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. McDougall is the author of five books of poetry, two chapbooks, and a memoir, Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family (July 2011, University of Arkansas Press).

Jan Duncan O’Neal, after a twenty-year career in librarianship, retired to Overland Park where she writes poetry. Her work has appeared in I-70 Review, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Thorny Locust and Coal City Review. She has written eleven language arts resource books for teachers. Jan has done storytelling workshops in 25 states. She is currently an editor for I-70 Review. Her chapbook, Voices: Lost and Found, will be published in autumn 2011 by The Lives You Touch Publications.

Amy Nixon is an award-winning poet and song-writer who lives in Manhattan, KS with her teenage son and three very spoiled cats. She is passionate about architecture, genealogy, and guacamole, among other things.

Mark Scheel was born and raised on a farm in rural, east-central Kansas. He served overseas with the American National Red Cross in Vietnam, Thailand, Germany and England and later took graduate studies and taught at Emporia State University. Prior to retirement he was an information specialist with the Johnson County Library in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and a prose editor for Kansas City Voices magazine. His most recent book, A Backward View: Stories & Poems, won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award from the Kansas Authors Club.

Olive L. Sullivan, an award-winning writer, grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas. Since then, she has lived in cities, mountains, deserts, two foreign countries, and an island, but she returns to Kansas landscapes for the images in her work. She lives with two big dogs and travels every chance she gets.

Wyatt Townley is a fourth-generation Kansan. Her work has appeared in journals ranging from The Paris Review to Newsweek. Books of poetry include The Breathing Field (Little, Brown), Perfectly Normal (The Smith), and her new collection, The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley), completed with a Master Fellowship from the Kansas Arts Commission.

Iris Wilkinson lives in North Lawrence just off the banks of the Kaw River. She enjoys leading a creative writing group for the women at the county jail and is thankful for her day job as a college professor at Washburn University.

Donna Lynn Lash-Wolff was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but has lived in Kansas most of her life. She works at Kansas University Medical Center and is a Trustee Scholar at Park University. Her writing has appeared in The Scenic Route, the Synapse, the Kansas City Kansas Community College e-Journal, as part of the Kansas Arts Commission 2010 National Poetry Month To the Stars Writing Contest, and as a 2011 Kansas Daily Poem in Your Pocket selection. She is currently compiling her first book of poetry.

150 SESQUICENTENNIAL POEMS TO BE HEARD

The 150 poems chosen to celebrate Kansas’ 150 years of statehood will be heard at numerous readings around the state this autumn.

At 7 pm on Thursday, November 3, Roy Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto will be reading at Eighth Day Books, 2838 East Douglas in Wichita. On Saturday, November 5, Beckemeyer and Wahto will read at 2 pm at Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas.

Read the poems as they are posted to www.150kansaspoems.wordpress.com The project is being shepherded by Kansas’ Poet Laureate, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Watch for readings being planned at other locations.

AND THE AWARDS WENT TO . . .

The Johnson County Library Foundation Pinnacle Awards went to Mark Gilman of Mission Hills, Gregory T. Wolf of Prairie Village, Carlos Antequera of Shawnee, and Kathy McLellan of Overland Park.

The awards were presented at a reception and dinner on October 20 at the Johnson County Community College.The Pinnacle awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their professional fields or philanthropic pursuits in the community.

MUSIC AT DUSTY BOOKSHELF

Hospital Ships, a Lawrence musical group, will play at 7 pm on Friday, October 28, at the Dusty Bookshelf, 708 Massachusetts in Lawrence, as part of the Final Fridays programs. A recent release of Hospital Ships is “The Lonely Twin.”

Another Dusty Bookshelf is located in Manhattan, in the heart of Aggieville.

WAITING 50 YEARS FOR PUBLICATION

How many of us can wait fifty years to see our work published?

Ad Astra Publishing has another new book out – Hall of Fame Series: Tales of a Town Named Bull City by Orville Grant Guttery. After Guttery’s death in 1959, materials which Guttery compiled in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s were given to the Carnegie Public Library. Von Rothenberger of Ad Astra Publishing discovered the materials in 1976. Since 2010 marked the 140th anniversary of the founding of Bull City (Alton), Von Rothenberger edited the materials into a workable manuscript and had it published.

Writes Von Rothenberger, “So after 50 years Guttery is finally getting his due for all his efforts so long ago.”

Guttery’s book will be available at the Salina Public Library at 2-4 pm on Saturday, November 5, in connection with Patsy L. Redden’s booksigning for Captain Osborn’s Legacy. Redden’s great-great-grandfather, Russell Scott Osborn, is an often overlooked figure in the history of the state of Kansas.

Ad Astra Publishing is located in Lucas. Check out Ad Astra’s website, http://www.adastrallc.com with more about Tales of a Town Named Bull City and Captain Osborn’s Legacy, and other book news.

'SEND ME WORK: STORIES'

Katherine Karlin, author and faculty member at Kansas State University, will be signing her new book, Send Me Work: Stories, at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, November 2, at Claflin Books at 1814 Claflin Road.

The Library Journal writes: “Karlin’s debut story collection focuses on men and women in the everyday world of work, from a loan officer – turned – fish tank cleaner to oil refinery workers and a New Orleans shipyard welder.”

It’s all very reminiscent of a hopeful phrase frequently spoken in the 1930s to individuals who were leaving home to seek their fortune – before mobile telephones – “write if you find work.”

TAMORE PIERCE COMES TO KANSAS

Tamora Pierce, author of Mastiff, Book Three of Beka Cooper: A Tortall Legend Trilogy, will be in Kansas at two locations next week.

On Tuesday, November 1, Pierce will be at Barnes and Noble at Oak Park Mall, 11323 West 95th Street, Overland Park at 7 pm. On Wednesday, November 2, she will be at Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas in Wichita, also at 7 pm.

Pierce is a writer of young adult fantasy novels.

