Friday, June 7, 2013


Local Hutchinsonian, Randy Key, will be leading a Songwriting Clinic at 2-4 pm on Saturday, June 8, at Bluebird Books, 2 South Main. In Hutch, of course.


Melvin D. Eppwill read from Petals of a Kansas Sunflower: A Mennonite Diaspora on Saturday, June 8, at 5:00, at Eighth Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas in Wichita.

From Eighth Day Books: His reminiscences frame the poetry of Marie Harder Epp, a farm wife who captures changing textures of Mennonite life in 20th century Kansas: buggies to cars, German to English, isolation to global outreach. A scientist raised on the family farmstead, Melvin returned to Whitewater after retirement and writes from a deep fascination with his Kansas roots.


When Randy Attwood returns to Larned for a reunion this weekend, he will have two book signings. Writes Attwood:

When I have my book signing Friday, June 7, 5 to 7 p.m.; Saturday 2 to 4 p.m. at Chill N Grill, 423 Broadway, in addition to the Larned-based novel Crazy About You will be seven other titles. One More Victim has many Kansas and Larned-based stories.

More about Attwood’s other titles at


Eighth Day Books at 2838 E. Douglas in Wichita, invites readers:

Join us on Friday evening at 7:00 as local author Philip Gaunt reads from his science fiction-suspense novel, The Blane Game. With an uncanny ability to hear other people's thoughts, Gaunt's hero finds himself part of a secret government project involving big oil, aliens, and a race to save the planet. A WSU professor for the last 23 years, Dr. Gaunt is a former BBC journalist whose research focuses on international and intercultural communication.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Laura Moriarty will be signing copies of The Chaperone at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 5, at Bluebird Books at 2 S. Main in Hutchinson.

About The Chaperone: "Of all the bob-haired, knee-showing flappers . . . Louise Brooks was the one, in real life at least, who was truly wild and rebellious." Laura's website.


Leah Sewell and Matt Porubsky will be the featured poets at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 18, for the Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series at the Johnson County Resource Library, 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park.

More about both artists at their websites, for Porubsky,, and Sewell, hsttp:// The program is sponsored by

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone is described by Watermark Books and Cafe as an enchanting story that ranges from the farms of Kansas to bustling 1920s New York City.

The Chaperone is inspired by the real-life relationship between the 15-year-old, future movie star Louise Brooks – cantankerous, irreverent, blossoming with sexuality and sporting her black bob with bangs – and the older, conservative, Midwestern woman who chaperoned Louise to New York City for a summer. It’s the story of an unlikely friendship between two women who couldn’t be more different, and how the summer spent together in New York City forever changes both their lives.

Moriarty will be at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 4

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kat Tales II is available on Kindle and at Amazon. The short link is as follows: I hope everyone will read, enjoy and review. Eighteen short stories plus photos to take you back in time. Shadows of the past that help make us who we are. Thank you. Carole

Follow Carole Katsantoness at

Thanks, Carole


Carl P. Weiner, MD, and Kate Rope have combined forces to produce the Complete Guide to Medications during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.

According to MacMillan Publishers: From a renowned obstetrician and expert in maternal-fetal medicine comes the only comprehensive pharmaceutical guide available to help you make informed decisions while pregnant and nursing.

Carl P. Weiner, M.D., is the KE Krantz Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and adjunct professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Dr. Weiner directs the KU Women's Reproductive Health Research Scholars Program.

Kate Rope is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting and editing for more than fifteen years, with an expertise in health, pregnancy, and parenting.


The Raven Book Store will host a reading at 7 pm, Friday, June 7, featuring authors Melissa Miles McCarter and Margaret Kramar. Both authors will read from Joy, Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss.

Six years after her daughter died of SIDS and she struggled with secondary infertility due to an ectopic pregnancy, Melissa Miles McCarter of Ironton, Missouri, edited Joy, Interrupted, which presents varying perspectives of materinal loss by authors and artists from all over the world. Kramar will share her experiences with raising a child with a disability.

The Raven Book Store is located at 6 E. 7th St., in Lawrence, Kan. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on Raven events, please visit the store’s website at


Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year for 2012, Jimmy Nielsen, has established himself as one of the best players in the league and a fan favorite in Kansas City, playing for Sporting Kansas City. Yet while supporters are familiar with his achievements on the field and larger-than-life personality off it, few are aware of the remarkable story that led him to the US Midwest.

Compared from a young age to Denmark's greatest ever goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, Nielsen was scouted by Manchester United and a host of other leading European clubs, but at the point when he should have been building a great career he was instead developing a ferocious gambling habit. In 1999, he was dropped from Denmark's Under-21 team after missing curfew because of a lost night at the roulette table.

More about Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper, and the co-author, Paolo Bandini, at Ascend Books.


This summer, Butterfield Books Inc. celebrates the twenty anniversary of the book Prairie Bloomin’ (formerly titled Prärieblomman in 1993), the second book in the Butter in the Well series by Kansas author Linda K. Hubalek. This popular book has been kept in print for twenty years, and recently updated because it gives a personal glimpse into the pioneers’ life.

Linda Hubalek combines fact-driven 1889 to 1900 diary entries and real photos of Alma Swenson Runneberg and her family into Prairie Bloomin’. This tender, touching diary continues the saga of “Butter in the Well” family through the daughter, Alma, as she blossoms into a young woman.

Founded in 1994, Butterfield Books Inc. publishes and promotes books about Kansas and its pioneer history. The company is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, known as “Little Sweden USA.” (From PRWeb)


A folder of old newspaper clippings in the Emporia Library were the inspiration for Diana Staresinic-Deane's new book, Shadows on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder. The author spent six years researching the brutal murder of Florence Knoblock in her rural farmhouse near Burlington.

Shaun Hittle's article about Staresinic-Deane's six­ year research is found in the Lawrence Journal-World.

More about the book and the author at her website.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I'm confident she can do it, but Wyatt Townley has a hard act to follow tonight when she takes on the position of Kansas Poet Laureate. The ceremony will take place at 5:30 pm tonight, Thursday, May 23, at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire.

If Wyatt has any questions, I'm sure she can turn to the current poet laureate (until 5:30 pm), Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, whose duration at the job was a few years longer than anyone anticipated when she began in July of 2009. Caryn is to be congratulated for taking the poet laureate program to unanticipated visions, and finding it a permanent lodging in the Kansas Humanities Program. All Kansas writers, whatever genre, can learn a lesson in commitment and ingenuity from Caryn.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Stories and poems under the Big Tent at the Raven Book Store at 7 pm on Thursday, May 23, will feature Nathan Clay Barbarick and Julia Trechak.

I'll try to get some more information on this, but you all know where The Raven is, 6 E. 7th, just off Massachusetts in Lawrence.


That's the question asked in Odette's Secrets. The author, Maryann MacDonald will be speaking at 2 pm on Saturday, May 25, at Mysteryscape, 7309 W. 80th Steet in Overland Park.

See the website, for more information:

What if your life depended on being a good liar? New York City Author Maryann Macdonald discusses and signs her wonderful new middle-grade novel, Odette's Secrets. This unique book, written in verse, shares the real-life story of Odette Meyers, a child survivor of the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II. As a young girl, Odette lived a secret life in the French countryside in order to escape the Holocaust. This gentle introduction to a dark period in history is for ages 10 and up.

Maryann will read from her book and give a presentation about Meyers, who eventually became a university professor, poet and activist. This event is free and open to all ages.


Regina Sirois will speak about her new book, On Little Wings, at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 22, at Rainy Day Books in The Fairway Shops, 2706 W 53 in Fairway.

From Rainy Day Books (see their website for ticket information):

ABOUT THE NEW BOOK: Jennifer is an only child, and so were her parents, at least that's what she thinks, until she finds an old photo in the back of one of her mother's books. The woman in the photo looks just like Jennifer, down to the smattering of freckles across her nose. And her mother refuses to talk about it. Compelled to find answers, Jennifer embarks on a quest that takes her from the wheat fields of Nebraska to the fishing town of Smithport, Maine, home to the one person who can help her solve this family secret, the woman in the photo. But Jennifer learns that it takes the entire village of Smithport to piece together the story of her mother's hidden past. She needs help from Nathan, the genius with the reluctant smile from across the cove; Little, the elderly town matriarch and former movie star; and The Jacks, three weathered fisherman who dabble in pyrotechnics. As Jennifer discovers the lost chapters of her mother's life, she unwittingly begins to write a few chapters of her own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


From Mysteryscape:

Come meet the award-winning high fantasy author that George R.R. Martin calls "bloody good." Author Patrick Rothfuss will read from, discuss and sign the first two titles in his Kingkiller Chronicles Thursday, May 23, 7 pm at Mysteryscape.

