Entries from blogs tagged with “Nanowrimo Novels”

Lawrence Public Library Reading April 25th with Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Dr. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas, will be reading this evening, April 25th, at the Lawrence Public Library from seven to eight p.m.

April is National Poetry month and Goldberg will be reading old poetry as well as some new material. I for one can't wait to hear some of her new material. Goldberg, whose book, "The Divorce Girl" will be available from Ice Cube Press in July (preorders can be placed by going to www.icepress.com), will be reflecting on a month of poetry.

Goldberg read an excerpt from her novel, "The Divorce Girl" at The Raven bookstore this past Saturday night, and I'm hoping she will find time to read an additional chapter tonight. The book is referred to as 'A story of art and soul' - it certainly is artfully and soulfully written. Main character Deborah Shapiro, a New Jersey teenage photographer, tells the story of her parents' divorce and where that takes her. A coming of age story about a quirky and extremely intelligent teen, Goldberg has found the perfect medium for Shapiro to convey her story. Giving the main character access to the inner most workings of everyone and everything around her through the use of a camera lens is brilliant. The book is as delicately and intricately woven as life itself as the reader follows Shapiro from one hilarious adventure to another. It isn't just about laughs, however. Goldberg brings the same intelligence, compassion, all encompassing acceptance of cultures and the world at large to "The Divorce Girl" that she does to her poetry.

For additional information, call 785-843-1178. The Lawrence Public Library is located at 707 Vermont St. The reading will be in the auditorium.


Mary Stone Dockery’s Mythology of Touch - a poet to be reckoned with - Reading at The Raven, Saturday, April 21st

If there is one reading you should catch this month (April is National Poetry Month), then it is the one that includes Poet Laureate of Kansas, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg - check out her July release, "The Divorce Girl" www.icecubepress.com, Cassie Premo Steele, South Carolina, reading from her newly released, "Pomeganate Papers", and Mary Stone Dockery reading poetry from a new Woodley Press release, "Mythology of Touch".

I've become a huge fan of Goldberg over the years and have heard her read aloud enough times that I'm able to hear her voice when I read her poems - yes, she is that good. Her poems always leave me feeling like a better person. Though engaging and varied in topic, they are profound, spiritual (in a nontraditional way) and lift me above the human condition. Her absolute love of every living creature, family and Kansas shine through. Even her beautiful sing song delivery lulls me to a peaceful world. She is a healer.

Mary Stone Dockery presents a different style of poetry. Honestly, I wanted to negate it, somehow be able to question how and why someone so young could be winning so many contests (to refresh your memory, Mary won the 2011 Langston Hughes Award), have so many poems in print, and now......a 90 page book of lyrical narrative poetry! Dare I add she is not yet thirty years old?

Mary Stone Dockery grew up in a small town and farming community in NW Missouri, living in St. Joseph and graduating from Missouri Western State University in 2009 with a BA in literature. She married husband Dustin the same year, and they moved to Lawrence because of KU's MFA program. She graduates this May.

Here then are a few lines chosen at random from Mary's Mythology of Touch poem

You have always been cranberry,

soft jazz swaying in front of me

your mouth wings of a moth

carcass that dreams itself

across my shoulder blade.

and an excerpt of a personal favorite of mine...

Almond Milk and Rosemary

...It was another blue bird perched on its marble bath in the backyard then flying away when she whispered its name....another Bob Marley lookalike chaffing his fingers up her thighs and into her, saying, Redemption. It was another bug smashed against a windshield, splattering, oozing across glass, its blackness etching along her ribs, or was that her lung revealed, her kidney, her liver?.....

It was her heart, Mary, your heart revealed. I went to sleep last night trying to think of a reason not to like Mythology of Touch. I woke up filled with new ways to create with words, a new awareness of how words and life can be observed, shared and lived. I have Mary to thank for that.

It's almost 24 hours until I hear Mary Stone Dockery, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Casssie Premo Steele reading at The Raven, 6 E 7th St., Saturday evening at seven. But who's counting.....

Mythology of Touch may be purchased at The Raven, or online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is 12 dollars spent that will change your world forever.


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and The Poetry Caravan Cancels Emporia Reading 4-14-2012 due to weather conditions

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and members of The Poetry Caravan, has made the decision to reschedule the Emporia, Kansas reading previously scheduled for Saturday, April 14th, at 7:00 p.m. at Emporia State University due to the high probability of tornados and severe thunderstorms forecast to move through the Oklahoma City area and north into the Salina, Kansas regions that evening. Many of the predicted (CNN is reporting a hundred) tornadoes are expected to stay on the ground for a lengthy time period and form after dark.