TOMORROW AT WATERMARK

Bring the young ones – tomorrow, October 25, Watermark Books at 4701 East Douglas in Wichita is sponsoring a multigenerational event to celebrate this year’s Big Read program of Tim O’Brien’s Pulitzer finalist novel, The Things They Carried, a collection of related stories about American soldiers in the Vietnam War.

From 6-7:30 Taylor Jones and Shirley, Watermark booksellers and book club leaders, will present dramatic readings and lead a panel discussion. More at www.watermarkbooks.

TONIGHT AT WATERMARK

It’s the season for spooks, haunts, ghosts, apparitions – all that scary stuff.

Find out what is haunting Wichita at 7 pm tonight, October 24, during a presentation at Watermark Books by Beth Cooper, author of Wichita Haunts.

Shadowman is seen roaming the grounds at Cowtown. The blacksmith touches investigators in his shop. The former church on Hillside Street has a friendly ghost named Belle. These are just a few of the characters that linger in Haunted Wichita. Wichita grew from the prairie as a cattle town into the Peerless Princess of the Plains. Influenced by bold settlers, the city reflects the American spirit of capitalism and manifest destiny. Explore the haunted history of Wichita through supernatural tales from Cowtown, the Delano District, theaters, and hotels. Most are authentic haunted locations, as documented by Wichita Paranormal Research Society (WPRS) and Paranormal Research Investigators (PRI).

Watermark Books is at 4701 East Douglas. More at www.watermarkbooks.com.

WHEN WE ALL READ THE SAME BOOK

Conversations with our neighbors and fellow citizens are all enriched when we speak from a common ground. Community reading programs can provide us with common reference points.

Under the rallying cry of “Creating a Nation of Readers” the National Endowment of the Arts annually sponsors The Big Read. This year, from a list of about fifteen suggestions, Wichita chose The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. When published in 1990, The Things They Carried was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, according to wikipedia. Three other United States cities chose The Things They Carried as a reading project.

Prior to the start of this fall’s school year, students at Kansas State University were all encouraged to read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Last year a college (outside the state of Kansas) suggested that all the students read The Good Soldiers, David Finkel’s Pulitzer Prize winning account of eight months he spent with the 2-16, a battalion of 800 soldiers from Fort Riley (Second Batallion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Brigade “Combat Team, First Infantry Division).

More recently the Louisburg Public Library has lead a community-wide project to read Hate List, by Kansan Jennifer Brown. A culminating event will be a library-sponsored luncheon (reservations required) on Friday, October 28, at Louisburg High School.

If your community sponsors a group reading project, get involved – it will give you plenty to talk about.

BIG READ TALK AT BRADLEY FAIR

Wichita area readers are invited to join a discussion of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien at 7 pm on Thursday, October 27, at Barnes and Noble Bradley Fair, 1920 North Rock Road.

The Things They Carried is a “groundbreaking and painful meditation of war and its’ effects on the human heart and soul.” There will be a Big Read table of readers’ guides. (See the post below for more on the Big Read program of the National Endowment of the Arts.)

BILL SNEAD DISPLAY AT ANDOVER

Pulitzer Prize candidate and Kansas native Bill Snead served as a photo journalist and photo manager of a national wire service in Vietnam from 1967-1969. Snead was raised in Lawrence and began his journalistic career in 1954 at the Lawrence Journal-World. During the month of October, he will display his photos from his years running the UPI's photo bureau in Saigon at the Andover Public Library. His images chronicle the war with an array of striking work that earned him a place in history. His talk at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, will focus on his experiences in Vietnam, the people he worked with and the stories and people he covered, including photos he took during his time in Vietnam.

The Andover Public Library is at 1511 E. Central Avenue in Andover.

The above information is re-printed from the Big Read website of the National Endowment of the Arts. The Big Read book selection for Wichita is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, an account of items that soldiers carry, and accompanying stories. More about the Big Read at www.neabigread.org

Sunday, October 23, 2011

'VOICES OF THE GREAT PLAINS'

Writes Tony R. Pierce:

Voices of the Great Plains: A Collection of Short Memoirs, is a compilation produced by my group of writer friends in Lawrence, KS. The book includes contributions from 18 authors on a variety of topics based on their memories.

“Memoirs are stories, and we tell each other stories to figure out who we are and where we come from. Stories are the common property of the human family, tools of navigation through life. And when those stories are our own and those of our families, they assume an especially intense importance for us. A great many memoir writers hope that their stories will preserve the family legacy for their children and grandchildren.”

You’ll find more on Pierce’s website at www.tonyrpierce.

Voices of the Great Plains is the joint work of memoir-writing classes taught by Jerry Masinton at the Lawrence Arts Center.

WHEAT FIELDS TO TUNDRA

Not to be overlooked is From Kansas Wheatfields to Alaska Tundra, one of several books in a series of Prescription for Adventure, by Naomi Gaede Penner. The series is a “group of non-fiction books that depict life – and all of its grand adventures – in Alaska, the Last Frontier.”

In Bush Pilot Doctor, Penner writes about her father’s supper table storytelling of his flying, hunting, and medical adventures. In From Kansas Wheat Fields to Alaska Tundra: A Mennonite Family Finds Home, Penner chronicles the story of a young girl from the flat-land prairies of Kansas transported to a life of “village potlatches, school in a Quonset hut, the fragrance of wood smoke, Native friends, a doctor-daddy . . . a mother who makes the tastiest moose roasts . . . and a batch of siblings.”

Penner has been made several book-signing stops throughout Kansas (which unfortunately I missed the chance to tell you about), but if you hurry, you can catch her on November 5 at Hastings in Greely, CO, and on November 19 in Parker, CO, before she heads back to Alaska.

BIG TENT ON OCTOBER 27

The Big Tent may get crowded by 7 pm on Thursday, October 27 at The Raven Bookstore, 6 East 7th Street in Lawrence. Appearing will be Jonathan Mayhew, Jonathan Stalling and Cheryl Pallant.

Mayhew’s book is Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch. Since 1996 Mayhew has taught in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at the University of Kansas.