Once released, both of his books, The Name of the Wind and and The Wise Man's Fear quickly hit the New York Times Bestseller list. The Name of the Wind has been translated into 30 languages, won several awards, and has become a bestseller in several countries.

When Patrick's not working on this third book in the series, he's raising money for Heifer International and making his own mead. Come meet him at this free, public event. Remember there's parking behind the building. The red Mysteryscape back door will be open. At 7309 W. 80th Street, Overland Park,

Monday, May 20, 2013


Victoria Garton and Shirley Rickett will be the poets for the Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 21 at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87th St, Overland Park.


VICTORIA GARTON began writing and publishing poetry in her twenties. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner and Cimmaron Review and in Kansas City venues such as The Thorny Locust, The Same, and The Kansas City Star. Her book of poems Kisses in the Raw Night was published by BkMk Press. In addition to writing poetry, she enjoys keeping a journal. She has taught English and literature classes for Crowder Community College, Neosho, Mo., for the past seven years and also enjoys raising cattle with her husband Norman.

SHIRLEY RICKETT holds an MA in Education and an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. In 2000 she was awarded a grant to travel to Norway and interview a group of adult children whose parents were Nazis, with the express purpose of writing a book of poems about them. The book, Dinner in Oslo, was the result. She is the recipient of a fellowship from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and has won other awards for her work. She is the author of three chapbooks, including Love: Poems for Vintage Song Titles (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in over 30 journals and magazines.


Rick Atkinson will be speaking about The Guns at Last Light, the third book of his Liberation Trilogy, at 7 pm on Monday, May 20, at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO. The event is hosted by Rainy Day Books. For ticket and purchase information, go to 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The place to be at tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15, is the Cup of Jo-Nes in Dodge City, one of the settings for Tracy Million Simmons’ Hunting Tiger.

A native of Dodge City, Simmons chose to start her book tour in Dodge. Julia Kazar of the Dodge City Daily Globe wrote as follows: Tracy Million Simmons was born and raised in Dodge City, and obviously the area had a big impression on her, as it's the setting for her debut novel Tiger Hunting.

Simmons will be at Cup of Jo-Nes on Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. signing copies of her book. The book will also be sold there, at Hastings and the Christian Book House or may be purchased online at

Read the rest of Kazar’s article at

Cup of Jo-Nes is at 909 W Wyatt Earp Blvd in Dodge.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why I've Been Offline This Week

I haven’t been able to access the internet and blog for several days now – I hope you missed me. Here’s why:

I’ve been keeping a log of my internet service, or the lack thereof, and sending a copy when I pay my monthly Comcast internet/phone bill. After several weeks of futile mis-negotiations, a technician came to the house. Suggested I allow him to install a Comcast router to replace my router. He had a router “in the truck”.

Couple of weeks later I get a letter from Comcast saying their records show that I have recently downgraded my service (false) and that I had equipment attached to my account that was no longer in use. Further, I should arrange to return the equipment within 14 days to avoid penalties.

May 3 I made a trip to the Comcast office. What’s this all about? After scrutinizing her computer screen, which I could not see, the clerk said that what the letter meant was that I needed to exchange my router and modem for new one-piece hardware. “Do you think you can do that, or shall I send out a technician?” she said, implying that any dummy could change the equipment. I said I could probably do it, but I wanted to wait until Monday.

On Monday this week, I carefully made a drawing of all the cords and where they were connected. With finger pressure I dis-connected all the cords except the cable fastened to a wall outlet. T he modem connection was about two inches long and had two hexagonal nuts – which one to turn?

I set out for the Comcast office, told the clerk I was not able to unfasten the cable cord. “You have a wrench, don’t you?” I contemplated for a few seconds the application of a wrench to the task, which gave her time to ask, “In your tool box?” She hadn’t mentioned a tool box when she suggested I could change the equipment.

She couldn’t tell me which nut to disconnect on the modem side, but I decided I could probably use pliers to unfasten the wall side. This time I actually have to get down on the floor, This time I actually have to get down on the floor, easy enough – with one replacement knee, it’s the getting up again that presents a challenge.

Second trip to Comcast office, this time with router, modem, and various dangling cords. The clerk disappeared into the supply area and returned with an eMTA (I learned when I had to sign for it). I have an ominous feeling when I see a single, poorly copied sheet of instructions. At home I manage to find the right connections for all the cords – getting up from the floor again is no easier than the first time. Turn on the computer. I cannot make the screen match what I see on the instruction sheet.

Third trip to Comcast. I want to talk to the same clerk. Foolishly, I think that she reward my honest efforts with an early (priority?) schedule for a technician’s visit. I wait endlessly while a 250-pound woman with four children under seven argues about getting reconnected again. I finally yield to the clerk’s suggestion that I allow the second clerk to handle the matter.

The second clerk is cold-eyed and unsympathetic. A plea for priority only heightens her disdain. No technician is available until Wednesday, when I have commitments. Also on Thursday. Friday 8 to 10 a.m. will be the earliest. She promises that the technician will call before arriving. I ask how the technician can call me since I have also lost my telephone service. “What is your other number?” she asks. I have no other number.

The technician arrived shortly after 9 a.m. He carried an eMTA in his hand. The first thing he said when he looked at the eMTA I had tried to install was, “They gave you the wrong one.”

Friday, May 3, 2013


From The Hays Daily News:

Every family has a story and, at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, the Kansas Room, along with Ellis County Historical Society and Forsyth Library, will sponsor a Family History 101 program featuring Grady Birdsong.

Birdsong recently published his own family history, A Fortunate Passage. He not only will read from his book, but also give a presentation on how to research, write and publish a family history. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers followed by presentations from the historical society and Forsyth Library on some of the research materials and special artifacts available in their facilities. This should be a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is interested in writing and passing down their family story.

That's the Kansas Room at the Hays Public Library, 1205 Main Street.


I'm not making this up.

Rattlesnakes in the Rock Chalk is the second book in the Kaw Trilogy written by Chester Sullivan, associate professor at the University of Kansas.

Amazon describes this new book: This Kansas epic spans one hundred and fifty years from the steamboat adventure of a fourteen-year-old girl, told in the manner of Mark Twain, to the present day. It mingles mystery, history, herpetology, and romance until quiet meditation erupts in violent action threatening the lives of these resilient people, all scrabbling to find their emotional toehold in the layered limestone - early settlers called it rock chalk.


Dena Bisnette and Joe Gilliam, authors of Newton, will be at a book signing at 10 am on Saturday, May 4, at Anderson Book and Supply, 627 N. Main, Newton.

From Arcadia Publishing:

Newton, Kansas, was established by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad as a new railhead for the Chisholm Cattle Trail in 1871. After two years as the wildest cow town in the West, Newton became a center for Mennonite migration and wheat production in east central Kansas, with the railroad moving it all. In addition to eastern European immigrants and hard winter wheat seed, the rails brought even more people from differing backgrounds, all of whom helped the town grow and change. Images of America: Newton shows those people and the places where they worked, worshipped, and played and includes many photographs from residents' family albums in addition to images from public archives. Meet the residents of this "Crossroads of Kansas" city, from the locally famous to the folks next door, in the pages of Newton.

Author Bio: Dena Bisnette is a native of Concordia, Kansas, who moved to Newton in 2003. She works as a freelance journalist and is a former member of the Newton/North Newton Historic Preservation Commission and volunteer docent for Warkentin House Museum. Joe Gilliam is her husband and technical assistant. They live in Newton in the McKinley Residential Historical District.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


This year's Millfest Quilt Show, May 4-5 in Lindsborg, features historic quilts from the family of Linda Hubalek. This author wrote the Butter in the Well and Planting Dreams books series, which are about the Swedish immigrants that homesteaded in central Kansas during the 1860s. The antique quilt display will be featured in the Swedish Pavilion during Millfest weekend. These quilts, made from 1830s through the 1950s, were made by Linda Hubalek’s ancestors. The quilt show is sponsored by the McPherson Quilt Guild.

Hubalek kicks off Millfest weekend with a lecture about the quilts and her books at 3:30 on Friday, May 3rd in the Swedish Pavilion in Heritage Square across from the Old Mill. Hubalek is currently working on a new book, The Kansas Quilter, featuring her great-grandmother Kizzie Pieratt and the many quilts she crafted.