Goldberg will reschedule the event which called for Art Funding reinstatement for the state of Kansas, as well as readings of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems and an on-line in concert Renga project, and will announce the date soon.


Saturday, April 14th, READ-OUT, SING-OUT, SPEAK-OUT, ACT-OUT, DANCE-OUT On EARTHCARE Schedule of Events

Well known local poet and educator, Beth Schultz has once again been instrumental in compiling an exciting list of presenters for the fifth annual Earthcare celebration. Presenters will have approximately ten minutes each in which to celebrate good old Mother Earth in about any means they care to.

The following is the list of performers and the times they will perform on the east side of South Park, Lawrence, Kansas, opening with Schultz at nine a.m.

9:00 am Opening: Beth Schultz

9:10 am Sarah Hill Nelson -- Presentation

9:20 am Jean Grant -- Reading

9:30 am Bob Fraga -- Reading

9:40 am John Poertner -- Reading

9:50 am Ronda Miller -Poetry Reading

10:00 am Rick Mitchell -- Reading Rudolf Steiner

10:10 am David Hann -- Reading Stories

10:20 am Roger Martin -- Reading

10:30 am Charles Gruber -- The Directions

10:40 am Ann Haehl -- Story Telling


11:40 am Jerry Jost-- Speaking on Kansas Land Trust

11:50 am Cleta La Brie

12:00 pm Mary McCoy -- Reading on Sandhill Cranes

12:10 pm Kelly Barth -- Reading

12:20 pm Laura Caldwell -- Presentation on Kansas Rivers

12:30 pm Group Poetry Reading includes: Iris Wilkinson, Dixie Lubin, Micki Carroll, Kimberli Eddins, Libby Tempero and Louie Gallaway followed by Iris Wilkinson in separate poems

12:40 pm Micki Carroll -- Reading Poetry

12:50 pm Kimberli Eddins -- Reading Poetry

1:00 pm Dixie Lubin -- Reading Poetry

1:10 pm Libby Tempero -- Reading Poetry

1:20 pm Louie Galloway -- Reading Poetry

1:30 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:40 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration

1:50 pm Daryl Nickel -- Singing and Guitar

2:00 pm Juliet & Isaac Outka -- Dinosaurs & Other Creatures

2:10 pm Sarah & Sophia Walsh -- Lima Beans & Fossils

2:20 pm Lana Maree & The Prairie Moon Singers

2:30 pm Sandy Sanders -- Research on Nature and Children

2:40 pm Thad Holcombe -- Speaking and Reading

3:00 pm Rabbi Moti Rieber -- Speaking

3:10 pm Dan Bentley -- Speaking on Ecosapiens

3:20 pm Stephanie Barrows-- Reading Poetry

3:30 pm Loring Henderson--Reading

3:40 pm Dee Miller -- Kyoto Solar Cook Stove Demo

3:50 pm Stan Roth reading Paul Jantzen

4:00 pm Soka Gakkai International -- Dramatic Presentation

4:10 pm Elm Dance – Led by Joan Stone

(Reminder): Approximately thirty poets gather from across Kansas in Emporia at 7 p.m., Saturday evening, April 14th, at the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048), for a reading of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems, the ongoing renga project, singing of "Home On the Range" and a request that the Arts Funding in Kansas be restored.


Poetry Caravan Lands in Emporia at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 14th. A call for reinstatement of Arts Funding in Kansas

The Poetry Caravan -- poets published in the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems edited by Poet Laureate of Kansas Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg -- is landing at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14th in the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048) to give its 20th reading and call for restored state arts funding. Approximately 30 poets will be caravanning to Emporia State University for the reading from throughout Kansas, both to share their poetic vision of Kansas and their collective belief in state support for the literary arts.

"We have been touring the state since last November when Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems debuted, and the Emporia reading, our 20th statewide event, seemed the perfect moment to speak through our poetry about the importance of the arts," Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg explains. As poet laureate of Kansas, she has continued on in her post despite the loss of the largely dismantled Kansas Arts Commission, which previously housed the state poet laureate program. "We come together from many walks of life because arts matter. Through our poetry, and through how our lives are continually changed for the better by what we write and read, we know how essential the arts are in helping Kansans live lives of connection, meaning and joy.

