Randy Used the Word

It’s the last week of National Poetry Month and time for the final poem from Odd Evening, the new book of poetry from Eric McHenry, Poet Laureate of Kansas™.

Randy Used the Word

April is not over yet! See Eric McHenry at three events this week, including an Odd Evening Book Release on April 28th in Topeka.

First Responder by Eric McHenry

The third week of National Poetry Month bring us “First Responder” by Eric McHenry, Poet Laureate of Kansas™.

First responder

Eric will be presenting at the Kinsley Public Library on Tuesday, April 19. Find more Poet Laureate of Kansas™ events on KHC’s Calendar of Events.

“Summer Mix” by Eric McHenry

National Poetry Month rolls on with another selection from Odd Evening by Eric McHenry, Poet Laureate of Kansas™.

Summer Mix-final

Find Poet Laureate of Kansas™ events on KHC’s Calendar of Events.

Street View

It’s National Poetry Month! Each week in April, KHC will be sharing one poem from Odd Evening, the new collection of poetry from Poet Laureate of Kansas™ Eric McHenry.

Street View

For more from the Poet Laureate of Kansas™, attend a Poet Laureate of Kansas™ event and follow Eric McHenry on Facebook.

Call for 2016-2017 Speakers Bureau Proposals

SB collage

Deadline: Friday, August 21, 2015

Click here for the RFP.

KHC is seeking proposals for Speakers Bureau-style presentations that engage Kansas audiences with the humanities.

The 2016-2017 Speakers Bureau catalog will feature topics that explore ideas and research related to The Common Good–democratic citizenship, water and land use, changing demographics, and folklife traditions, among other topics. KHC scholars are respected for their knowledge of their topic, humanities perspective, public service, and ability to answer questions through scholarship and experience.

For more information, contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org.

Twelve Communities to Host Poet Laureate of Kansas™ Events

Eric McHenry Photo courtesy of Kelly Magerkurth

Eric McHenry
Photo courtesy of Kelly Magerkurth

KHC announced the 12 Kansas communities that will host Poet Laureate of Kansas events in 2015-2016. Presentations and discussions exploring the humanities through poetry will be led by Eric McHenry of Lawrence, Kan., who was named the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Kansas in May.

Sept. 19, 2015: Leavenworth Public Library (Cindy McGuire, project director)

Sept. 26: Glasco Community Foundation (Joan Nothern, project director)

Oct. 5: Newton Public Library (Dan Eells, project director)

Nov. 10: Cimarron City Library (Sara McFarland, project director)

Nov. 11: Dodge City Public Library (Michael Biltz, project director)

Jan. 21, 2016: Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson (Mimi Meredith, project director)

Apr. 8: Hays Public Library (Lucia Bain, project director)

Apr. 12: Pioneer Memorial Library, Colby (Melany Wilks, project director)

Apr. 19: Kinsley Public Library (Joan Weaver, project director)

Apr. 19: Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, Larned (Lana Hopkins, project director)

May 7: Pioneer Bluffs, Matfield Green (Lynn Smith, project director)

June 16: Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (Miranda Ericsson, project director)

Support for the Poet Laureate of Kansas has been provided by the Friends of Naomi Patterson; the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust; and KHC Friends of the Humanities.

For more information or to donate to the Poet Laureate of Kansas program, click here.

The TALK of Topeka

topeka_gives

“Today our Independent Living residents enjoyed a terrific book discussion about Zora Neale Hurston’s classic, ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God.’ [KHC makes] wonderful experiences possible for people from all walks of life across the Great State of Kansas. We appreciate all you do!”

—TALK Program Coordinator, Topeka

Since 1997, KHC has supported 180 Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) book discussions at Topeka senior living facilities. That’s 10 opportunities each year to bring readers together with a discussion leader for an engaging conversation about a good book. KHC provides the books and discussion leader to make these lifelong learning events possible. With your help, we can bring even more TALK book discussions to Topeka’s seniors.

Will you support KHC at Topeka Gives on Tuesday, June 2nd? Your gift to KHC will be matched by the Topeka Community Foundation.

Stop by Fairlawn Plaza, located at 21st and Fairlawn in Topeka, on Tuesday, June 2nd between 7 AM and 6 PM to make your donation to KHC at Topeka Gives. Download this donation form or pick one up at the event.

Your contribution to KHC at Topeka Gives will keep TALK going strong for Topeka seniors. 

Research shows that lifelong learning activities stimulate the mind, promoting a healthy brain and mental alertness.  KHC needs your support to keep these programs free and available to those who need them. Thank you for supporting TALK in Topeka.