Author Hubalek writes books about the pioneer women who made Kansas their home. Her books are published by Butterfield Books Inc. and they include the Trail of Thread, the Butter in the Well, and the Planting Dreams series. Founded in 1994, Butterfield Books Inc. publishes and promotes books about Kansas and its pioneer history. The company is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, known as “Little Sweden USA.”

From PRWeb.


A new cookbook to come out this fall will celebrate the rich food history of Kansas State University. Teatime to Tailgates: 150 Years at the K-State Table is being prepared by Jane P. Marshall, a food journalist and culinary historian.


From The Eldorado Times:

Most people have heard of the county seat war between Augusta and El Dorado, but there were many more county seat battles throughout the state.

Local author Robert Collins shares some of those stories with his newest book, Kansas County Seat Conflicts: The Elections, the Feuds, and the Wars.

He will be holding a book signing from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Book Grinder, 2222 W. Central, offering this books, as well as his others.

More at or see Collins' blog, One Kansas Author, in the right-hand sidebar.


Dogs rule for readers in the 2013 William Allen White Children’s Book Awards. Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings (EgmontUSA) and Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret (Penguin Group) have been judged the best by Kansas schoolchildren.

The William Allen White Children’s Book Award program was founded in 1952 by Ruth Garver Gagliardo, a specialist in children’s literature for Emporia State University. One of the few literary awards that asks young readers to choose the winners, the program is directed by Emporia State University and supported in part by the Trusler Foundation.

Both authors have been invited to the awards celebration, set for Saturday, Oct. 5 in Emporia.

Guinea Dog, selected by voters in Grades 3 through 5, tells the story of Rufus, who dreams of having a dog as a pet. But his dad objects, and his mom’s solution sounds crazy. Still, Mom brings home a guinea pig for Rufus, who discovers this pig thinks she’s a dog.

Ghost Dog Secrets, selected by voters in Grades 6 through 8, is the story of Rusty, a sixth-grade boy who feeds a dog left chained in frigid weather with no food, water or shelter. Eventually, Rusty and his friends take the dog to their hideout. As they face multiple challenges — a snoopy sister and threats from the dog’s owner — Rusty faces a new challenge when a ghost dog appears in his room and tries to lead him to an even deeper secret.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


From the Raven Book Store:

Dana Guthrie Martin . . . her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals . . . she is the editor of Cascadia Review, an online poetry journal.

Shawn J. Patterson is an undergraduate at the University of Kansas, where he serves as poetry editor for the student journal, Siren.

Come to hear Martin, Patterson, and Alex Haslett at 7 pm on Thursday, April 25, at the Raven, 6 E. 7th, in Lawrence.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Today the Kansas Renga poets were in Downs and Beloit, tomorrow they will be at the Ad Astra Coffee house in Salina, 141 N. Santa Fe Avenue. Scheduled to read are Thea Nietfeld, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Shawn Pavey, Lydia Lowe, Ronda Miller, Lee Mick, Hazel Smith Hutchinson, Dan Pohl, Jackie Ash, Roy Beckemeyer, Pat Beckemeyer.

Copies of To the Stars Through Difficulties, the anthology of the 2012 renga poems, is available at


Recently published, The Petals of a Kansas Sunflower: A Mennonite Disapora, by Melvin D. Epp, features the poetry of his mother, Marie Harder Epp, a life-long member of the Kansas Mennonite community. The author has translated her poems from German into English, giving . . . a clear window into her fascinating Mennonite heritage.

A reviewer writes: "What began as poetry written on bits of paper is now a substantial volume on Kansas Mennonite lore."


The legendary George Armstrong Custer will be very much a part of the discussion on Sunday, April 21, at the Ellis County Historical Society Museum, 100 W. 7th, Hays. Author Mary Ann Thompson will be discussing her book, Winners of the West, at 1:30 pm. She will be followed at 3 pm by Sandy Barnard, the author of A Hoosier Quaker Goes to War and Ten Years With Custer.

Thompson is the author of Hays: The 1930s, a book in the Images of America series. Barnard's 30-year research has resulted in several books related to Custer,


Tama Matsuoka Wong, the author of Foraged Flavor: An Introduction to Harvesting and Cooking with Wild Plants, will be making several appearances on Wednesday, April 24, in Manhattan. (But you're probably too late to make your reservations, sorry.)

Foraged Flavor is about "finding fabulous ingredients in your backyard or farmer's market." Author Wong teamed up with co-author (and chef) Eddy Leroux to produce recipes for preparing delicious dishes from foraged foods. More at

At 6 pm on Thursday, April 26, Wong will present a program at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th Street, Kansas City, MO. RSVP


Cliff Wright of Paola turned to fiction for his third book, Roper Goes West, the story set in the 1880s of a young man skilled with the use of the lariat.

Wright's earlier books were Kansas Folklore in Rural Life and World War II: For One.


The release of The Big Divide: A Travel Guide to Historic and Civil War Sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region, a new book by the writing team of Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barhnart, will be at 6 pm on Wednesday, April 24, at the Kansas City Mo Central Library, 14 W/ 10th Street, Kansas City, MO.

From the publishers, Quindaro Press:

A lot has happened along The Big Divide. From the tribal nations that inhabited this area for centuries to the overland trails that made westward pioneering possible, all the way through Harry Truman and Brown v. Board, the sites along the Missouri-Kansas border cover a wide sweep of history that made not only this region what it is today, but helped shape America in important ways.Combining the practicality of a budget travel guide with page-turning history, The Big Divide is as entertaining as it is useful.

Eickhoff is the author of the award-winning Revolutionary Heart, and a frequent speaker for Kansas Humanities Programs. Barnhart is the former Kansas City Star television and media critic. RSVP


Ramona McCallum, whose poem, Still LIfe with Dirty Dishes first appeared in part of Kansas' Sesquicentenial in 2011, has expanded that title poem into an entire collection.

Reviewer Elizabeth Dodd writes: "Like its title poem, this collection insists on art's daily necessity. McCallum chronicles the rhythms of family life, and in the domestic pause between chore and love, in the hushed wake of cleaving or grieving, she catches a visceral sense of life's intensity. In a parent's gaze, a child's 'becoming/individual' transfixes attention on the momentousness of any given moment, and it's this same gaze the poet lifts to consider how Being shapes itself into the patterns we'll look back on to recognize as our lives. Fluid, confident, and honest, these poems celebrate creativity and find it both rare and everywhere."


From Jim Lehrer's publisher, Random House, about Tension City:

"A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. In this paperback edition, he also offers his expert analysis of the 2012 Republican primary debates."

A native of Kansas, Lehrer will be at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City, MO, Public Library, 4801 Main Street, at 6 pm on Monday, April 22. RSVP at

Friday, April 19, 2013


Grain Elevator Press, Hutchinson, was notified this week that their first book The American Grain Elevator: Function & Form is a finalist for two prestigious awards for small press publications.

The book was recognized as a First Horizon Award finalist for the current national Eric Hoffer Award season. The First Horizon Award is given each year to the highest scoring books by debut authors. This is a special distinction beneath the Eric Hoffer Award umbrella. The book is still being considered for category, press, and grand prizes.

It is also a finalist in the Illustrations: Photography category of the Midwest Book Awards which provides recognition to regional small presses.

Press owner and author, Linda Laird, said, "Who'd have thought a little book on grain elevators would garner such enthusiasm across the country? This national interest has been seen in our sales as we have rapidly moved to a second printing. Our next book will hopefully be out before Christmas and will focus on the history of grain elevators in Kansas." Books may be purchased at or by sending a check for $26 to Linda Laird, 502 E Sherman Hutchinson KS 67501.


The winners of the 24th Kansas Voices Contest have been announced, and they are -- drumroll --

Adult Short Story: First place, Teri Stettnisch, Overland Park, with Countdown; Honorable Mention, Grace Becker, Newton, with A Basket of Stories, and Teri Stettnisch, Overland Park, with Loose Ends.

Adult Poetry: First place, Graham Barnes, Topeka, with Something for Nothing; Honorable Mention, Graham Barnes, Topeka, with Life Drawing and A Question of Timing.

Youth Short Story: First place, Braylea King, Winfield, with Mod; Honorable Mention, Madeline Boles, Independence, with What Happens, Zack Anderson, Lindsborg, with Goldilark and the Three Owls.

Youth Poetry: First place, Tanner Boyle, Winfield, with Found Drama; Honorable Mention, Caroline Erickson, Wichita, with Winter Burial.

Awards will be presented at 7 pm on Saturday, May 4, during and Awards Dinner at Baden Square, 700 Gary, Winfield.