Stalling is the author of several books, and a translator of Chinese works. His opera, Yingelishi, debuted at Yunnan University in 2010, and is available on his webpage at http://jonathanstalling.com.

A writer and a dancer, Pallant, has several books of poetry and a book on dance to her credit. She offers a workshop, Writing From the Body, in the United States and in Europe.
www.ravenbookstore.com

HE'S BACK -- LEHRER RETURNS

Kansas-born Jim Lehrer returns to the midwest to talk about his latest book, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain, at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 26, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th, Kansas City, MO.

As anchor for The NewsHour on PBS, Lehrer has had the opportunity to observe the presidential candidates close-up and personal over many debate seasons.

The topics of Lehrer’s many books range far and wide, but some that I like best are his tales of the one-eyed lieutenant-governor of the state of Oklahoma. I think Kick the Can may be the first in the series, but under Lehrer’s pen, the lieutenant-governor has some strange, weird, rollicking adventures.

Lehrer’s appearance is sponsored by Rainy Day Books in Fairway.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

KELLER'S SCRAMBLED STATES

Laurie Keller, author and illustrator of many children’s books, will present a program at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 26, at the Dorothy Bramlage Library at 230 West Seventh Street in Junction City.

Keller may be best known for her book, The Scrambled States of America, which was followed by The Scrambled States of America Talent Show, but she has also created, with ink pen and paint brush, Arnie the Doughnut (a book whose cover claims to have fresh doughnuts inside), Do Unto Otters, Open Wide (which may be a book about going to the dentist), Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard, and others.

Check Claflins Books website, http://www.claflinbooks.com, for information about this and other upcoming events.

SHOPPING WITH A PURPOSE

Nothing more rewarding. On Friday, November 18, you can enjoy four hours of shopping – from 4 to 8 pm – at Ten Thousand Villages, 7947 Santa Fe Drive, in Overland Park, with a whopping 15% of all sales going to benefit The Writers’ Place.

(If you’ve never been to The Writers’ Place, you wouldn’t know that it’s the literary HANGOUT for the Greater Kansas City area, easy to find, 3607 Pennsylvania, just one block west of Broadway, behind the Uptown Theater. Check the website www.writersplace.org for programs, readings, classes, workshop, exhibits, something going on all the time.)

PLUS , while you’re shopping, there will be free samples, music, food, and a drawing for gifts, all this combined with the opportunity to purchase fair trade gifts from 38 countries.
http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/

Friday, October 21, 2011

'BALLERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL'

Dr. Thabiti Lewis, a sports scholar (and also an associate professor of English) will discuss his new book, Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America, in appearances on Monday, October 24, at the University of Kansas.

In a lecture at 7 pm at the Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium, Lewis will address the topic of “Can Michael Vick Be Forgiven? Race, Gender and Mythologies in American Sports Culture.” Since Vick spent most of his time in imprisonment in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansans are familiar with his story.

Earlier in the day Lewis will be part of a panel discussion from noon to 1:15 pm at Alderson Auditorium. Lewis teaches at Washington State University in Vancouver. Read more at www.ballersofthenewschool.com.

WE ALL READ TOGETHER

You know the expressions – “just to be sure we’re all on the same page.”

Louisburg is taking the admonition quite seriously and is promoting the concept of “One Book, One Burg: Louisburg Reads.” The book chosen is Hate List, written by Kansas Jennifer Brown, who has already made an appearance at the Louisburg Library early in October.

Before the month is over, three reading groups will have discussed the book: The Town and Country Book Club, the Mystery Book Club, and Guys Read. On October 21 Stacy Curtis, a 2011 Louisburg High School graduate, visited the library and spoke of her experience in interviewing a student who had been shot during the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999.

Members of the community are encouraged to meet in the high school library from 12-1:30 on Friday, October 28, for lunch and a discussion. They will be invited to share experiences and perspectives on life, and the book, Hate List. Lunch will be provided by the library, for which reservations must be made no later than Wednesday, October 26. Contact the library.

I’m sure the community luncheon at the high school will not be the end of the discussion, in fact, when most everyone in town has read the same book, that should give them lots of good starting points for meaningful conversations.

TAD PRITCHETT AT ZIMMER'S

Today at 11 am at Zimmer’s Books and Maps, 117 SW 6th in Topeka.

Copied blatantly from Lloyd’s persuasive prose: Don’t forget to come and meet Tad Pritchett, who will be signing copies of his newest book. This is a very honest and well created account of the Battle of the Bulge and Tad has done a great job of bringing the stories of our Kansas heroes to life. If you hae any interest in military history, World War II, or The Greatest Generation, you should have this book. In addition to being an excellent writer, Tad is an interesting and great guy whom you will enjoy visiting with.

KLINE BLOGS ON KCVOICES

You’ll be rewarded by reading Burying, a guest blog by Jack Kline, which was posted on www.kcvoices.blogspot.com on October 20.

Kline has had work published previously in Kansas City Voices, and will be one of the featured readers on Saturday, November 12, at the Literary Launch of Volume 9 at 1 pm at the Johnson County Central Resource Library 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park.

You’ll be able to buy copies of the 2011 issue, or order on line at www.kansascityvoices.com. Previous issues are also available at a reduced rate.

OLD LETTERS READ AGAIN

Correspondence between a teacher and the superintendent of the Indian Day School of the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico provided Adrea Lawrence the basis for her book, Lessons from and Indian Day School: Negotiating Colonization in Northern New Mexico, 1902-1907, published in October by the University Press of Kansas.

Lawrence reveals the challenges federal employees faced as they tried to execute the federal policy of assimilation while dealing with educative issues—relating to land, disease, citizenship, and modes of education—that confronted Santa Clara Pueblo and its neighbors. Several recurring themes are traced through each chapter, such as colonization as negotiation; place as a participant; . . . notions of “good” and “bad” Indians; and the significance of the relationships among Pueblo Indians, Hispanos, and Anglos.

