D5 meets Saturday, July 9 at 1:30. Attend on Zoom or in person at 2801 W 15th St N, Wichita, KS.
Click on the link below to join the Zoom meeting.
Brian Daldorph is a senior lecturer in the Humanities/English at the University of Kansas where he teaches creative writing, literature, and writing classes in the English department. He has also taught in Japan, Senegal, and England. His books of poems include: Kansas Poems. Meadowlark Press, 2021, Blue Notes (Dionysia Press, Edinburgh). 2019, Ice Age/Edad de Hielo (Irrupciones P, Uruguay). 2017, Jail Time (Original Plus P, England). 2009, From the Inside Out: Sonnets (Woodley P). 2008, Senegal Blues (219 P). 2003, Outcasts (Mid-America P). 2000, The Holocaust and Hiroshima: Poems (Mid-America P) 1997. Brian’s 2021 book published by the University of Kansas Press, Words Is a Powerful Thing, is his record of teaching at the jail for the two decades between 2001-2020, where he met Antonio Sanchez-Day, an inmate and fellow poet and helped him get his poetry in print before Day’s death. He edits Coal City Review and is a District 2 member of Kansas Authors Club.
D5 meets Saturday, July 9 at 1:30. Attend on Zoom or in person at 2801 W 15th St N, Wichita, KS.
Click on the link below to join the Zoom meeting.
TOPEKA – This year’s list of Kansas Notable Books continues the tradition of celebrating the rich stories and culture of Kansas.
“The 2022 Kansas Notable Books list recognizes 15 books written by Kansans or about Kansas,” said Ray Walling, Acting State Librarian. “Through their work, the authors take readers on a journey through the wetlands of the Cheyenne Bottoms to the baseball fields of the Kansas City Monarchs. Readers can be transported back in time to the 1887 election in Argonia or to the epic battle of twin sisters enabled with superpowers facing a sinister force. This year’s titles include something for everyone. I hope all Kansans will visit their local public library to check out these wonderful titles.”
Each year, the Kansas Notable Books list features 15 books, published during the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Kansas, or written by a Kansas author. This year’s selection committee includes representatives of public, university, and school libraries, teachers, academics, and writers.
Kansas Notable Books authors will be awarded their medals at the Kansas Book Festival on September 24 at Washburn University. The public is invited.
Kansas Notable Books is a project of the Kansas Center for the Book, a program at the State Library of Kansas which is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. The mission of the Kansas Center for the Book is to highlight the state’s literary heritage and foster an interest in books, reading, and libraries.
For more information or questions about Kansas Notable Books program, visit kslib.info/notablebooks
or contact the State Library of Kansas at 785-296-3296 or email email@example.com.
2022 Kansas Notable Books
Ava: A Year of Adventure in the Life of an American Avocet by Mandy Kern (Great Bend), illustrated by Onalee Nicklin (Emporia), Meadowlark Press
Blue Collar Saint: Poems by Brenda Leigh White (Emporia), Meadowlark Press
Field Journal: Volume XIII, 2021, The Santa Fe Trail by Symphony in the Flint Hills (Cottonwood Falls)
From This Moment: A Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Hutchinson), Waterbrook
The Greatest Thing: A Story About Buck O'Neil by Kristy Nerstheimer (Overland Park), illustrated by Christian Paniagua, (Queens, NY) The Little Fig
Haven’s Secret (The Powers Book 1) by Melissa Benoist, Jessica Benoist (Council Grove), Mariko Tamaki, Abrams Books
How to Resist Amazon and Why by Danny Caine (Lawrence), Microcosm Publishing
Killing Dragons: Order of the Dolphin by Kristie Clark (Jetmore), Delphi Imprint
Mad Prairie: Stories and a Novella by Kate McIntyre (Worcester MA), University of Georgia Press
Policing Sex in the Sunflower State: The Story of the Kansas State Industrial Farm for Women by Nicole Perry (Lawrence), University Press of Kansas
Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains by Lucas Bessire (Norman OK), Princeton University Press
Stormbreak: A Seafire Novel by Natalie C. Parker (Lawrence), Razorbill
A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor by Karen M. Greenwald (Rockville MD), illustrated
by Sian James (Cambridge UK), Albert Whitman & Co.
White Hot Hate: A True Story of Domestic Terrorism in America's Heartland by Dick Lehr (Belmont MA), Mariner Books
Words Is a Powerful Thing: Twenty Years of Teaching Creative Writing at Douglas County Jail by Brian Daldorph (Lawrence), University Press of Kansas
For more information about the State Library of Kansas, please visit https://kslib.info.