Judges were Stephen Meats for poetry, and Dennis Etzel for prose.

Sponsors are the Winfield Daily Courier, Cowley College, CornerBank, Winfield Consumer Products, GE Engine Services, Southwestern College, Bob and Nancy Love of Wichita, with underwriting by the Winfield Convention and Tourism Bureau.

For information call 620-221-2161.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Max Yoho will be reading at 2 pm on Sunday, April 14, at Kansas Originals Market, I-70 Exit 206, Wilson.

Yoho is the author of Me and Aunt Izzy and With the Wisdom of Owls. And more! Check out for more of Yoho's publications.


From the Eldorado Times: Marsha Todd, elementary school counselor and author of the book Cagney, Professional Therapy Dog, will be at a book signing at The Book Grinder, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

Professional therapy dogs working in school settings assist students in many ways. They can reinforce positive behaviors, model appropriate social skills, listen to children read, listen to or walk with children who are feeling upset, or engage in therapeutic play sessions with them.

See . The Book Grinder is at 2222 W. Central Avenue in El Dorado.


From the Lamar (CO) Ledger: The Lamar Public Library will feature another writer for Author Talk on Sat. April 13, 2013 at 1 p.m. when Alma Lou Plunkett visits the library for a special presentation.Alma Lou Plunkett of Syracuse, Kan. recently wrote a book titled, The Kansas-Colorado Line: Homesteading Tales of Several Families, a Memoir. In her book, Ms. Plunkett recounts the challenges and opportunities faced by homesteaders on the Kansas/Colorado border.

Homesteading was a way of life for the many families living along the Kansas/Colorado Line. In her memoir Plunkett, the daughter of homesteaders who married into another homesteading family, explores what life was like for those who made a living from the land from about 1906 to 1960. Relying on her memories as well as research gleaned from family stories, she delves deep into the challenges that homesteading families faced. She also explains how social and technological changes have affected the lives of farmers in rural America.

More at


From Johns Hopkins Press: Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility considers the factors that allow some civilian and military organizations to operate more productively in a political context than others, bringing into comparative study for the first time the military organizations of the U.S., Russia, Germany, and Canada. Refuting the work of scholars such as Samuel P. Huntington and Michael C. Desch, Dale R. Herspring approaches civil-military relations from a new angle, military culture, arguing that the optimal form of civil-military relations is one of shared responsibility between the two groups.

Herspring outlines eight factors that contribute to conditions that promote and support shared responsibility among civilian officials and the military, including such prerequisites as civilian leaders not interfering in the military's promotion process and civilian respect for military symbols and traditions. He uses these indicators in his comparative treatment of the U.S., Russian, German, and Canadian militaries.

Herspring is Kansas State University distinguished professor of political science.


From a University of Kansas release:

Climate change's effects are starting to be felt around the world, and indigenous populations are in many cases among the first to have their ways of life disrupted. Yet these populations are often powerless, both politically and economically, to convince those with the ability to do something about it to do so. A University of Kansas law professor has co-edited a book examining how climate change has affected indigenous people worldwide and how they can legally address the issues in the future.

Elizabeth Kronk, associate professor of law and director of the Tribal Law & Government Center at KU, has co-edited Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies with Randall S. Abate, associate professor of law at Florida A&M University. The editors gathered work from a collection of legal and environmental experts from around the world, many of whom hail from indigenous populations. Their entries examine how climate change has affected indigenous peoples on numerous continents and how future legal action may help their cause.


Jerry Dobson, co-author with his brother, Jeff Dobson, will discuss The Waters of Chaos at 3 pm on Wednesday, April 17, at the Dole Institute, 2350 Petefish Drive, in Lawrence. Jerry Dobson is a professor at the University of Kansas.

From the Dole Institute website: The Waters of Chaos is an unconventional science mystery novel tackling the greatest puzzle of them all: How did we get to be so smart? The stories invoke Egyptian mythology and universal flood myths to connect science and lore. Check out the evidence, and you'll find that almost all of it is true and convincing enough to challenge conventional wisdom. Mystery, adventure, action, romance, the Secrets of the Ages; The Waters of Chaos has them all.


Author Tammy Zimmerman will be at the Derby Public Library, 1600 Walnut Grove, Derby, at 4 pm to sign copies of Blinded By His Shadow, the story of her grandfather, Joseph T. Zimmerman.

From the website Blinded by His Shadow is a journey through the life of Joseph T. Zimmerman, a man whose memory painfully clung to those who had lost him and a man who remained a mystery to family who had never known him. Through this book, published on the fiftieth anniversary of his death, his granddaughter, Tammy Zimmerman, seeks to trace his footsteps and to discover the man behind the name.

His was just an ordinary life. His story sounded like that of thousands of men across America. All he desired was the opportunity to live, love, work and raise a family. But in his ordinary way, he became a great man. His lasting influence, though silent, powerfully shaped the lives of his family with a nearly blinding force. He became a man who stood for what was right, a man who never shirked his duty, a man whose overwhelming, yet hidden legacy will inspire all who read his story.


Illustrator Brad Sneed will be at the Manhattan Public Library at 2 pm on Saturday, April 13, to sign copies of the new book, Johnny KaW: A Tall Tale.

From Five minutes after his birth, Johnny Kaw is over six feet tall and still growing. When he outgrows his crib and even their town, his parents decide to move west where "little" Johnny can have plenty of room to play. After the family crosses the wide Missouri River to Kansas, Johnny sits down to play with his dog. His bottom ends up making the valley where his family will settle. And when Johnny clears stones from a field so his father can plow, he ends up creating the Rocky Mountains in the process. The legendary folk hero shapes the state's landscape by carving out valleys and creating prairies with his bare hands. Why, he even takes on a tornado when it threatens the family farm. Kansas native Devin Scillian spins a rollicking, rhyming yarn based on the tall tale of Johnny Kaw. Comedic, exaggerated artwork from artist Brad Sneed brings this character to BIG life.

Hosted by Claflin Books, at 1814 Claflin Road in Manhattan.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


From Johnson County Library, Lackman Branch:

When author-illustrator Nathan Hale wrote his graphic novel Big Bad Ironclad! A Civil War Steamship Showdown, he made one huge mistake. After careful research and fact-checking, he used a map of the states in 1861 that incorrectly identified Kansas as part of the Confederacy.

When our librarians got in touch with Mr. Hale to set the record straight, he immediately offered to travel to Kansas for an Official Apology Ceremony to remedy his hazardous fail.

Nathan Hale will appear at 6:30 pm on Thursday, April 11 at the Lackman Library during the monthly Guys Read Book Club. After the Official Apology Ceremony, he will demonstrate his drawing techniques, explain how he creates graphic novels like Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales and share a bit of history.

The Library will serve refreshments and give away door prizes, and signed copies of Mr. Hale’s books will be available for sale. Help us accept his apology on behalf of the state of Kansas – everyone welcome! For more information, call (913) 826-4600.


From the website of Robert Rebein:

I am a writer and professor of writing with a special interest in the nonfiction of place. My most recent work, Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City (Swallow Press, 2013), explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic western town of Dodge City, Kansas, as well as the surrounding high plains country George Armstrong Custer once called “the fairest and richest portion of our national domain.”

At 7 pm on Wednesday, April 10, Rebein will present a reading at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Town Center Plaza, 4751 W. 117th Street, Leawood. Prior to that, he will visit classes at Washburn University in Topeka and the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


From Eighth Day Books:

October 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Eighth Day Books. In honor of the occasion, we are asking you, our extraordinary customers, to tell us what Eighth Day Books means to you. We hope you’ll share reminiscences, humorous moments, epic sagas, paens, poetic waxings and/or love letters to Eighth Day Books.

Everyone who has crossed paths with Eighth Day—whether in Wichita, on the road, or in virtual fashion via the internet or telephone—is invited to contribute. We want to hear from brand-new customers, veteran shoppers, famous and not-so-famous authors, bloggers, former employees, sales reps, classmates and long-lost cousins of our esteemed founder.

We’ll publish our favorite submissions in an illustrated paperback that’s scheduled to hit our shelves in mid-October. Please help us accomplish this labor of love by adhering to these guidelines:

750 words or less. Submissions may be abridged and/or edited for publication.

Include name, address, e-mail and telephone for the author (and co-author, if there is one); no group or anonymous submissions.

Please submit via e-mail, preferably as an attachment in MS Word, to using the subject line “Anniversary Submission.”

Photographs and original artwork depicting themes related to Eighth Day Books will also be considered for inclusion; please submit in jpg format (300 dpi preferred).