The poets will each read a poem from the anthology, which was based on 150 poems Mirriam-Goldberg curated on the website www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com throughout 2011 to celebrate the state's 150th anniversary of statehood. The year, the website, partnered with the national organization America: Now + Here, is focused on a renga entitled "To the Stars Through Difficulty" -- a conversational poem in which 150 Kansas poets each write 10 lines as part of one large poem. Poets reading in Emporia will also read their renga portions, and the readings will conclude with all the poets singing a special version of "Home on the Range."

Poets reading include from Wichita: Roy J. Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto; from Pittsburg: Steve Meats and Olive Sullian; from Lawrence: Karen Ohnesorge, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Gary Lechliter, Brian Daldorph, Elizabeth Black, Iris Wilkinson, William Jo Harris, Peter Wright, Nancy Hubble and Ken Lassman; from Hutchinson: Bill Sheldon, Jo McDougall and Daniel Pohl; from the Kansas City area: Al Ortolani, Linda Rodriguez, Maril Crabtree, Donna Wolff, Wyatt Townley, Roderick Townley and Thomas Reynolds; from Emporia: Kevin Rabas; from Leavenworth: Rick Nichols; from Topeka: Carol (for Max) Yoho and Eric McHenry; from Salina: Hazel Hutchinson; from Cawker City: Lee Mick; and from Bridgeport: Jackie Magnuson Ash. ` The reading, organized by Kevin Rabas (one of the poets and a professor at ESU) is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception.


“Art After Words” Premier - Abstract Artist Jennifer Rivera - SouthWind Gallery - Friday from 6 - 8

When forty-two year old abstract artist Jennifer Rivera put out a call for poetry last year, she wasn't disappointed. With over two hundred submissions, she had more inspiration than she needed.

Rivera, who was named in KC Magazine's Top 5 Best Visual Artists of KC for both 2010 and 2011, says, "....there is a freedom in abstract art that doesn't exist in many other art forms...a marriage between the artist's freedom of expression and the viewer's interpretations." That's a whole lot of marriages, Jennifer!

Self taught artist and mother of three, Rivera is making a splash in the world of abstract art. When asked how a poem is chosen, Rivera states that although she can't pinpoint why one poem may inspire her more than another, she chooses poems that illicit emotions of sadness, anger or joy. She says a poem may even remind her of a specific time or place in her life.

"As an abstract artist, I tend to paint from an emotional place." Rivera says she tries not to visualize the end result as it hampers the process.

Rivera narrowed her selection to twenty-two individual poets, poems and paintings. How many words does it take to inspire Rivera? Poet Richard Twillman's untitled poem is the shortest at a mere thirty words, while Kevin Rabas', "For the Estranged" is the longest of the chosen poems with 214 words.

While many poets plan to attend this evening's premier (SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th, Topeka, Kansas, 6 - 8 p.m.) there is a VIP reading of the poems by the poets planned for Wednesday, March 14th, from 6:00 - 7:30.

Poets who had poems chosen include: Tom Averill, Dennis Etzel Jr., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mary Stone Dockery, Steve Brisendine, Aaron James McNally, Kevin Rabas, Richard Twillman, Nikki Allen, Tim Pettet, Isreal Wasserstein, Al Ortolani, Maria Vasquez, Donna Potts, Elizabeth Dodd, Holly Bonasera, Ronda Miller, Matthew Porubsky, Stephanie Barrows, DaMaris Hill, Danielle Smith, Catherine Malcolm Ellsworth, Maria Vasquez Boyd.

Rivera's art will remain at SouthWind Gallery through March. This is her second poetry inspired series. Last year, she did a similar project in the KC Crossroads Art District. To read more about the artist and view her art, check out her website: www.wix.com/artistjennifer/rivera

For additional information about tonight's premier showing and the SouthWind Gallery, contact Gary Blitsch at 785-273-5994.

Where does one hang such an inspirational piece of art work? I'm thinking the Governor's Mansion.......


Kansas Authors Club, District Two Contest - submissions open 2-01-2012

I found out about Kansas Authors Club in 2010 - just in time to attend the conference hosted by our local district, District Two, just a couple of blocks from where I live. I was not only surprised that I had no clue it existed, but I continue to be surprised by how many other people don't know about it.