Lawrence is an assistant professor at American University in Washington, DC

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LAUREL'S BOOKSHELF LIKES 'BRAINSTORM'

Gordon Kessler’s Brainstorm has found an excited reader at Laurel’s Bookshelf:

Take the most exciting action-adventure movie you ever saw, double the adrenaline rush, and you MIGHT be getting close to the thrills in Mr. Kessler's latest book. My mind raced and my heart pounded throughout.

Robert Weller lives a near picture-perfect life in the quaint village of Gold Rush, CO. His hardware store is doing well, his wife Michelle is beautiful and loving. If not for his son Will's accident, resulting in paralysis, life would be ideal. But Will has a very good doctor who believes that Will can walk again using cutting edge technology. Weller is content and hopeful, except for an occasional throbbing headache and a troubling voice inside his mind. Then, one bright, perfect morning, he finds a note tucked under the soap in his shower: Everything you know is lies.

Is anything real? His wife, his business, his sleepy little town? Is Weller himself real? Within the first few pages, Weller is thrown into a techno-nightmare of smart fabrics, wearable computers, psychic assassins, mind control, and black ops that would give Jason Bourne the vapors. Maj. Lionel Jackson and Sunny McMasters try to help Weller, but can he trust them? Or are they a part of a violent and deadly delusion?

Brainstorm is a hair raising read because it's more reality than fiction. I suspect there are Robert Wellers in the world, using their psychic talents for good and evil. There are, no doubt, black ops underway that would make us all shiver if we knew the full extent of their effect. And there is, for certain, modern weaponry out there of frightening capabilities. It's all here in Kessler's book. If you're an adrenaline junkie, a conspiracy theorist, or simply enjoy exciting reads, Brainstorm is highly recommended.

Read more about Brainstorm and Kessler’s other books at his website, http://www.gordonkessler.com

‘READING AND WRITING OUR WAY HOME’

Poetry Across Kansas – Reading and Writing Our Way Home is the title of the workshop to be presented at 1 pm on Saturday, October 22, by the Poet Laureate of Kansas, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, the Poet Laureate of Kansas 2009-2011, will lead a writing workshop, A Sense of Place, on Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 PM. Her project as poet laureate is Poetry Across Kansas — Reading and Writing Our Way Home, intended to strengthen the presence of poetry in Kansas, build literary communities statewide, and enhance Kansans’ sense of place through poetry.

Caryn posts regularly about poetry and literary events and news in the state of Kansas at her website at http://carynmirriamgoldberg.com

AUTHOR'S BRUNCH IN AUGUSTA

Probably too late for a reservation, but you might try. The August Public Library, 1609 State Street, is hosting an author event with Beverley Olson Buller at 10 am on Saturday, October 22.

Continuing in the fine Augusta tradition of the Annual Author’s Brunch,Beverley Olson Buller,an award winning children’s author,will be at the Library on Saturday,October 22 at 10AM. For $10,you will have a unique opportunity to hear Ms. Buller speak about her two books: From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White and A Prairie Peter Pan: The Story of Mary White and have brunch. Tickets are limited,so call Virginia Belt at 775-5267 or the Library,775-2681,to make your reservations.

You can check out future appearances by Buller at her website at
http://www.beverleybooks.com

'KYLIE'S SONG' NOW AVAILABLE

Kylie’s Song, a contemporary romance by Marsha Lytle, has been released by Eternal Press. Set in Montana, it is the story of an architectural student home for summer holiday from college.

After a blizzard wiped out half their cattle the winter before, Kylie’s older sister decided to turn their place into a dude ranch with Kylie working as the horse wrangler. When their first guests, a rock band from Northern Ireland, arrive Kylie’s patience is tested by their lead singer, Danny Boy Campbell, whose ego is as large as the state of Montana. Danny Boy gradually wears down her defenses. Danny’s disappearance months after their marriage leaves her to find her way in the world alone, but she can’t accept that someone so full of life could be dead as she tries to make a new life for herself and Danny’s son.

More about Kylie’s song at the Eternal Press website, or on Marsha’s blog.

'BAM is coming soon'

BAM = Books-A-Million, which is coming soon to the space vacated by Waldenbooks in Salina’s Central Mall. Thanks, Gloria, for passing along this information.

If it’s anything like the Books-A-Million store I’ve shopped at in Missouri, it will have an extensive magazine selection, a large, attractive children’s section, plus a Joe Muggs coffee corner. Find the BAM website at www.booksamillion.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

RUN-AWAY ON THE RUN AGAIN

Well, sort of. Liz Moore, author of Making It Home: My Year as a Middle-aged Runaway, plans to run away again this winter, at least far enough to revisit some of the places she saw the first time she ran away. Among other places, she’ll be at a restaurant in Vermont again, where she is “glad they have a sense of humor.”

If you’re wondering what really happened the first time she lived in that town, you’ll need to read the book, which you can purchase by stopping by the Magnolia Health and Home store in Independence about 2:30 – 3:30 on Saturday, October 22. Besides hosting book-signings, Magnolia has lovely bath and body products, candles, oils, and such, located at 106 North Pennsylvania in downtown Independence.

(Liz – are you sure the restaurant folks have a sense of humor – you don’t suspect they’re trying to lure you back in order to exact some form of revenge? Keep us posted.)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'MY DEAREST NELLIE'

Few presidential couples enjoyed a closer relationship in the White House than Will and Nellie Taft. Throughout William Howard Taft’s rise in American politics, she had been his most intimate confidant. When circumstances separated them, as when Helen Herron Taft became incapacitated by a stroke and was unable to accompany the president on his storied travels—or was herself on recuperative trips—she pressed him for letters, and he obliged with gossipy correspondence that provides a fascinating account of his presidency at decisive moments in his single term.

My Dearest Nellie: The Letters of William Howard Taft to Helen Herron Taft, 1909-1912, as edited by Lewis L. Gould, was published in September by the University Press of Kansas. Gould, who lives in Austin, TX, is the author of several books about American presidents.

BUFFALO BILL AT THE BOOK BARN

Seeing is believing, and if you step inside The Book Barn at 410 Delaware in Leavenworth about 7 pm on Friday, October 21, you’ll believe that you’re seeing Buffalo Bill Cody in real flesh and blood.