Excerpts from your submission may appear in our blog and/or Facebook page.

Deadline for all submissions: June 1, 2013.

Please direct all questions and inquiries to Victoria or Alanna (800-841-2541). Many thanks!

Check out their website at

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Rising From the Shards is a non-fiction about a fifty-four year old woman who was blind-sided, knocked off her feet for over twelve years, (one of those tests in life to make us stronger), but discovered the internal conflict, learned the lesson and became victorious.

Kat Tales is a compilation of short stories revolving around childhood in Kansas City, connections to the shadows of the past. They are both available on amazon and Kindle.

Kat Tales, Volume II is on its way. Many more tales to include photos. Check out Katsantoness' blog.

Friday, April 5, 2013


From the Derby Library: "Michael Watson, area resident, has just released his newest adventure novel, Treasure of the Anasazi. It is his second in the Jack Trader adventure series. The story takes place in the Durango/Mesa Verde area of southwest Colorado. Jack must stop treasure hunters before they discover and destroy the last Anasazi village deep within Mesa Verde. If he fails, the Coyote People will take matters into their own hands."

Watson's first book is The Nestorian Alliance. More about Watson at Watson will be at the Derby Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove, at 2 pm on Saturday, April 6.


Katherine Karlin, author of Send Me Work, will lead a workshops, He Said/She Said: Writing Effective Dialogue, from 2-4 pm on Saturday, April 6, at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

From The Writers Place: Why does some dialogue fall flat on the page when other dialogue sings? The answer is not always straightforward; sometimes verbatim real-life dialogue can sound stilted once it’s written, and highly stylized dialogue can ring true. In this workshop, we will explore the different kinds of work dialogue can do for a piece of fiction, and how often subtext and subterfuge can be more revealing than earnest declarations. Bring 2-3 page samples of dialogue (screenwriters also welcome) and your acting chops: all dialogue will be read aloud!

Enroll on The Writers' Place Workshops Page.


From Mysteryscape: A national bestseller, The Yard takes us to London, 1889, just after the terror of Jack the Ripper. Twelve beleagured detectives forming The Murder Squad work to solve thousands of crimes in the growing London metropolis. Detective Day and Dr. Bernard Kingsley, a forensic pathologist, work together to solve the murder of one of their own.

The Yard is Topeka Author Alex Grecian's first novel in The Murder Squad Series and now out in paperback. His second in the series, Black Country, comes out May 21, 2013.

At the April 6 Sisters in Crime meeting, Alex Grecian will discuss the era and the titles in his series and sign books. . . . We'd be happy to reserve a signed copy for you if you're unable to make Saturday's event. The event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Sisters In Crime. No RSVP needed.

Program begins at 11 am on Saturday, April 6. Mysteryscape is at 7309 West 80th Street, Overland Park, (right around the corner from the Clock Tower Bakery, 7911 Santa Fe Drive).


From the Lackman (Johnson County) Library: Fans of prehistoric sea creatures (and aren’t we all!), we’ve got a special afternoon lined up for you at Lackman Library. Did you know that Kansas fossils are famous in major museums around the world? Many spectacular fossils have been exported from Kansas since the late 1860s, especially by Kansan Charlie Sternberg and his sons, who pioneered many of the basic paleontology methods used today.

Michael Everhart, an expert on prehistoric sea creatures of western Kansas, will bring show-and-tell to explain how the Sternbergs preserved and prepared the remains of Kansas fossils including mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and pterosaurs. Everhart is the author of Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep and Oceans of Kansas, and he also served as an advisor for the 2007 National Geographic IMAX film, Sea Monsters.

This program is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council. Free and open to the public – older children, adults and families will enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013, 2 p.m. Lackman Library

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Authors Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel provide a "striking new view of Brennan based on . . . Justice Brennan’s very personal case histories of the major battles that confronted the Supreme Court during the past half century. Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, the death penalty, obscenity law, and the constitutional right to privacy are among the many controversial and hotly-contested big-picture issues covered in the Brennan annals. But they also provide more intimate glimpses of Brennan’s surprising refusal to hire female clerks, even as he wrote groundbreaking opinions relating to women’s rights; the complex tension between his commitment to law and his Catholic beliefs; and new details on his unprecedented working relationship with Chief Justice Earl Warren."

Published in February by the University Press of Kansas. Stern is assistant managing editor at Bloomberg BNA; Wermiel teaches constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Come to Shawnee Books and Toys at 5 pm on Friday, April 5, for food, drink, fun, giveaways, AND the launch of The Key and the Flame, by Claire Caterer.

Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard is hardly one of great magical power. She’s just an ordinary girl living in an even more ordinary American suburb. Her brother Ben excels in the advanced-math class while Holly pulls a C for daydreaming and doodling on her test papers. But her greatest wish—to escape her humdrum existence and experience true adventure—has just been waiting for the right moment to come true.

When the family travels to England for the summer, Holly finds more adventure than even she bargained for—an ancient iron key that unlocks visions, portals, and even the magic long slumbering in Holly herself. With Ben and his friend Everett, Holly travels to Anglielle, a medieval kingdom where magic is outlawed and those with magical powers are hunted by a ruthless king. Holly soon discovers that her magic is the most sought-after of all.

Packed with magic and adventure, The Key and the Flame is only the beginning of a five-part series that chronicles how Holly, Ben, and Everett strive to restore magic to Anglielle and defeat the evil forces that hold the kingdom in its grip. Oh, yes, Shawnee Books and Toys is at 7311 Quivira in Shawnee. More about Caterer at


Diana Butler Bass, the author of Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, will participate in the Visiting Scholar Program at the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, beginning with a program at 7 pm on Friday, April 5. On Saturday, April 6, Bass will present programs at 9 am and at 10:30 am. On Sunday, April 7, Bass will deliver the sermon at the 10:15 am service at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. Kansas City, MO.

More at and


Australian native M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans, will be making two area appearances. On Friday, April 5, Stedman will be at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E. Dougas in Wichita, at 7 pm. On Tuesday, April 9, Stedman will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO, for Rainy Day Books.

Stedman's novel is the story of a childless couple, a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who are stunned when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a live baby. They claim the baby as their own, to unexpected consequences. See or for information.


From the Lawrence Public Library: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and noted author Tony Horwitz is coming to Lawrence! Together with the Lawrence Public Library Foundation and Crown Automotive, we are thrilled to sponsor this special guest as part of the 1863 Commemorate Lawrence year-long celebration. Mr. Horwitz will be joined on stage by KU Professor of History Jonathan Earle for a lively discussion about John Brown, his life, and his legacy. Mr. Horwitz is the author of several best-selling books, including his most recent, Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War. The Raven Bookstore will be selling copies of Mr. Horwitz’s books at the event. We expect a big crowd for this event, so plan on coming early. Doors will open at 7:00 pm.

Liberty Hall is at 644 Massachussetts St. See and

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

“Our Town (It's Not on Any Map...True Places Never Are)”

The 2013 Kansas Authors Club statewide contest opened April 1. Closing date is June 15. Winners will be announced at the annual convention, hosted by District Five, October 4-6 in Wichita. The contest theme is “Our Town (It's Not on Any Map...True Places Never Are)”

For guidelines, go to Click on the Contest tab in the left-hand sidebar. Also on the Contest page are links to the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award, the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award, and the Nelson Poetry Award.

Do not confuse this with the separate District Three writing contest, which opened on April 1 and closes April 15. For guidelines in this contest, click on District Three news.

(If you are observant, you'll notice that the original URL of will change to Thanks, as always, to the Kansas State Library system for hosting the KAC website.


Kansas Authors Club District Two writing contest has closed, but another contest has just opened -- District Three. But you'll need to be fast -- this contest closes April 15.

Entry fee is $1.00 for each submission in four prose categories (send entries to Joyce Long, 590 E 5200 St., Cherryvale, KS, 67337) and four poetry categories (send entries to Barbara Cooper, 504 Cheyenne, Coffeyville, KS 67337). Contest open to members and non-members.

For guidelines -- listen carefully. Go to District Three Contest. You'll have to scroll down a bit to bring the contest guidelines into view. The District Three contest should not be confused with the statewide KAC contest which open on the same day, April 1, but closes on June 15. For information on the stat contest, see the next post (to follow).

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Kansas Renga poets will present a program at 7 pm on Thursday, April 4, at the Justice Theater, Hutchinson Community College. Scheduled poets are Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Bill Sheldon, Liz Black, Thomas Reynolds, Lydia Lowe, Dan Pohl, Roy Beckemeyer, Pat Beckemeyer.