So then, this is a call not only for submissions for the yearly District Two contest, but for writers across the state of Kansas to become members of KAC (Kansas Authors Club). Reasons to join Kansas Authors Club? Comradeship, a shared knowledge base that ranges from contests, to grammar and writing styles, new poetry styles such as the Loku, how to become published, presentations about understanding, writing and submitting e-books, making your own chapbook, shared work and critique groups, travel to area districts, etc.

For information about becoming a District Two member, please contact New Member Chair Susie Nightingale: swimmer10@sunflower.com

Membership dues are $25.00 annually and include a year book, newsletters, information about contests, monthly meetings with area writers, yearly District Writers Retreat (District Two welcomed state poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as guest speaker in 2011), and a multitude of other benefits.

Co-chairs of the District Two Writing Contest, Sally Jadlow and Ronda Miller, are proud to announce that D2 is sponsoring a writing contest open to all Kansas Authors Club members and nonmembers. Submissions open February 1st, 2012 and must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2012.

Entry fees: members - $3.00 per entry for members, non members - $5.00 per entry. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit, but no manuscript may be entered in more than one category. If you plan on attending the award ceremony on May 12th (location to be announced), no postage on SASE is necessary with submissions.

Categories for poetry: Rhymed verse, Free verse, Haiku, Narrative.

Categories for Prose: Short Fiction, Memoir, Feature article, Inspirational.

Prizes - $20 for first place, $10 for second place, $5 for third place. (In categories with fewer than five entries, there will be only a first place award.

For detailed rules for submission, please email me: coachinforliferonda@yahoo.com with the words, 'D2 writing contest' in the subject line.


Life Saving KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement begins tonight: Bipolar Disorder And Suicide Risk

I had word Wednesday morning that my cousin Teresa and her family were heartbroken. A close friend of her son and daughter had died by suicide. Unfortunately, it seems barely a month or two go by without having word of someone I know experiencing the same loss and tragedy. This was the second such loss Teresa's family has experienced in the past year. Both individuals were male and in their early twenties.

The United States has thirty thousand suicides each year. Suicides per states are believed to be based on five main factors: mental health resources, barriers to treatment (yes, this includes health care), mental health treatment utilization, socioeconomic characteristics and mental health parity - this deals with generosity of the state mental health parity coverage so the population can receive mental health treatment.

Please watch the KCPT 4-Part series with your family and friends. Please help spread the word about the series. It could be a life saver.

KCPT 4-Part Series On Suicide Prevention and Bereavement

Part 1 Bipolar Disorder and Suicide Risk - Thursday, January 26th @ 7:30.

Part 2 Depression: How To Identify It in Yourself and Others: How To Help A Friend; How To Help Yourself - February 16th.

Part 3 Suicide, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, What to Say To Someone Who is Considering Suicide - February 23rd.

Part 4, Survivors of Suicide Loss - March 1st.

The series features people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and suicide loss. Dr. Linda Moore, a Kansas City based psychologist, Bonnie Swade, Suicide Awareness Survivor Support MO-KAN and Marcia Epstein, Director of Headquarters Counseling Center (211 E 8th St. #C, Lawrence, Kansas) will be presenters during the series.

Headquarters Counseling Center for free life support counseling: 785 - 841-2345 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline center for Kansas: 1-800- 784-2433, or 1-800 - 273-8255.
All discussions remain confidential.

Did you know Headquarters offers free bimonthly suicide survivor group meetings?


BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS book winners: Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme

Yeah, yeah! I know this is two weeks late, but I have the list of winning poets in hand!

First Place goes to:

rockchalker52: congratulations, rock! you win for amount of entrees, bantering within poems and sheer enthusiasm.

jay_lo: in particular for the poem beginning....cup them, the children's......, and for your good sportsmanship, ability to rhyme and humor.

cait48: "The Wild Hunt" is hauntingly beautiful and I will read it again and again.

autie: humor always works for me.

DustyAcres: this is Kansas after all!

riverdrifter: for his astute eye for beauty and his love of Kansas.

ShePrecedes: because I fear I'll be struck by lightning otherwise! (just kidding)

roe: for his support in all poetic endeavors, good nature and his blogs in general.

Ron Holzworth: for writing poetry when he's told me he does not and can not. You outdid yourself, Ron!

lonelane_1: so she won't be lonely through the upcoming snow and ice filled nights.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Lee Mick, for his help in deciding on the winning poet. Rock is our winner, but Jay_lo came in a very, very close second.