You’ll see living history. Buffalo Bill’s family lived in Salt Creek Valley just over the hill from the fort, was interviewed by The Leavenworth Times when he was only twelve years old.

Bob and Barb Spear must be very close friends with old William Frederick Cody, because the legendary westerner has paid several visits to The Book Barn. (To tell the truth, I think Buffalo Bill is sweet on Barb Spear, because he never seems to come around for a visit when Bob Spear is on the premises.)

TAAFFE ON GENERAL MARSHALL

TAAFFE ON GENERAL MARSHALL
Stephen R. Taaffe, professor of history at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX, is the author of Marshall and His Generals: U.S. Army Commanders in World War II, scheduled for publication in October by the University Press of Kansas.

Taaffe explores how and why Marshall selected the Army’s commanders. Among his chief criteria were character (including “unselfish and devoted purpose”), education, (whether at West Point, Fort Leavenworth, or the Army War College), and striking a balance between experience and relative youth in a war that required both wisdom and great physical stamina. As the war unfolded, Marshall also factored into his calculations the combat leadership his generals demonstrated and the opinions of his theater commanders.

HACKER, TENNILLE AND LOOTS

Three poets – Tina Hacker, Alarie Tennille and Barbara Loots – will read from their recent works in a program at 7 pm on Friday, October 21, at The Writers’ Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Tina Hacker’s recent chapbook is Cutting It. Her honors include two Pushcart Prize nominations, and her work has appeared in the Mid-America Poetry Review, Shot Glass Journal, Coal City Review, as well as in anthologies such as Missouri Poets and Show + Tell. Alarie Tennille’s chapbook is Spiraling into Control. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Margie, Poetry East, ByLine Magazine, The Little Balkans Review, Coal City Review, and The Mid-America Poetry Review. Barbara Loots spent her professional career at Hallmark Cards. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and textbooks, including Helicon Nine Reader, New Letters, Light Quarterly, The Lyric, and Measure.

CHILDREN'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

David S. Tanenhaus, author of Juvenile Justice in the Making, brings us another volume about the legal rights of minors in The Constitutional Rights of Children: in re Gault and Juvenile Justice, published in September by the University Press of Kansas.

In re Gault is a case that eventually changed the way juveniles are treated by the U.S. Justice system. Gerald Gault, of Globe, AZ, was charged as a juvenile in 1964. Tanenhaus, professor of history and James E. Rogers Professor of History and Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, reports on the lengthy history of this case and its effects on the juvenile justice courts in The Constitutional Rights of Children.

Monday, October 17, 2011

'CAPTAIN OSBORN'S LEGACY'

Patsy L. Redden captures the story of her great-great-grandfather, Russell Scott Osborn in her book, Captain Osborn’s Legacy, published by Ad Astra Publishing.

The true story of the life of Russell Scott Osborn, Civil War soldier, stonemason, Congregational minister, and Populist Party leader who was elected Kansas Secretary of State, therefore becoming an integral part of the Legislative War of 1893. Compiled from his own diaries and writings, Captain Osborn’s Legacy is that rare account that captures a period of Kansas and Western history largely overlooked until now.

Redden will be signing books from 2-4 pm on Saturday, November 5, at the Salina Public Library at 301 West Elm Street.

BECKER AND BAUER AT LIBRARY

Phyllis Becker and Bill Bauer will be appearing in the Poetry Series at the Johnson County Library, 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park, at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 18.

Phyllis Becker is on the board of the Writer's Place and coordinator of the Riverfront Reading series which features local and regional writers. Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and she has a chapbook Walking Naked into Sunday (Wheel of Fire Press). Her book How I Came to Love Jazz was published in 2008 (Helicon Nine Editions). Her poems have also been set to jazz on the CD, Poetry of Love, produced, recorded and arranged by national Jazz vocal artist Angela Hagenbach.

Bill Bauer of Kansas City, Mo., is the author of four books of poetry. In August, 2005, his poem “In the Morning in Missouri,” was awarded First Place in the Star Magazine Missouri Poetry Contest. In 2006, his most recent book of poems, Pear Season and the Boy Who Ate Dandelions, published by Mid-America Press, was chosen as one of the Kansas City Star’s most noteworthy books of poetry. His poetry has been published in Theology Today, Rockhurst Review, the Kansas City Star, Mid-America Poetry Review and in several anthologies. New poems can be found at billbauerpoet.com under the title “Figments of Grandiosity.”

'HOMESICK PIE' FILLED WITH NOSTALGIA

Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen – makes one hungry just to read the title – will be discussed by the author, Donia Bijan, at 7 pm Friday, October 21, at Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas, in Wichita.

Bijan is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and Iranian immigrant who fled to California with her family during the Iranian Revolution in 1978, and her book is a memoir of her journey and her close relationship with her mother, told through the language of food.

BOOKS-A-MILLION IN SALINA ?

Is Books-A-Million planning to open a store in Salina. It appears so. The location will be at 2259 South 9th Street, Salina, 67401.

The new Books-A-Million store in Kansas City, Kansas, specifically at Village West, has had several book signings. A new store in Salina will be # 821. (Their website says the store is coming soon, but other internet pages infer that the store is already open – any readers from Salina have any comment?”

LOCAL FOODS AT THE RAVEN

In honor of Food Day on October 24th–listen to a reading from a new booklet of interviews with small-scale, sustainable women farmers in the Lawrence/Kansas City area while sampling local foods. A panel of local community leaders will be on hand to discuss the importance of local foods and how we can further incorporate them into our community while supporting local and sustainable small-scale farmers – 7 pm on Monday, October 24, at the Raven Bookstore, 6 East 7th, in Lawrence.


Presentations by:

Nancy O’Connor on her Growing Food, Growing Health school garden program

Bob Schumm on the fledgling Lawrence city land lease program to support new growers

Rick Martin and Nancy Thellman on the Farm to School program

Local food sampling by:

Green Dirt Farm (fresh sheep cheese)

Maggie’s Farm (garlic conserve)

Hippie Chow ( granola)

Reading from Girls Got Guts by: Alison Cain

Thanks to the Raven for sending this information along – some of the other foods are new to me, but I can absolutely vouch for the Hippie Chow, it’s great on ice cream, on youghurt, great just to munch all by itself.

