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Commerce Awards Nearly $300,000 for Downtown Improvements in Kearny County The Kansas Department of Commerce today announced that Kearny County has been awarded $296,250 through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for a new coffee and bakery shop. This Commercial Rehabilitation grant, along with $98,750 in local matching funds, will help restore an older building and revitalize downtown Deerfield in Kearny County. Governor Kelly Announces 12 Rural Communities and Organizations to Receive Funding for Mural and Public Art Projects Governor Laura Kelly today announced that 12 communities and organizations will receive a combined $78,800 to allow 20 new murals and public art projects to revive public spaces and engage residents and visitors. Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $4M Awarded through Broadband ADOPT Program Governor Laura Kelly announced today that seven organizations will receive a combined $3.9 million in grants through the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. ADOPT supports the Kelly administration’s work to connect more Kansans to high-speed internet by making public Wi-Fi accessible and distributing devices in underserved areas. Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $3M to Improve Digital Literacy in Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced today that $2.8 million is being invested in 15 organizations through the Digital Opportunities to Connect Kansans (DOCK) program. The DOCK grants will improve the digital skills of Kansans who have not yet been able to fully capitalize on the power of the internet. View All

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Traci Brimhall
2023-2026 Poet Laureate
of Kansas

The Poet Laureate of Kansas promotes the arts as a public resource for all Kansans. Traci Brimhall will present readings and discussions about poetry in communities across the state.

“I am delighted to serve Kansas as the next Poet Laureate,” Professor Traci Brimhall said. “I love connecting with others and building community, and I can’t wait for the next few years of celebrating creativity in the Sunflower State.” 

Brimhall is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon Press). Her poems have appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Poetry, Orion, and Best American Poetry. She received the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry, among numerous other awards. 

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month began in 1996 through the Academy of American Poets. In their own words, “it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.” People often think of poetry as an art form of deep emotion and reflection, but it can also be an art form of play and delight. With that in mind, I’m offering three different fill-in-the blank poem prompts for three different age groups that are hopefully fun and surprising to do. They each focus on food in some way, from odd food combinations to strong memories and celebrations. Kansans can complete these downloadable fill-in-the-blank poems on their own or with a friend and see what delicious (and delightful!) poems they can create.

Fill-in-the-blank poetry activity for kids

Fill-in-the-blank poetry activity for teens/young adults

Fill-in-the-blank poetry activity for adults

Available Programs:

WHY CAN’T THE HEART STOP ASKING?

Poetry is an art of attention. But sometimes the more attention we pay to the world, the more astonishing and confusing it can be. The medical researcher Jonas Salk said: “What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.” I believe this also holds true for poetry. What images do we see each day that excite our minds? What sounds do we hear that awaken our hearts? What poems ask for our attention and reward us with discovery? This presentation will use poetry to create surprises, explore our curiosities, and find new questions. 

MEMORY FEAST

In so many communities there is an appetite to find language for our experiences and connect with others. Joyce Carol Oates said: “If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?” I believe cuisine can be a link to open a memory, a great way to connect with those we love, and a source of inspiration for poetry. This presentation will use poetry to connect us both with our senses in daily activities as well as help us recall memories that remind us of family, culture and community. Poetry can be a place of nourishment, a bounty of the sensory, a feast of words.

The above programs are designed for a roughly 60 minute time frame but can be adjusted if necessary. Traci may be able to accommodate other program or appearance requests but priority will be given for the listed programs.

How to Bring the Poet Laureate
of Kansas to Your Community

Traci Brimhall’s programs listed above are available free of charge to Kansas nonprofit organizations. Please fill out form below and submit for more information. Thank you.

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Huascar Medina
2019-2022 Poet Laureate Emeritus of Kansas

Huascar is a poet, writer, and performer who lives in Topeka. He currently works as a freelance copywriter and as the Literary Editor for seveneightfive magazine publishing stories that spotlight literary and artistic events in northeast Kansas.

His poems can be found in his collection How to Hang the Moon published by Spartan Press. He is the winner of ARTSConnect’s 2018 Arty Award for Literary Art. His new collection of poems Un Mango Grows in Kansas is available at huascarmedina.com

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