Lee has a poem in BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas POEMS, "Having a Ball" as well as several poems in TallGrass Voices.

To receive your copy, please contact me through the ljworld.com site and we'll work out arrangements. Thank you for playing!


Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme - just make it seasonal

Tis the season to embrace them all - people, cultures and religions that is.

Allow your loving, forgiving hearts and minds the ability to extend over space and time.

Stretch your belief system, drop tradition and wrap your mind around the endless possibilities of poetry.

Today's poetry blog will encompass whatever form your words and thoughts want to take.

So be it Haiku, Loku, KUku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme, all is fine - just make it seasonal. I will pick twelve winning entries (with a little help from my friends), to post in an online blog 12-26-2011.

Viewers may then cast a vote for whom they think should win. (I'm sorry, but there can only be one winner. You may post as many poems as you wish) The winner receives an autographed copy of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems (edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press).

Have fun! Safe travels this holiday season. Ku ku ka jube!


Haiku: (remember the first line is traditionally five syllables, the second line is seven syllables and the third line is five syllables)

Winter solstice bliss

Say goodbye - a final kiss

Stark lunar eclipse

Loku: a poetic form made up of three mono syllable words: the first two words are separated from the third word by a comma. Each line is complete, but additional lines can be used for a more complex story.

Snow comes, white

House full, friends

Sit round, eat

Join hands, pray

Tree bright, lights

Red nose, deer

Stops roof, gifts

Man suit, fat

Friends leave, belch

Shows on, snooze

Night cap, booze

Next day, cruise!


Gill is gone,

Weis now further west

I hear he's best anyway

What else do I hear

From up on the hill?

Raises for staff - nil

More work, less pay

Makes those who stay

Swallow pride, a bitter pill

Those who can, retire

Others left to inquire

Why? It's just not fair

With increased cost of living

All the knowledge and sweat

They give and share.

Have fun! I'll stop by to insert my own poems from time to time as well as read and enjoy yours. The contest ends Christmas Eve at midnight!


BEGIN AGAIN:150 KANSAS POEMS reading scheduled Tuesday, December 13th, The Jewish Community Center, 7 p.m.

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will present approximately twenty four poets from around Kansas to launch the anthology BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS at 7 p.m. this coming Tuesday at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center located at 917 Highland.

The anthology, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press, features the work of over 90 writers, including the poems published on www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com, a website Mirriam-Goldberg developed to celebrate Kansas' 150th anniversary of statehood.

Readings are being held throughout the state from Garden City and Ulysses to Leavenworth (Saturday, December 10th, at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware St., 1 - 3 p.m.), to Topeka (Sunday, December 11th, Topeka Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave., 3 - 5 p.m.), to Lecompton (Saturday, December 17th, at the Territorial Capital and Lane University, 1 - 3 p.m.).

The Lawrence reading promises to be one of the largest and will conclude with a signing party and reception. The anthology of 150 Kansas poems can be purchased at The Raven Bookstore, 6 E 7th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

The readings will conclude for 2011 on December 30th, The Percolator, 913 Rd. Island, Lawrence, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The anthology, which sells for fifteen dollars, makes a terrific gift for anyone who lives in Kansas, has lived in Kansas, has a Kansas connection, appreciates nature and the diversity of the human experience, or any connoisseur of poetry.


This Is Better Than That

"Whatever gets you through your life 'salright, 'salright, Do it wrong or do it right 'salright, 'salright, "

John Lennon's lyrics to "Whatever Gets You Through the Night.", have played through my head numerous times over the years, too numerous to mention.

Most of you reading this blog have at one time or another been in extreme pain, and whether that pain was physical, mental, or spiritual, more than likely you have had many opportunities to feel the effects of how life changing and challenging pain can be.

Pain over the sudden loss of a loved one, news that someone you know and love has a terminal illness, or receiving a negative diagnose of a personal nature is indeed life changing.

Whether it is depression that is getting you down, temporary blues over the loss of a job, a physical ailment, or something more permanent, I hope you'll give the technique I"m talking about a chance to change your attitude by focusing in a more positive manner.

I didn't invent, "This is Better Than That", I don't even remember what it was called when I first heard about it, but the idea is that you begin each day with a mental list that you keep track of to compare what you have done as to being better than anything else that you experienced in the day.

Example: I wake up in excruciating pain, I turn over and the pain is slightly less. I say to myself, "This is better than that".