For future readings in other locations, go to and click on readings.


A great way to start April as Poetry Month is with the appearance of Caroline Kennedy for her newest book, Poems to Learn by Heart. Sponsor Rainy Day Books writes: There’s a Poem to celebrate every moment in life, whether it’s hitting a home run, watching a sunset, or laughing with your best friend. A poem is a gift of the heart that can inspire, reassure, or challenge us. Memorize it, share it, it’s yours forever.

Kennedy will be at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO, at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 2. For ticket information see

Friday, March 29, 2013


Author Thaddeus Nowak began his Heirs of Cothel series with Mother's Curse in which "Tradition holds that a mother who commits a mortal sin against the gods will be cursed with a daughter born a witch. Stephenie, the youngest princess of Cothel is just such a curse."

The series continues with the daughter, in Daughter's Justice. "Revealed to the world to be a witch, will the fact that she routed the invading Senzar armies save her from the wrath of a god fearing populace?"

Both books are now available at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware, Leavenworth, and other places; check Nowak's website at


A current and a retired professor of entomology at Kansas State University have teamed up to produce Stored Product Protection,, a book that perhaps should be required reading for anyone who likes to eat on a regular basis.

The book contains 31 chapters and 350 pages, covering such topics as biology and ecology of insects, molds and vertebrates in storage systems; pests of grains and legumes, dried fruit and nuts; prevention and monitoring of pests; economics; regulations; marketing of stored commodities; insect-resistant packaging; and more.

Co-editors are Tom Phillips, currently professor of entomology, and David Hagstrum, retired from that position.


Butterfield Books Inc. commemorates Easter by updating the book, Egg Gravy, the third book in the Butter in the Well series by Kansas author Linda K. Hubalek and sharing recipes from this book for the upcoming weekend.

“For centuries, spring and eggs have symbolized Easter. For the early pioneers, spring also meant getting a supply of eggs again because their hens stop laying eggs during the winter,” said Hubalek, the author of several books about Kansas homesteaders.

While Hubalek researched her Butter in the Well book series, she found very old recipes handwritten on scraps of faded paper, in margins of old cookbooks, and in the memories of the pioneer’s children she interviewed. As a result, Egg Gravy is a collection of recipes pioneer women used during their homesteading days.

“It was interesting to see what cooks in the 1800s did with an extra supply of a farm product, and what they made for special occasions. Angel food cake, made with the egg whites, was a favorite for holidays and birthdays, but then they had the egg yolks to use up too”, said Hubalek.

Founded in 1994, Butterfield Books Inc. publishes and promotes books about Kansas and its pioneer history. The company is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, known as “Little Sweden USA.”

Hubalek writes books about the pioneer women who made Kansas their home, and include the Trail of Thread, the Butter in the Well, and the Planting Dreams series. (From PRWeb.)

See Butterfield Books.


Shanelle Gabriel, poet, singer, and lyricist, will present the program at 7 pm Thursday, April 4, at the Mabee Library, Washburn University in Topeka. Gabrielle is best known for the opening promo & featuring on HBO's Def Poetry Jam as well as in a promo for the 2007 NFL Draft shown on NBC.


Situated in the heart of the Great Plains, Wichita has been a city of energy and change. The Great Depression and World War II brought both challenges and opportunities. During the postwar years, commercial and business activities downtown thrived, while shopping malls and drive-ins appeared in new suburbs. Meanwhile, African Americans, countercultural figures, and other groups struggled to reshape local affairs. Urban renewal transformed whole sections of the city, while redevelopment brought new life into older structures. Events such as Riverfest and a host of museums have improved the quality of life. A strong entrepreneurial tradition has remained, and populations from Asia and Latin America have brought new perspectives. Aviation has remained the economy's heart, although health care, higher education, and other ventures have made their mark as well. Through it all, the rhythms of everyday life have continued, creating a vibrant, complex community facing the dawn of the 21st century.

Authors Jay M. Price and Keith Wondra will debut their new book, Wichita 1930-2000, at 7pm on Wednesday, April 3 at Watermark Books and Cafe, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


DaMaris Hill, who holds a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas, Judith Roitman, who teaches (not English) at KU, and Sarah Smarsh, a KU graduate with degrees in English and Journalism, will appear together at 7pm on Thursday, March 28, at the Raven Book Store, 6 E. 7th, in Lawrence.


Danielle Evans, whose work has been included in The Best American Short Stories 2008 and 2010, will read a 3:30 pm on Friday, March 29, as part of the K-State series of Visiting Authors and Speakers in the Union Little Theater. Evans is an assistant professor at American University. Her newest short-story collection is Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.


On Thursday, March 28, Denise Low, former Kansas Poet Laureate, begins a four-week series of a poetry workshop at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO.

A study of the genres of poetry -- sonnet, prose, narrative -- will focus on discussion, writing and sharing of works. Meetings will continue on April 4, 11, 18, from 6-8 pm

. For information on enrolling, go to

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ryan M. Shelton, a Larned native who now lives in Ponca City, OK, is the author of The Mentor.

The story: Vincent Preston is in real trouble. With absentee parents, he raises himself, barely graduating high school, and has one chance to get out of his small town: baseball. He has a strong arm, but unfortunately it is wild, out of control. More at


Keela and Capone's Take That Dog Back is the story of two mis-matched canines who had to learn how to coexist under the same roof.

. Keela and Capone’s Take that Dog Back, is a valuable and loveable lesson about family and friendship. After, Keela is introduced to the new family dog, her perfect family life is upset by the new carefree and messy puppy, Capone. Keela learns that not everyone does things the way she does them and she can learn new things from others. A valuable family story about the differences that make up each one of us and our common ground. Written by Caleb Schultz.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

PORTRAITS OF TROY (Topeka High School)

Portraits of TROY book release party is scheduled for April 5 during the First Friday Art Walk from 5pm to 8pm at Topeka High School.

From the first photograph from the 1870s thru the 21st century images, Portraits of TROY is an engaging visual study of a stunning piece of architecture. Planned in the late 1920s, built in the first years of the Great Depression, Topeka High School was one of the first multimillion dollar high schools ever built. A Topeka landmark, THS is on the National Register of Historic Places, and Portraits of TROY shows why with intricate detail images and sweeping panoramas. Fifty-eight pairs of matching shots show both the school when new in 1931 and now 81 years later. From the top of the 155 foot bell tower, to the 2400-seat auditorium, to the 3500-seat gymnasium, to Constitution Plaza, home to a spar from the USS Constitution “Old Ironsides,” the 342 photos in 272 pages are an intimate look at this Kansas landmark. From

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Topeka High School Historical Society.


Life inside a Kansas prison -- as a guard -- is described by Kitty Kesinger Crouse in the recently published The Littlest Correctional Officer. Crouse followed a family tradition; many of her family members worked in correctional institutions

Friday, March 22, 2013


News from the Haysville Community Library:

On Saturday March 23rd from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm author Michael Watson will be at the library signing his new book. Tresures of the Anasazi is the second book in a series following the character Jack Trader in his adventures.

The library is at 210 S. Hays in Haysville, .

Mike says: "Life is an adventure. Try Something new." Check Mike out at

Thursday, March 21, 2013


A Raven Book Store sponsored event, the appearance of Shane Lopez, the author of Making Hope Happen, will take place at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 28, at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire Street, in Lawrence.

The expanded title of the book is Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You want for Yourself and Others. Lopez will be discussing schools, businesses, and nonprofits that spread hope through strong leadership and creative practices.

Monday, March 18, 2013


October 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Eighth Day Books. In honor of the occasion, we are asking you, our extraordinary customers, to tell us what Eighth Day Books means to you. We hope you’ll share reminiscences, humorous moments, epic sagas, paens, poetic waxings and/or love letters to Eighth Day Books.

Everyone who has crossed paths with Eighth Day—whether in Wichita, on the road, or in virtual fashion via the internet or telephone—is invited to contribute. We want to hear from brand-new customers, veteran shoppers, famous and not-so-famous authors, bloggers, former employees, sales reps, classmates and long-lost cousins of our esteemed founder -- From Eighth Day Books, 2838 E Douglas in Wichita.

Deadline is June 1, 2013, details at

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Tracy Million Simmons, Emporia, announces the publication of her first novel, Tiger Hunting. It is currently available as an e-book, and the print version is expected to be released by mid-April.

"When Jeni returns to her childhood home in western Kansas, she never imagines that she'll be hunting a white tiger escaped from the circus or competing with an ape for the affections of the boy she once loved. While she waits for the man she's left behind to notice she's not coming back, she reconnects with her family and works to pick up the pieces of her life."