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Kansas Authors Club members on the 2022 Notable list:
Brenda Leigh White - District 2
Brian Daldorph - District 2
Kristie Clark - District 7
Meadowlark Press - Member at Large
The newest issue of The Write Bridge, by Anamcara Press, includes the work of many Kansas Authors Club Members: Amber Fraley (D2), Peg Nichols (D2), David Hann (D2), Kathleen Kaska (D2), Boyd Bauman (D2), John L. Swainston (D2), Lindsey Bartlett (D2), Beth Gulley (D2), Debra Irsik (D2), Fred Applehanz (D1), Brenda L. White (D2), Brian Daldorph (D2), Iris Craver (D2), Ronda Miller (D2), Perry Shepard (D2), Micki Carroll (D2)
Anamcara Press will begin accepting submissions for the Next edition of The Write Bridge June 1, 2022. Topics: Fortitude & Toploftiness
The new Coal City Review (#44) features the work of Antonio Sanchez-Day, who spent 13 years in what he called "The System," before turning his life around through his writing. He published his first book of poetry in 2019, Taking on Life (Coal City Review Press).
Antonio, an inspiration to all of us who knew and loved him, died in March 2021 at the age of 44.
Antonio Sanchez-Day (#63803)
Life means various things to different people. Life means
something different to me now than it did 5, 10, 15 years ago . . .
Today, life to me is first and foremost a gift. This very
day, this very moment as I write these words is a gift, a blessing
given to me by my creator. A gift that is to be cherished and treated
with love, and kindness.
I view life today as something new, so the wonder of life is always present.
I create in my life with joy and abandon, without concern for what
others think about my creation. Today I know I have
the choice of creating hell in my life, or creating beauty and
peace. I wake up and am stunned by the beauty of the day be it
rain, snow, or sunshine. I drink the morning water, life itself and
give thanks. I view the given day as a challenge and an opportunity.
A challenge to face whatever situations present themselves to me.
Challenges are neither good nor bad, neither a curse nor
blessing. They are only what we make of them, depending on what
meaning we assign them. The assigned meaning does not alter
the content of the situation. Our perception gives the assigned meaning.
Today I choose to view all challenges as an opportunity. An opportunity
to be impeccable. To act to the very best of my ability upon
whatever knowledge happens to be available to me at any given
moment. To live this life with the knowledge that every
moment, every act matters. To understand that to believe I have
all the time in the world is not only foolish, but also takes
away from the appreciation of life. Today I savor life to
the fullest, and enjoy every moment of this precious time
on this red road. Today I don’t need anything or want
for nothing but to be happy and to live an impeccable life.
Needing and wanting to have something is just an expression
of the egotistical desires of my mind’s programming and has
nothing to do with my spiritual path.
Today my life is the expression of the beauty of my
spirit and the Great Spirit. I was once told that life is nothing but a
dream, and if I create my life with love, my dream will
become a masterpiece of art. This is the power of life.
The power of life is inside all of us.
Antonio was a member of District 2. View his memorial page here.
This link will take you to the recent presentation about Brian Daldorph’s teaching of poetry in the Douglas County Jail for the past 20 years.
There is a wonderful recording of Antonio Sanchez-Day also, with shared memories by additional members of the group.
Brian is a District 2 member of Kansas Authors Club, as was Antonio.
The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence hosted the event.
Brian’s book, Words Is a Powerful Thing, can be purchased at The Raven Bookstore and wherever you buy books.
D5 member Robert L. Dean, Jr., has a poem titled "Firekeeper" in the new issue of the print magazine "Thorny Locust," published out of Kansas City, MO, Silvia Kofler, editor.
Other members featured in this issue include:
Brian Daldorph (D2)
Beth Gulley (D2)
Kevin Rabas (D2)
Tyler Robert Sheldon (D2)
Maryfrances Wagner (D2)
Brian Daldorph first entered the Douglas County Jail classroom in Lawrence, Kansas, to teach a writing class on Christmas Eve 2001. His last class at the jail for the foreseeable future was mid-March 2020, right before the COVID-19 lockdown; the virus is taking a heavy toll in confined communities like nursing homes and prisons. Words Is a Powerful Thing is Daldorph’s record of teaching at the jail for the two decades between 2001 and 2020, showing how the lives of everyone involved in the class—but especially the inmates who came to class week after week—benefited from what happened every Thursday afternoon in that jail classroom, where for two hours inmates and instructor became a circle of ink and blood, writing together, reciting their poems, telling stories, and having a few good laughs.