SHARIA LAW AT FORT LEAVENWORTH

“Should . . . encounter violent extremists, they can look at that person and say: I know that what you’re saying about your own political system is wrong,” says University of Kansas law professor Raj Bhala.

After attending his class on Sharia law, Professor Bhala hopes U.S. Army Special Operations officers will have a better understanding of what motivates Muslim extremists, writes Melissa Bower in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.

Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law and Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, Bhala recently published a book, Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a). He is teaching an elective to Command and General Staff College students through a program funded by the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Bhala, an American Catholic, has practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which twice granted him the President's Award for Excellence.

Friday, October 14, 2011

THE PATH TO PUBLICATION

So I’m reading this book, with nothing in particular to do with writing, and I learn how a writer, now quite well-known (and probably quite well-compensated) got his start:

“In self-published mimeographs masquerading as books, the first of which sold seventy-five copies . . . ”

The report doesn’t say how many pages comprised the books, and the whole process might have been extremely time-consuming, but it still seems a lot shorter pathway to publication than learning how to publish an e-book.

FOR DOUGLAS COUNTY ONLY

Only current residents, who have lived in Douglas County for one year prior to submission of materials, are eligible to participate in the 2012 Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award. Two prizes will be given, one in fiction, one in poetry. The competition is sponsored jointly by the Lawrence Arts Center and
The Raven Bookstore.


Deadline for submission is December 16, 2011. A celebration of Langston Hughes’ birthday and readings will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Submission guidelines are at Langston Hughes Creative Writing Awards.
www.ravenbookstore.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WRITING FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

The most demanding readers of all have to be children and young adults. Andrea Warren, whose childrens’/young adult books include stories about children who have been forced to live under unusual circumstances, will talk about how to create compelling nonfiction stories for young audiences during a workshop at 9 am on Saturday, October 15 at The Writers’ Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

Warren’s titles include: Surviving Hitler, Escape From Saigon, and two books about orphan trains. Full details at The Writers Place.

BIG READ at Wichita

From what I can figure out, Wichita is the only place in Kansas where people are participating in the Big Read, an annual program of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Numerous events have been planned around the book chosen for the Big Read: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a collection of fictitious short stories about soldiers during the Vietnam War.

“Stephen Gleissner, the Wichita Art Museum’s chief curator, has delved deep into the . . . museum’s permanent collections to create a coordinating exhibition of art evocative of O’Brien’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.” The museum is at 1400 West Museum Blvd.

Included in the events is an appearance by the author, Tim O’Brien, 7-8 pm , Friday, November 3, at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th Street North.

FISHES OF THE CENTRAL U.S.

If you liked the first edition of Fishes of the Central United States, you will love the Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, published in September by the University Press of Kansas.

The book is the work of Joseph R. Tomelleri, fisherman, naturalist and illustrator whose work appears – in addition to books – on greeting cards, T-shirts, and advertisements, and Mark E. Eberle, aquatic biologist, and lab coordinator in the Department of Biological Sciences and collection manager for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

This is the greatly-expanded second edition of a book that has been hailed by In-Fisherman as “magnificent . . . the finest, most comprehensive book on the fishes of the central United States.” Featuring the artwork of nationally acclaimed fish illustrator Joseph Tomelleri, it bridges the gap between technical studies and popular field guides in a volume that is indispensable for anglers and naturalists alike.

Tomelleri teams up once again with Mark Eberle to provide keen insights into the ecology, natural history, and conservation of these fishes and the types of threats they face. Species accounts are informative but not technical, and are interwoven with folklore and anecdotes
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BLUE DRAGON HOSTS COLLNS

Blue Dragon Books in Derby, a suburb of Wichita, will be hosting a book signing of Robert Collins’ sci-fi and fiction books at 1 pm on Saturday, October 15.

Location is 437 East Madison. (See Collins’ blog, One Kansas Author, in the side-bar on the right.)

ZACHGO'S 'THE ROCKING HORSE'

I’m pleased to have a guest blog from Gloria Zachgo:

My first novel, The Rocking Horse, is about the heartbreak and struggles of a family and community when a two-year-old child, Jenny Preston, disappears, and her mother, her great aunt and great uncle are murdered. Twenty-two years later, the child who is now a grown woman, is led back to her roots by her favorite childhood toy, a small rocking horse.

The book is fictional, inspired by a tiny rocking horse as a writing prompt. I wanted to tell the story of the conflicts Jenny felt when she discovered much of her life was a mystery. As she searches for her true identity, she also has to deal with her present conflict of an abusive husband. When he comes after her, a most unusual hero comes to her rescue.

Please feel free to look inside the first chapter of The Rocking Horse

NOTE: Zachgo will be signing at an Author Roundup from 1-4 pm on Saturday, October 29, at the Abilene Community Center, 1020 NW 8th, in Abilene.

PROMOTING THE 'AMERICAN WEST'

A finalist for the Western Writers of America Spur Award is David M. Wrobel’s book, Promised Lands: Promotion, Memory and the Creation of the American West, published in September by the University Press of Kansas.

Promoters trying to lure settlers and investors to the West insisted that the frontier had already been tamed—that the only frontiers remaining were those of opportunity. Through posters, pamphlets, newspaper articles, and other printed pieces, these boosters literally imagined places into existence by depicting backwater areas as settled, culturally developed regions where newcomers would find none of the hardships associated with frontier life.

Quick on their heels, some of the West’s original settlers had begun publishing their reminiscences in books and periodicals and banding together in pioneer societies to sustain their conception of frontier heritage. Their selective memory focused on the savage wilderness they had tamed, exaggerating the past every bit as much as promoters exaggerated the present.