More at


MacWriters, a McPherson area writing group, and McPherson Museum & Arts Foundation invite you to join us April 19-20 for a weekend getaway to listen, learn, and share about the writing in your life. Our theme is “Writing on the Side,” but the sessions will be of benefit to full-time writers as well as part-timers. After all, all writers tend to think like writers all of the time.

To learn more about the conference and to register, download the conference program HERE, or call 620-241-8464 for more information. Registration can be paid for via credit card by phone.


Kansas City Voices’ mission is to discover, encourage, and promote creativity and communication through literature, art, and other forms of cultural expression. The publication is an annual eclectic mix of fiction, essays, interviews, articles, poetry and art. The magazine’s first volume went to press in 2001 and is published each November.

Come to the Raven Book Store at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 19 to hear four featured Kansas City Voices contributors,Amy Ash, Jeff Tigchelaar, Timothy Volpert and Phyllis Westover.

Raven Book Store,

Whispering Prairie Press,


Phong Nguyen and Kathryn Nuernberger will be heard at the Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 19, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park.

Nguyen is the author of two short story collections, Memory Sickness and Other Stories, and the upcoming Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History. Nuernberger is poetry editor for the journal Pleiades, and teaches writing at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg.

The Writers Place,

Johnson County Library,

Monday, March 11, 2013


Strangely, Hugh Howey's Wool has little, if anything, to do with needlework. It's about life in a giant underground silo, written by Howey during the three years he worked as a bookseller.

Intrigued? Be at Rainy Day Books in The Fairway Shops 2706 W 53rd Street, Fairway, at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 13. Ticket information at


For "An Evening with Edwidge Danticat" be at the Woodruff Auditorium at the University of Kansas Union, at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, March 13.

A native of Haiti, Danticat came to the United States at the age of eleven. Her appearance is sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities and is part of the Frances & Floyd Horowitz Lecture series devoted to issues related to our multi-cultural society

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Robert Collins will be talking about his newest book, Kansas County Seat Conflicts: The Elections, The Feuds, and the Wars, at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 12, at the Marion City Library, 101 Library, Marion.

(I'm testing my knowledge of Kansas' history to figure out which courthouse is pictured on the cover. What's your guess?)

Among several genres, Collins has written extensively about Kansas railroad history. See his blog in the right-hand side-bar, One Kansas Author, or go to


The real-life, chilling story of a prison guard is told by Sara Lundsford in Sweet Hell on Fire. Lundsford will be at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware in downtown historic Leavenworth at 11 am, on Saturday, March 16.

Lunsford is also a noted romance writer, writing as Saranna DeWylde. See her other works at


Ernest Freeberg will present his new book The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 12, at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology, 5109 Cherry Street, on the UMKC campus.

Seating is limited, and admission tickets are required. More information at Rainy Day Books


Stolen from Watermark Books and Café:

Juliette Gordon Low was a singular figure in American history. "Crazy Daisy," as her family knew her, was a vibrant and headstrong woman. Her magnetic blend of fun and determination coupled with an unwavering vision brought the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) into existence. Acclaimed historian Stacy A. Cordery tells Low’s complete life story in the definitive biography, Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts.

Stacy A. Cordery is a professor of history at Monmouth College and the bibliographer of the National First Ladies’ Library. She is the author of Alice, a biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a New York Times Notable book in 2007. She lives in Monmouth, Illinois.

Cordery will be at Watermark Books and Cafe at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 12, 4701 E. Douglas in Wichita

Monday, March 4, 2013


Gloria Zachgo is honored to announce her cozy mystery novel, The Rocking Horse, won Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest 20th Annual Self Published Book Awards.

Check it out on page 47 of the March/April edition of Writer's Digest.


I can’t hide behind the printing press any longer My collection of eight short stories, Emergency, No-Guilt Hot Chocolate, will be available no later than March 23, with a signing 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware, in Leavenworth.

Yeah, I know, Leavenworth, that out-of-the way corner of the state of Kansas. Although the stories are all fictional, the whole thing started in Leavenworth, when I won second place in a chocolate recipe contest a few years back. My winning recipe was printed in The Leavenworth Times.

Well, I wove a story out of that event, creating a much younger contest winner, Gabrielle, and her grandmother, Felicienne, who doesn’t always tell the truth. And Shane, a never-boyfriend who seems to have disappeared from Gabrielle’s life.

Other appealing characters (I KNOW they’re appealing because I created them) occupy the other stories, which I hope readers will grow to love as they cheer them through their predicaments.

Hope to see you at The Book Barn.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kansas Voices IS NOT Kansas City Voices

Just a reminder! The 24th annual Kansas Voices statewide writing contest entries must be postmarked by March 15!

Both divisions have adult and youth categories (18 years & under), in poetry and prose (short story). All Kansas writers are encouraged to enter. To be eligible, writers must live in Kansas. There is no requirement for subject matter and all entries are judged based on literary merit.

$1000 in prize money will be awarded: $275 each for first prize poetry and short story in adult division, first prize for poetry and short story in the youth division is $100 each, and $250 total will be given for Honorable Mention awards.

Winners will be honored and invited to read their work at a special presentation at Winfield Arts & Humanities Council, 700 Gary, Winfield, on May 4, 2013. A full dinner will be served. Cost is $9 per person and reservations required by April 26, 2013.

You may call 620-221-2161 or write to the Winfield Arts and Humanities Council, 700 Gary, Suite A & B, Winfield, KS 67156 for guidelines, entry forms and/or dinner reservations. The guidelines and entry form may also be downloaded from our web site:

Entries must be unpublished stories or poems accompanied by an official entry form and a $3.00 entry fee for each submission.

This contest is made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: Winfield Consumer Products, CornerBank, Cowley College of Arkansas City and Bob & Nancy Love of Wichita. Kansas Voices is also underwritten by Winfield Convention and Tourism.

Kansas Voices and Kansas City Voices are two totally separate writing opportunities. Kansas City Voices is an annual magazine of the arts, published by Whispering Prairie Press. Deadline for submission to the 11th issue is also March 15. Guidelines are available at

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


A University of Kansas professor has published a book collecting depictions of lawyers, judges and legal professionals in popular culture from one of the format’s golden ages.

Michael Hoeflich, John H. and John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at KU, has published The Law in Postcards & Ephemera 1890-1962. The book collects postcards, holiday cards, cigarette cards and real photo cards he’s collected over a period of 10 years.

“I’m fascinated by the way people view the legal profession,” Hoeflich said. “It’s not as simple as ‘people love their own lawyer but hate all other lawyers.’ The postcards were picked partly for their humor and partly for their design. But I hope lawyers, legal historians and others will give it a look because it does give a representation of attitudes about lawyers throughout history.”

From the University of Kansas news, more at


Stuart A. Day, Patrick Gabbard and Katie Klaras will be the featured readers at the Raven Book Store BIG TENT program at 7 pm on Thursday, February 28.

Day is Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas, and editor of the Latin American Theatre Review.

Gabbard is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. Klaras is a senior at KU working on her poetry thesis.

The Raven is at 6 E. 7th in Lawrence,


LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities is pleased to host the 11th annual Celebration of Books published by humanities, social sciences and arts faculty in 2012.

The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 5 in the Hall Center Conference Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The Celebration will recognize the 35 faculty members who published 37 books in the humanities, social sciences and arts last year. Their works explore such varied topics as lowrider car culture, British rock humor, American intentional communities, antievolution controversies and the geography of the Internet, representing the depth and breadth of humanities research at the University of Kansas. The celebration will feature a reception and a display of books.

Three featured faculty authors will make brief presentations on their work and take questions from the audience.

Kij Johnson, assistant professor of English, will discuss At the Mouth of the River of Bees, Small Beer Press, a sparkling debut collection from one of the hottest writers in science fiction: Her stories have received the Nebula Award the last two years running. These stories feature cats, bees, wolves, dogs and even that most capricious of animals, humans, and have been reprinted in "The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror," "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year" and "The Secret History of Fantasy."

Adrian Lewis, professor of history, will discuss The American Culture of War: The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom, Routledge Press, which presents a sweeping, critical examination of every major American war of the late 20th century: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first and second Persian Gulf wars and Operation Enduring Freedom. Lewis deftly traces the evolution of U.S. military strategy, offering an original and provocative look at the motives people and governments used to wage war, the debates among military personnel, the flawed political policies that guided military strategy and the civilian perceptions that characterized each conflict.