Next I get out of bed and I feel the cool, smooth floor underneath my feet and I ask, "Is this better than the decreased pain of my earlier movement?"

If it is then it goes to the top of my list. Next item may be something as simple (and endearing) as seeing my child's smile and noticing he/she is missing a front tooth - this immediately goes to the top of my list.

The idea is that if we concentrate on always looking for the next best thing to put on the top of our list. we tend not to focus on the negative things; they are ignored or not as noticeable since they are not what we are paying attention to for our list

.At the end of the day, as your head touches the pillow and just seconds before you drift off to sleep, spend a minute or two thinking about your list and remember as you go through all of the positive things that occurred in your day which one of them was better than all the rest.

If you have been used to thinking in a negative manner, are seriously depressed over a diagnosis, it might take awhile to retrain your thinking pattern.

You DO have control over how you LOOK at things that are happening, or have happened, in your life even though you may not have control over what actually happens or happened. Take back some of the control by how you choose to look at things and don't forget to ask, "Is this better than that"?

What techniques or tools have you utilized to help you transition through a difficult time period or loss?

We have had numerous losses within our community over the past couple of months - what advice would you give to those people who have lost a loved one to help them make it through their life?


The poets are coming to Lawrence! ‘Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems’ - Sunday, November 6th, Lawrence Public Library

Bowlegged, gray haired women run after tobacco spitting squirts. Some of the children are their own, but form and features are unrecognizable in the blaze of squealing chickens and piglets as all embrace in glee, then quickly pull away, each vying for the best possible view of the poets.

They came! They are coming! Only one child will be chosen to return with them, to be taught how to tap into subconscious and allow memories stored through osmosis to distort, entangle, engulf, and finally, to create!

Millilng peasants and townspeople listen, enraptured, into twilight. Eyes slightly closed, parched beak agape, a scuffled, freshly poisoned magpie flies to the north, so frightful and uncommon this scene.

By sunrise, the poetesses gather their dust laden skirts around their shoulders, a few elderly poets taking off dress jackets to assist in providing warmth to a favorite.

No sooner has it begun, and it has ended. Adults come awake in the reality of everyday survival. With renewed energy and appreciation of words to grasp onto until the next visit, mother and child once again recognize each other and make their way home.

All except one. It is days before anyone realizes I'm a chosen one. I'm carried away among the shuffling, sandaled feet of the poets and into a way of life I have no means of comprehending. One day I too shall return, and I will bring words.

This, unfortunately, was not my childhood reality, but for many children, teens and adults over the next several months, it will be.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of Kansas, has chosen 150 poems representing Kansas in Woodley Press release, 'Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems'.

Caryn, and a variety of poets, kick off a twenty city reading tour Thursday, November 3rd, in Wichita - Eight Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas.

Twenty-six poets who made the cut will be reading (The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., large auditorium), Sunday, November 6th, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

All readings are free and open to the public. Additional information about readings may be found at: 150kansaspoem.wordpress.com/readings/

The poets ARE coming. Allow them to carry you away........


Sweet potato oatmeal breakfast pancakes with a spinach omelet..

When temperatures head south outside, you can find me turning up the heat inside! It's nice to even think about the joys of baking, frying and cooking 'inside' again.

So with the daily race to squeeze as many veggies and fruits into our diets as possible, here is a tasty way to start your day with three of them. (and if you're like me, you can't manage 5 - 6 daily servings let alone 7 - 10!)

Recipe for sweet potato oatmeal pancakes:

2 C old fashioned Quaker oats 3 C skim milk - place both in bowl and refrigerate overnight. Add 3 eggs - or substitute

1/2 c wheat flour

1 cooked and mashed sweet potato or butternut squash

1 1/2 teas. Baking powder

Dash of salt

1 T peanut or olive oil

1 teas. vanilla

1 T cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix ingredients together and cook on lightly oiled griddle or pan. (makes about 16 - 18 small pancakes)

These are great rolled up with peanut butter spread on them and then dipped into your favorite syrup.

As breakfast sandwiches, you may place an egg, sausage patty, or omelet between two pancakes. We enjoy them with a spinach omelet as yet another means of adding a veggie. Serve with sliced cantaloupe, watermelon, or OJ.

Do you have a favorite way of getting your day started right with fruits and veggies?


A Birthday Poem for Jay_lo

Sing it high, sing it low

Sing it as you tie a bow

Shout it from the tops of trees,

or bubble it from below the seas.