Words Is a Powerful Thing brings into the light the works of fifty talented inmate writers whose work deserves attention. Their poetry speaks of “what really matters” to all of us and gives the reader sustained insight into the role that creativity plays in aiding survival and bringing positive change for inmates, and, in turn, for all of us. Daldorph’s account of his teaching experience not only takes the reader inside the daily life at a county jail but also sets the work done in the writing class within the larger context of inmate education is the US corrections system, where education is often one of the few lifelines available to inmates. Words Is a Powerful Thing provides a teaching guide for instructors working with incarcerated writers, offering an extensive examination of both the challenges and benefits.
When Brian Daldorph decided the story of his classroom experiences and the great writing produced by the inmates deserved to be told to wider audiences, he struggled with how to bring it all together. Not long after, an inmate wrote a poem titled “Words Is a Powerful Thing,” offering Daldorph a title, concept, and purpose: to show that the poetry of inmates speaks not just to other inmates but to all of us.
District 1 member, Ruth Maus, and District 2 member, Brian Daldorph, will be featured poets at the Birdy Poetry Prize Virtual Readings and 2021 Winner & Finalist Announcement. Meadowlark Press invites all Kansas Authors Club members to attend.
6 p.m. (CST) | March 13 | via Zoom
Please join us in celebrating the 2019, 2020, and 2021 winners and finalists of the Birdy Poetry Prize! Our illustrious Birdy authors--Carol Kapaun Ratchenski (A Certain Kind of Forgiveness), Ruth Maus (Valentine), JC Mehta (Selected Poems 2000-2020), and Brian Daldorph (Kansas Poems)--will each be reading pieces from their books.
To top it off, the 2021 Birdy winner and finalist will be announced for the first time ever, live!
Register for the event at tinyurl.com/birdypoetryprize.
The Birdy Poetry Prize is an annual full-length poetry manuscript competition that draws a large variety of poetic voices and subjects. This event showcases six of those voices, with readings from 2019, 2020, and 2021 winners and finalists.
The event will be recorded and shared on the Meadowlark website (www.meadowlark-books.com), YouTube page (Meadowlark Press), and Facebook page (Meadowlark Press, LLC).
2019 & 2020 Birdy books are available for purchase at the Meadowlark Bookstore.
The books are also available for purchase through your favorite bookstores.
To stay up-to-date on the publications of the 2021 winner and finalist, please subscribe to our newsletter at the Meadowlark website.
We look forward to seeing you at the event, and we appreciate your support!
University of Kansas Professor, Poet Releases New Book About Life in Kansas
Kansas Poems by Brian Daldorph
ISBN (print) 978-1-7362232-0-8 Pages: 100 Paperback: $12.00
Emporia, KS – Kansas Poems “is a poetry of place and microhistory, which nonetheless transcends the people and events it tells about . . . And while I’ve never been to Kansas, I now feel that I might have—or at least that there is a Kansas of my mind, a place of lakes and fireflies and small lives.” –Laura Chalar, author of Unlearning and Midnight at the Law Firm
Brian Daldorph’s eighth full-length collection of poetry is a tribute to his adopted state, Kansas, where he has lived through the four seasons year by year, in Lawrence.
Daldorph is originally from England and had made a home for himself here through his teaching at the University of Kansas and at the Douglas County Jail. He is also the editor of Coal City Review.
Kansas poetry blooms in these pages, not only poems set in Lawrence, Linwood, Garden City, and Coffeyville, but also in the more mythological locations of Stony Creek Cemetery, Brook Creek Park, Oak Hill Cemetery and Stull, which, legend has it, is one of the gates of Hell.
These are poems about Kansas people: a Vietnam vet still angry at the government who betrayed him; undertaker Zeke Haskins, looking out of his office window at his dying small town. The football coach’s wife who fears that her husband will recruit their sons for the sport he loves.
There are ghost stories here, jail visits, love stories and break ups, a Kansas story about Brown Recluse spiders and Black Widows “waiting in outhouses and dreams with that one bite/ to freeze your limbs and jam your lungs . . .”
Kansas Poems was chosen as the finalist for the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize contest. To celebrate, Daldorph and Meadowlark Press will be hosting a free, public virtual book launch via Zoom at 6 p.m. on February 5. The event is particularly meaningful, as it specially recognizes the 100th birthday of Daldorph’s mother, who passed in 2015. Please register for the event at: tinyurl.com/kspoemsregistration.
Daldorph will do a second, shorter reading of Kansas Poems with the winner of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize, JC Mehta, on March 13, along with the winner and finalist of last year’s contest, Carol Kapaun Ratchenski (A Certain Kind of Forgiveness) and Ruth Maus (Valentine).
Kansas Poems is available for order at: meadowlark-books.square.site/ and wherever you buy books.
How to Submit News:
If you have news of writing events that would be of interest to all Kansas Authors Club members, or if you are a member (dues current) who would like to announce an achievement, please submit your news via this form.