Topeka Gives Map

 

Eric McHenry named Poet Laureate of Kansas

Eric McHenry Photo credit: Kelly Magerkurth

Eric McHenry
Photo credit: Kelly Magerkurth

The Kansas Humanities Council (KHC) announced that Eric McHenry of Lawrence, Kansas has been named the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Kansas. In this role, McHenry will promote the humanities as a public resource for all Kansans through public readings, presentations, and discussions about poetry in communities across the state.

“Eric brings to the Poet Laureate of Kansas position an abundance of talent and enthusiasm,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “As a writer, his words seem effortless, although we know how meticulously and thoughtfully he deliberates on each. As a teacher, his intelligence and humor make poetry come alive. The combination of these qualities will make Eric an exceptional poet laureate for our state.”

“There’s nothing I love more than sharing poetry with people, and I look forward to doing that in every corner of Kansas over the next two years,” said McHenry. “I think we’re all grateful when we encounter language that’s equal to life’s richness and complexity. Poetry can provide that.”

Eric McHenry is a nationally known poet and associate professor of English at Washburn University in Topeka. His work has been featured in publications such as Poetry InternationalSlateYale Review, and Topeka magazine, among many others. He also contributes poetry reviews for the New York Times and Columbia magazine. Odd Evening, his third book of poems, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016.

A fifth-generation Topeka native, Eric has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry seven times and received the Theodore Roethke Prize in 2011. His first book of poems, Potscrubber Lullabies, earned him the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, the largest American prize for a first book of poetry.

Outside of the college classroom, Eric has taught poetry in various settings, including K-12 teacher workshops, adolescent service agencies, local authors’ groups, and libraries.

Initial support of the Poet Laureate of Kansas program is made possible by the Friends of Naomi Patterson:
Carol Patterson Baldwin
David Patterson
Kent and Susan Garlinghouse
Russell and Jane Greene

Additional support comes from KHC’s Friends of the HumanitiesClick here to make a donation in support of the Poet Laureate of Kansas program.

Sugar-laced Tonics and Fizzy Cure-alls

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Soda Fountains of Kansas” by Cindy Higgins.

City Drug Store, Fredonia, 1930s. kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

City Drug Store, Fredonia, 1930s. kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

During the glory days of the soda fountain, Kansas pharmacists created tonics and curatives that eventually evolved into refreshments like the Brown Cow, the Mudslide, and the Egg Cream. “Most every early Kansas pharmacy sooner or later installed a soda fountain stocked with sugar-laced tonics and fizzy cure-alls invented by the local pharmacist and served by a fast-moving, slang-talking soda jerk,” says KHC presenter Cindy Higgins said.

Many people still enjoy the fun refreshments. “Serving an updated menu, several soda fountains remain in Kansas today, and some nationwide offer innovative artisanal treats reminiscent of the fountains’ original offerings,” she says.

In her Speakers Bureau talk, Higgins explains how government regulations, World War I luxury taxes, and bottled soda pop played a role in these ice cream concoctions that became a profitable sideline business. The presentation will explore soda fountains in Kansas today and the revival of soda fountains throughout the nation.

Cindy Higgins

Cindy Higgins

Cindy Higgins is a journalist and Kansas historian whose research interests focus on Kansas industry before technological mechanization dramatically changed work and labor in the early 20th century.

You can attend Cindy Higgins’ “Soda Fountains of Kansas” on October 18th in Derby. You can also bring this or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

Building a Cultural Foundation

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “The Humanities Combat Rural Decline” by Joan Nothern.

Joan Nothern stands in front of a banner for the Journey Stories Smithsonian exhibition, one of the many humanities events Glasco has hosted.

Joan Nothern stands in front of a banner for the Journey Stories Smithsonian exhibition, one of the many humanities events Glasco has hosted in recent years.

“Humanities and other cultural projects and programs cannot stop the changes confronting rural Kansas communities, but they can provide insight into the nature of change, and help reveal the character of community that sustains it,” observes KHC Speakers Bureau presenter Joan Nothern.

“Exploring and discovering local heritage is a dynamic process that may make a difference in our rural future,” she said.

In her presentation, “Humanities Combat Rural Decline,” Nothern explores how cultural opportunities allowed one rural Kansas town to stretch beyond its own place and time. The residents of struggling Glasco, population 498, were told that their town had no future. Rather than accepting defeat, the residents pushed back by organizing and hosting cultural events. Joan’s talk leads audiences through their journey, which strengthened the community.

Joan Nothern is president of the Solomon Valley–Highway 24–Heritage Alliance and has coordinated historical research projects, organized symposiums, and assisted in the creation of 24 interpretive community kiosks. Her interest in sustaining rural Kansas communities has earned her awards from the Kansas Sampler Foundation and the UFM Community Learning Center.

You can bring Joan Nothern’s “The Humanities Combat Rural Decline”  or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.