Sunday, May 29, 2011


Bill Kloefkorn was one of the great storytellers of the poets from my home state. He attended Emporia State University for both his BA and MA in English; Emporia is my hometown, and I saw him at several events. I listened spellbound as he told stories and kept the audience of English teachers and librarians laughing. He was a great entertainer. Most of his career was in Nebraska, but the humor is about the same north of the border.He was a solid guy, generous, and fun. Born in 1932, he had one foot in the 19th century and another in the 21st. His writing memorializes the rural life, which is changing as city folk buy country houses for retreats and as family farms are sold to corporations. He references values connected to natural laws, and he critiques the pettiness of human frailties in the face of the larger truths, as in this 2004 poem, where he still remembers the awe of his father’s authority: 

I Stand Alone at the Foot 

I Stand alone at the foot
Of my father’s grave
Trembling to tell:
The door to the granary is open,
And someone lost the bucket
To the well.
Here are some links:
An April 9, 2011 feature in the Lincoln paper
A school was just named for him:  
Some poems:

Marilyn L. Taylor reads from state poet laureates anthology for Milwaukee Public Radio

Hear 2009-2010 Wisconsin Poet Laureate read from the anthology An Endless Skyway (Ice Cube Press 2011) and her own work at this site. Marily's website is : . Her book of poetry is GOING WRONG: Poems (Parallel Press, 2009) available at An Endless Skyway is available at, and Ted Kooser, former US poet laureate, says this: “Each poet adds a unique style to the anthology and a unique slant on what it means to write … this book is made for everyone to roam and ramble within. Open these pages and enjoy the journey.” An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate is an exciting anthology that brings together the poetry of thirty-eight State Poets Laureate from across the United States. It is a collection that explores the poetry of places, but at the same time offers a glimpse into the poetry of our whole land. Edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Marilyn L. Taylor, Walter Bargen, and Denise Low. Thanks to Steve Sempken, indepdendent publisher of Ice Cube Press! Thanks to photographer Jerry Sipe.

National Book Critics Circle link for calendar

Chicago begins its Publishers Row book events next week, then June 8 see the Future of the Book NBCC panel in Kansas City--Johnson County Resource Library. June 22 is another NBCC panel at NYU bookstore: With: Literary agents Julie Just & Betsy Lerner; O Magazine book editor Sara Nelson; Brooklyn Rail editor John Reed ; NY Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus; author David Goodwillie & Scribner’s editor Paul Whitlach. Moderated by Susan Shapiro.

Monday, May 23, 2011

National Book Critics Circle Event in KC June 8, 7 pm

Join 4 members of the NBCC for a lively discussion of the future of the book in American Culture. by 2020, will the printed version still be going strong? Or will it have largely succumbed to electronic texts, audiobook downloads, and videos downloads? The event takes place at the Johnson County Central Resource Library 9875 West 87th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212.
Panelists include Denise Low, Mark Luce and Steve Weinberg, with moderator John Mark Eberhart. For information contact John Mark Eberhart at 913-826-4408

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kathryn Kysar, St. Paul poet, will read at Big Tent, Lawrence 7pm May 19

Kathryn Kysar will be reading in Kansas this week--Thurs. May 19, 7 pm the Raven Bookstore, 7th & Mass. in Lawrence, and Fri. May 20, 7 pm at the East Douglas Watermark Bookstore in Wichita. Her new book Pretend the World is from Holy Cow!Press in Minnesota. For more information, contact Jim Perlman Kysar's work augments reality with plausible voices from the intangible world. The interplay between real and unreal creates the tension, as in this poem from before incarnation:
Dream Poem

Mother, Father,
I have everything at bedtime:
a net of flowers,
a clock, a full little belly,
bed clothes made of candy wrappers,
petal wet darkness.
I am sleeping in the spirit gardens,
in these waters, quick and hot.
Will you wake me?