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The members of this panel will give us a brief history of their dedicated service to Kansas authors. They include:
Owner/Publisher of Meadowlark Press, enjoys reading and writing about the people and places of her home state of Kansas, both real and imagined. She started Meadowlark Books in 2014 with the publication of Green Bike, a group novel, with Kevin Rabas and Michael D. Graves. Since that time, Meadowlark has published books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, including the 2016 Kansas Notable Book, To Leave a Shadow by Michael D. Graves, the 2020 Kansas Notable Book, Headwinds, by Edna Bell-Pearson, and the 2021 Kansas Notable Book, All Hallows' Shadows, by Michael D. Graves. Opulence, Kansas, by Julie Stielstra was the winner of the 2021 Midwest Book Award in YA fiction.
After fourteen years as a foreign and military policy lobbyist in Washington, Gretchen Eick became a professor of history. Awarded two Fulbright Scholar awards (to Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and a Fulbright Hays travel grant to South Africa, she is the author of seven books, two scholarly histories, four novels, and a book of short stories. Her books include
Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972 (U of IL Press, 2001/2007) and They Met at Wounded Knee: The Eastmans’ Story (University of Nevada Press)
Blue Cedar Press published its first books in 2015. Michael Poage, the founder, wanted to start a press that would focus on poetry written by new voices that he believed should be published and heard. His wife, Gretchen Eick, a published writer of nonfiction, had begun writing novels and wanted the press to publish fiction and nonfiction from new voices also, particularly the voices of today’s “other America”—people of color, immigrants, young people, people of nontraditional sexual orientation, as well as people from other countries.
Jason Ryberg is the author of fourteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is Are You Sure Kerouac Done It This Way!? (co-authored with John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger, OAC Books, 2021). He lives part-time in Kansas City, MO with a rooster named Little Red and a Billy goat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.
Will Leathem founded Spartan Press in the late 1990s as a vehicle to bring awareness to the stunning writing talent Kansas City has to offer. As part-owner of Prospero’s Books, he has been an endless champion for small presses and local and national poetry, hosting hundreds of events.
In her business--Author’s Voice Publishing—Jan’s mission is to help aspiring writers become published authors. She provides all the services needed to shepherd manuscripts through editing, design, production, and print, to become polished books that authors are proud to present to the world. She appreciates one adoring husband, two grown sons, and three delightful grandchildren. Her spare time overflows with volunteering as a leader in Outdoor Ministry. She sporadically works on her own historical novel, regularly attends MacNovelists, a writers’ group in McPherson, and enjoys meeting new people as a member of the Kansas Authors Club.