Sing it in unison or all alone,

gather as a group outside his home.

Thank his mother for giving him birth

along with his father from whom he

inherited mirth.

Thank the doctor who cut his cord.

Hold hands and praise the Lord

for giving us an amazing man

who shares his poetry throughout our land.

He makes us smile, he makes us think,

he writes poetry quick as a wink.

He's kind, he's good, he's funny -

If he wasn't married he'd be MY honey!

So now it's time to say the words,

but words alone are for the birds.

For none can ever truly express

his humor, laugher, or tenderness.

A simple, 'Happy Birthday, Jay_lo!'

must suffice, many happy returns, now kiss your wife!


It’s too damn crazy hot!

I remember we had a blazing hot summer the year my cousin decided to come to Lawrence in preparation of attending KU - isn't that the reason we're all here? We had temperatures of 113 degree for a couple of weeks, or was that temperatures over one hundred for thirteen days?

I can't remember; who can the way the sun sizzles my brain and my bare feet when I hot foot it (literally) to the mail box. I'm sure it's an amusing sight, and I'm not sure why I refuse to wear shoes. I guess I just like feeling blisters building on my soles. I mean what's life about if it isn't accompanied by suffering?

And, since we all know how much misery loves company, we're going to share personal experiences and hardships incurred from this heat.


Does creativity lend itself to addictions?

We see it again and again in the entertainment industry; a creative genius become famous, begins a cycle of drug and alcohol use and abuse and then they crash and burn.

The question is, does creativity lend itself to substance abuse? Remember it isn't just the entertainment industry that has a corner on creativity. There does seem to be an extremely high percentage of performers who have died from their substance abuse or who are taking a lengthy spiral down a long road to self destruction.

To make this more interesting, name your favorite musician, actor, entertainer who has never been connected to substance abuse.


Amy Winehouse found dead in N London apartment

News sources are saying that Amy Winehouse was found dead at her Camden apartment in n London. She is 27 years old. Winehouse has had previous difficulties with addiction, but no reports of 'the suspected cause of her death have as yet been released.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to anyone, especially someone as young and gifted as she was.

Please post your favorite song performed by Winehouse along with any tribute you'd like to add.


Summertime Haiku: include the word ‘hot’

Haiku does as many things for the human spirit as there are variations among humans.

Haiku generally speaks to the core of 'the psyche in ways of beauty, love, spirituality, nature, connection with changing seasons, peace, tranquility and harmony. You know, those essentials that balance our hurried and scurrying lives.

So sit back with an ice pack on your forehead or nape of your neck, grab a pitcher of your favorite lime water or sweet tea, put your feet up and transcend to anyplace you think of as cool, even if it's hot or tropical!

Write it in Haiku - the only must? You need to use the word hot at least once.


Serving hot chai

In earthen pots-

The curve of her hips

Note the old standard of five syllables, seven syllables, then five has fallen by the wayside.


Black Bean BBQing: making life simple

I like beans of any kind, so it shouldn't be any surprise that I'd eventually get around to making my own black bean burgers from scratch. I especially like the idea of eating less red meat, more healthy choices, and less expensive items.

I've tried both cashew and pecan burgers and found I really enjoy their crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

The recent heat wave has me experimenting in the kitchen as much as a January blizzard - as long as I don't have to turn the oven on.

So tonight was the night to make black bean burgers. I began by purchasing a small bag of black beans, rinsing them thoroughly under water and placing them in a large pot filled with water. I brought them to a boil and then turned the burner off so they could continue soaking for an hour. After the time was up (and I'd ran some errands), I turned the heat back on medium and allowed the beans to simmer until they were tender; about two hours.

Then comes the fun part. You get to experiment with spices and flavors your family prefers. I added cumin, chili powder, sea salt, cilantro, garlic chunks and sriracha (hot sauce). The recipes I saw on-line used bread crumbs, but I opted to use oatmeal and corn meal. Don't forget an egg or egg substitute. It gives your recipe the desired consistency. I browned the burgers for five minutes on each side in olive oil and served them on a whole wheat bun with a side of Napa cabbage and papaya chunks.

The flavor was similar to that of falafel. I can imagine crumbling some of the pre-cooked patties into spaghetti sauce, or eating a patty with couscous, in stews, or over rice. I now have eighteen patties inside my freezer. Talk about economical!

It's also refreshing to learn that black beans can be used for other things besides making brownies!