Wrobel, the Merrick Chair in Western American History at the University of Oklahoma is a co-editor of Seeing and Being Seen: Tourism in the American West.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'REED ALL ABOUT IT'

Read Reed All About It: Driven to Be a Jayhawk is written by Tyrel Reed, one of the “winningest” Jayhawks of all, and Tully Corcoran, Topeka Capital Journal sports columnist.

The son of a coach from Burlington, Kansas, Reed developed into an important leader and “glue guy” for the Jayhawks. He was an excellent outside shooter, sinking 170 three-point field goals in his career, and a clutch free throw shooter, with an .810 success rate.

In his book, Reed describes what it was like to play for Coach Bill Self, how the game has changed with “one-and-done” freshmen players, and how he was able to excel academically despite the demands of basketball practice and road trips.

Reed’s book will be available on October 21 from Ascend Books, Overland Park.

'BLOWING CARBON' = WARMTH & HEART

Jack Kline began writing in 2005. To facilitate his learning process he returned to school at KU, attending nights after work. He won writing awards for his work, including the Pee Dee Brown Creative Writing Award, KU’s top undergraduate honor, for his stories “Night School” and “Naming Christmas.” He received the Ozark Creative Writers Showcase Award, their top honor, for his story “Dirty Dishes.” All of Kline’s award winners are included in his first book, Blowing Carbon, released in January, 2010.

An Amazon review describes Blowing Carbon:

Kline's stories are full of warmth and heart. He writes with an unguarded honesty that disarms and often reminded this reader of her own youthful and early adult days. My personal favorite, "Naming Christmas," may not be Kline's most polished story, but Marvin is the kind of well-intentioned, flawed character most of us know very well. Who can resist a man imperiled by the Stupid Greed Christmas? Marvin could easily be a friend, a spouse, or our self. And if we're fortunate we have a family something like his.

In this collection you'll find some charming nostalgia, some social commentary, humor, and an occasional touch of creeping dread. You'll come to care quickly about the diverse souls populating his stories. But not to worry, Kline takes equally good care of these characters and of his readers by delivering satisfying resolutions to their troubles

Blowing Carbon is available at www.amazon.com and at http://www.highhillpress.com/

'MANY HAPPY RETURNS'

Two Blochs, Henry and Tom, father and son, will be talking about Many Happy Returns: The Story of Henry Block, America’s Tax Man at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 11 in Regnier Hall Auditorium on the KU Edwards Campus, 127th and Quivira, Overland Park.

The three Bloch brothers, Henry, Richard and Leon were the foundation of one of the best-known businesses of Kansas City MO. After Leon left the company, the name became H & R (Henry and Richard) Block, and the spelling was changed to avoid confusion.

I was never able to confirm it, but I always harbored the belief that I had gone to school with Richard Bloch, who died several years ago. The schoolmate I remembered was a math wizard, always the first with the answer to problems the teacher wrote on the blackboard.

NOTORIOUS DR. FLIPPIN

Dr. Charles Flippin, one of Kansas’ first black physicians, was born a slave in Kentucky. After the Civil War, and following the death of his first wife, he moved with his two children to Marion County.

Together with his second wife, Mary Bell Read, a white physician, they established the Midwest College of Midwifery in Hillsboro. In the 1880s they moved to Nebraska.

The Notorious Dr. Flippin: Abortion and Consequence in the Early Twentieth Century, was written by Jamie Q. Tallman, and published by the Texas Tech University Press. Tallman will be speaking at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, October 12, as a guest of the Central Nebraska Legal Professionals at the Grand Island Woman’s Club, 1109 West Second Street, in Grand Island.

Monday, October 10, 2011

NEW DIGITAL SHORELINE ?

Perhaps this should be assigned reading:

The New Digital Shoreline: How Web 2.0 and Millennials are Revolutionizing Higher Education, written by Roger McHaney, management professor at Kansas State University.

As the current crop of college students file into the classrooms with their smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and other electronic devices (perhaps still to come on the market) teacher and professors need to adapt.

Writes a Goodreads reviewer:

This book argues for nothing less than a reinvention of higher education to meet these new realities. Just adding technology to our teaching practices will not suffice. McHaney calls for a complete rethinking of our practice of teaching to meet the needs of this emerging world and envisioning ourselves as connected, co-learners with our students.

GREAT REVIEW FOR 'BRAINSTORM'

Gordon Kessler’s Brainstorm has garnered a great review from James Rollins, a New York Times best-selling author:

A secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, a lie beneath every word.

A mission to rescue thousands.

A plot to destroy the Free World.

A small American town is secretly replicated, populated with kidnapped scientists and psychically talented civilians, and used as a proving ground while training psychic assassins. Political and military leaders of the Free World are the targets of these psychic warriors, and Project Brainstorm's goal is world domination. The only person who can stop the unthinkable plot is a seemingly simple man without a clue.

You can follow Kessler, learn more about Brainstorm and his other books, including Jezebel, at www.mwxblog.

WHAT A LINE-UP !

Doris Johnson and Ray Imhof, Heritage Books, will be hosting an Author Roundup at 1-4 pm on Saturday, October 29, at the Abilene Community Center, 1020 NW 8th, in Abilene, to “allow local authors to showcase their work, sell books, and meet the public and other authors.”

And what a line-up: Robert Collins, Sally Jadlow, Robert E. Hannigan, Joanne Emerick, Wayne Purinton, Linda McCaffery, Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton, Rod Beemer, Angela Bates, Gloria Zachgo, Beverly Buller, Lowell A. May, Steven M. Farney, Meri Rose Shenk, Todd Hunter, Roy Bird, Karen Ross Epp, Paul Barkey, Philip Brown and Duane L. Hermann.
More about Doris and Ray and their books at http://heritagebooksonline.blogspot.com

I MET ZORTZ !

Well, actually, I didn’t meet Zortz , but I met Joyce Long, the creator of Zortz, who gave a workshop at the 2011 Kansas Authors club convention. (I also met a person who undoubtedly plays a part in the creation of Zortz, Marvin Long, who is an invisible magician, and treated convention attendees to a magic show Sunday morning.)