Iain Ellis, full-time lecturer of English, will discuss Brit Wits: A History of British Rock Humor, University of Chicago Press, which shows how and why humor has been such a powerful catalyst and expressive force in the work of key subversive rock humorists. Distinguishing rock humorists from rockers who are merely sometimes humorous, Ellis trains his attention on those whose music and persona exude defiance—beginning with the Beatles, the Kinks and Pink Floyd; and continuing through the Smiths, the Slits and even the Spice Girls—to investigate the nature of rock humor and the ways in which these groups have used it to attack prevailing social structures.

For those who wish to attend, please RSVP to the Hall Center at (785) 864-4798 or

From the University of Kansas news.


Get those keyboards humming.

Details of the Kansas Authors Club, District Two annual writing contest are available at Click on the Districts Link, and scroll down to District Two. Click on District 2 News. Look for the graphic of the flyer on the upper right. Click on the link for an enlarged version.

Please understand that the District Two 2013 writing competition is NOT the state wide KAC writing competition, which will open later in the year. Deadline for the District Two writing contest is April 1. There will be some differences in guidelines.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


These events have been cancelled because of snow conditions.

Author Tom Mach sends along this invitation:

I've been invited to speak about how the suffragist movement comes alive in Angels at Sunset at the Carroll Mansion Museum) at 1128 5th Ave in Leavenworth, KS. at 10 AM on Saturday, March 2. Admission is free.

I will also be doing a book signing at the Book Barn at 410 Delaware St in Leavenworth on March 2 at 11:30-1:30 pm.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Daniel R. Anthony, a pistol-packing newspaper editor, shot it out in the street on at least three occasions, once wounded so badly that his sister dropped her speaking tour and came to Leavenworth to nurse him back to health. While Susan B. Anthony was in Leavenworth she ran his paper and gave a boost to Kansas suffragettes. It's easy to feel Susan B. Anthony's presence, both in the Carroll Mansion Museum, and in The Book Barn, once an undertaking parlor.


Travelers on Interstate-70 between Topeka and Junction City will be pleased to find in Paxico the Prairie Ghost, a gallery of native art inspired by a book.

The name of the gallery is drawn from Prairie Ghost: Pronghorn and Human Interaction in Early America, written by Richard McCabe and published by the University Press of Colorado in 2004. A major contribution to ethnozoological literature, the book has been praised for its unique reporting on the prehistorical and historical relationships of Native People and wildlife.

The gallery carries a wide selection of Native American and wildlife art, pottery, hand-painted silk ties and scarves, notecards, bronzes, decorative decoys, and oh yes, books.

Before you visit, you can take a look at the website at

And books, too!


The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series will welcome poet and fiction writer Paul Dickey to Pittsburg State University on Thursday, February 28.

Dickey will read from his newest work, Wires Over the Homeplace, a collection of poetry. He is the author of two previous collections, They Say This is How Death Came Into the World and What Wisconsin Took. Dickey has also written several one-act plays and one full-length play, The Good News According to St. Dude. Besides writing, Dickey teaches philosophy at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE.

Dickey will read from his work at 8 p.m. in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center. The event is free and open to the public. Following the reading, there will be a reception in the Heritage Room of the student center, where Dickey’s books will be available for purchase.

The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the PSU English Department and the Student Fee Council.

Monday, February 25, 2013


On a cold, cold day, while you’re waiting for snow, it’s comforting to have a good book to read. Cook books are the best, and while you’re reading about tantalizing, appetizing foods, why don’t you just sashay out to the kitchen and stir up some muffins or cookies or biscuits.

I found a lot of mouth-watering recipes in Hometown Appetites: The Story of (Kansas’ homegrown native) Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer who Chronicled How America Ate. Written by Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris.

There are recipes galore in the book, but I used a basic recipe I have posted to the inside of a cabinet door, to which any number of variations can be added. So, while I delve into the life history of Clementine, I will soon be smelling the irresistible aroma of ginger-peachy muffits. Well, they’re not muffins, they’re not biscuits, they’re just mounds of dough plopped into an oven-hot cast iron skillet. I’ve got the timer set, but the real test is when the scent begins the fill the kitchen.

Clementine was born on a Kansas farm near Manhattan, and after a stint at the Manhattan Daily Chronicle was soon writing for the New York Herald Tribune and This Week magazine. Her fascinating beginnings and her rise to a national reputation is told by Alexander and Harris. It took some sleuthing, but the result is a compelling story that will catch the interest of any Kansan who loves to eat.

WARNING: Do not read this book without something delicious to eat and drink. Or even better, pick out one of the recipes in the book and head for the kitchen.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Hi, Renga mates, here is great response to our renga project: The Midwest Book Review: Small Press Bookwatch, February 2013.

Poetry does not have to be a solitary voice in the darkness. To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices" is a collection of poems in the form of the Renga, a variation of the Haiku that embraces collaboration. All from Kansas, they discuss their home and the lore that has formed over the ages around the state. "To the Stars Through Difficulties is a unique assortment of verse, highly recommended. A Sample, by Ignacio Carvajal: We dig into the clay/with a hope that is almost fear of finding/what we know to be impossible./Kansas knows what water is. It too knows/how to burn, how to evaporate/what we think we know,/what we think we are,/where we think we come from./We may call for more hands, but not even/archeologists can tell what we may find.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, editor

Mammoth Publications

1916 Stratford Rd., Lawrence, KS 66044

9780983799597, $18.00, order from

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Kansas Plains is pleased to receive this message from Jan Duncan-O'Neil:

I will be reading from my chapbook Voices: Lost and Found on March 1st (Friday) at the Ecletive Art Showroom and Studios in Topeka (900 NW Kansas Ave.) for their First Fridays Series. This unique place features art from over 50 arts--everything from paintings to furniture and clothes. I am thrilled to have been asked to read. Hope to see some of you there!

Jan Duncan-O’Neil

See also


The Gridley Branch of Coffey County Library will host “The Kansas Work Ethic of Dwight D. Eisenhower,” a presentation and discussion by Roy Bird at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 5.

Young Dwight Eisenhower learned to work hard at an early age. In addition to his daily chores, he worked various jobs from selling vegetables laboring as a farmhand, and working for several years at the Belle Springs Creamery. He managed these jobs while earning good grades in school and participating in sports and community activities. This talk will explore how Ike’s Kansas work ethic prepared him for military and presidential greatness.

From the Emporia Gazette. More about the story at

Roy Bird is the author of Little Ike: Dwight D. Eisenhower's Abilene Boyhood. The book was illustrated by Gwen Battis, and published by The Gridley Library is at 512 Main Street.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The Kansas Humanities Council invites Kansas poets with a strong interest in public engagement to apply to serve as the 2013-2015 Poet Laureate of Kansas. A new program for the KHC, the position of Poet Laureate will help promote the humanities as a public resource for all Kansans.

Completed applications are due in the KHC office by 5:00 PM Friday, February 22, 2013. Guidelines at

The Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term beginning in April 2013. Activities will include audience discussions, special engagements, and a statewide project of his or her design that advances the reach and impact of poetry in Kansas.

PERSONAL NOTE: I have no doubt that there is a multitude of very talented Kansas poets who are quite capable of filling this role (some I know personally), but it will be a hard act to follow, considering that Caryn Mirriam Goldberg has kept the program going through very difficult times. When she began her "two-year" tenure in 2009, little did she know she would still be the poet laureate until 2013. When the new poet laureate is named, Caryn can breathe a very deep sign of relief.

See Caryn Mirriam Goldberg's blog in the blog roll at the right -- Writers About Writing.

"A Bullwhacker's Life" BY JIM GRAY

On Monday, February 25, 6:00 pm, the Wamego Lublic library will host “A Bullwhacker’s Life Freighting Supplies over the Plains,” a presentation and discussion by Jim Gray. Bullwhackers traveled the Kansas frontier freighting supplies and shaping a profession now enjoyed by today’s long-haul truck drivers. Traveling the Santa Fe, California-Oregon, and Smoky Hill Trails, commercial and independent bullwhackers walked beside their ox-drawn wagons, courting danger with every trip.

This presentation examines how fortunes could be won or lost and how bullwhackers tested their skills at peaceful negotiation as they passed through lands controlled by prairie bands of Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche peoples. Only through tribal blessing were the bullwhackers allowed safe passage.

“A Bullwhacker’s Life Freighting Supplies over the Plains” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions about Kansas—our people, places, hopes, and dreams—that offer insight into what it means to be a Kansan over time and across generations.

Jim Gray's Page.