The poem “Celebrate This Kansas” opens the anthology “Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems” (Woodley Press, 196 pages, $15), a selection of poems celebrating the 150th anniversary of Kansas: Celebrate this sky, this land beyond the measured timethat tilts the seasonal light. Those first lines are written by Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, who also edits the volume. The book is a result of Mirriam-Goldberg’s 150 Kansas Poems project, a web-based collection of Kansas poems that can be found at http://150kansaspoems.wordpress.com.
The poets featured in the book live in Kansas or have Kansas ties, and the poems are a reflection of the state from different times, places and people.
The compendium is divided into four sections: winter, spring, summer and autumn. With the exception of William Stafford’s work, the poems are by living poets, including students and teachers and emeritus professors, retirees and professional writers, and both previous Kansas poets laureate.
Several Wichita poets are featured in the book, and two events are planned in Wichita this week to launch the book.
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The first event is at 7 p.m. Thursday at Eighth Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas, featuring Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Roy J. Beckemeyer, Bill Sheldon, Diane Wahto, Iris Wilkinson and Pam McMaster Yenser.
The second event is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas, featuring Elizabeth Black, Roy J. Beckemeyer, Ronda Miller, Rick Nichols Bill Sheldon, Olive Sullivan, Diane Wahto and Pam McMaster Yenser.
Both events are free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at both locations.
Tim O’Brien, author of "The Things They Carried,” this year’s Big Read Wichita selection, will be in Wichita for a presentation and book-signing on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. at Watermark Books. Find lots more Big Read events at http://www.bigreadwichita.org/Events.
Young-adult fantasy author Tamora Pierce will be in Wichita this week as part of the tour for the latest book in her Beka Cooper series, “Mastiff” (Random House Books for Young Readers, 608 pages, $18.99). She will read and sign books Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Watermark Books. Pierce has written more than two dozen books, including the Song of the Lioness quartet, the Immortals quartet, the Circle of Magic quartet and the Trickster series.
Wichita author B.D. Tharp has received the 2011 Coffin Memorial Book Award for her novel “Feisty Family Values” (Five Star, 272 pages, $25.95). The award recognizes the best published book by a member of Kansas Authors Club published in the previous two years.