WARNING: Perhaps one should beware of actually meeting Zortz, since Zortz seems to have a lot of misadventures. On the other hand, it’s always more comforting to be able to read about others’ misadventures than dealing with misadventures of your own.

Zortz’ Misadventures include: Zortz the Real Me, Zortz Saves Black Friday, Zortz Finds Gold, and Zortz Underground, with more to come. Zortz has her own facebook page as well, at facebook.com/Zortz. (Zortz was created primarily to engage and entertain children, but adults need not feel embarrassed if they enjoy Zortz’ stories misadventures as well.)

Know Any ENCOURAGING WORDS ?

We writers all need encouragement, so if you know any ”ENCOURAGING WORDS” you have several months to prepare a poem or essay to enter in the 2012 Kansas Authors Club annual contest.

“Encouraging Words” is next year’s contest theme. The contest will open April 1, 2012, and close in mid-June. Contest rules will follow later, but in general, they will not change much from this year’s rules.

Although this blog is NOT an official KAC website, I encourage anyone in the state of Kansas to become familiar with the statewide organization, now going on to its 108th year of existence. Check out www.kansasauthors.org.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

LEAVENWORTH POETRY RETREAT

Sister Mary O’Connor will lead a poetry workshop retreat – Seasons in the Life of Faith – from October 13-16 at the Marillac Center, 4200 South Fourth, Leavenworth, 66048.

This retreat will enable you to enjoy more fully the images and insights of established poets as well as to engage your own creativity in written expression. The daily presentations, scripturally based and replete with examples from poets old and new, will encourage the realization of the abundance we live in all of life’s seasons, whether those of joy and music or of physical suffering, of capable action or drained energy, of silence or connectedness. Writing is an essential component of the retreat. During sessions Sr. Mary will offer prompts to facilitate your creativity. The schedule will provide time in the early afternoons and evenings for further writing. Retreat begins at 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening and ends with Supper at 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

Sr. Mary O’Connor, a Sister of Mercy from Ireland, has given workshops on women mystics and in recent years has given poetry retreats in Ireland, New Zealand and the States. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature. She has taught at the university level since 1977, working for many years in the San Francisco Bay area and for the past eighteen years in South Dakota.

The themes to be followed will be: Thursday Evening, Crowded Summer; Friday, Autumn Abundance; Saturday, Winter Wear – and Tear, and Sunday, Spring Covenant. For information and to request a brochure, go to http://www.scls.org/marillaccenter-events.php.

VIETNAM FROM ANOTHER VIEW

Brought out in September by the University Press of Kansas is The Vietnam War from the Rear Echelon, by Timothy J.Lomperis, a Bronze Star veteran and professor of political science at St. Louis University.

This incisive memoir is essential for better comprehending what the Vietnam experience was like for the large contingent of Americans who served there. It suggests the need for some fundamental rethinking about Vietnam—not only for the war’s veterans but also for those concerned with the lessons it carries for U.S. involvement in current insurgencies.

Lomperis is also the author of From People’s War to People’s Rule: Insurgency, Intervention, and the Lessons of Vietnam.

Friday, October 7, 2011

BULL FROM NEW ZEALAND

From New Zealand, his temporary abode, Warren Bull posts a very interesting report about putting a young adult novel on Kindle. It’s well worth the read at www.writerswhokill.blogspot.com, the post dated October 7, 2011, and titled The Kindle Experiment.

The title of the novel is Heartland, and apparently it was well worth the time Bull spent formatting it as an e-book.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

TODD VOGTS' NEW MYSTERY

Please welcome a guest blog from Todd Vogts:

My name is Todd Vogts. I grew up in Canton, Kansas, and now I teach high school journalism in Ransom, Kansas. I am a journalist at heart. I studied journalism and communication at Hutchinson Community College and Wichita State University. I even ran a weekly newspaper in Moundridge, Kansas, until I decided to become a teacher, which was a decision I made after thinking back to all the wonderful teachers I had.

I've been writing short stories since I was in the fourth grade. I've always dreamed of publishing a novel, and now I finally have. This is truly a dream come true.

My book, Murder at St. Alfanus, is about Tyler Fox from Goessel, Kansas. He is a golfer at St. Alfanus College in Hooks, Texas, and he is on track to win the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship.

St. Alfanus has a campus newspaper, The Clarion, which is run by editor Charlie Harrison. One day during the summer, Charlie catches Tyler on the golf course for an interview. Before he knows it, Tyler has agreed to work for Charlie and The Clarion. This is OK with Tyler because his grandfather used to run The Canton Pilot in Canton, Kansas, and Tyler realizes he's always want to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

As the summer quickly comes to a close, Tyler has settled in nicely at The Clarion, and he and Charlie have become good friends.

Then it happens.

While jogging through the golf course, which is one of his favorite pastimes, Tyler comes across a horrific scene!

On the 14th green there is a man wailing as he cradles a bloody woman in his arms.

Soon, Tyler finds himself and Charlie diving into the investigation of who killed the woman, who happens to be the college president's daughter.

It's a tale of mystery and suspense as Tyler, Charlie and the rest of The Clarion's staff try to figure out who committed the crime!

I'm very proud of this work. Like I said, this is my first novel, but I don't plan for it to be my last.

For those interested, I do have an author website where my book can be purchased: http://www.sbpra.com/toddvogts. It can also be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I have had two book signings so far, and both of them have been near where I grew up. The first one was at The Bookshelf in McPherson, Kansas. This is a great place! It has a wonderful selection of books and magazines, and it is located right on Main Street. I chose it for my first book signing because I remember going there as a youngster and looking for all the copies of The Hardy Boys I could find.

Then, I had a signing in my hometown of Canton. My signing was part of the the local library's 90th anniversary. See, it is one of the last Carnegie Library's ever built. It was a great day, and it was an honor to be a part of it.

Thank you for your time, and if you choose to purchase my book, please let me know if you enjoy it or not. You can leave comments on my blog www.voiceofthevogts.com or on my Facebook Page.