Meet the Author
The Readers Advisory committee is pleased to announce that Marcia Hurlow has won our Ain't It the Truth poetry contest for her poem Maps. We love how simply so much is conveyed and how well the poet utilizes maps to illustrate a shrinking world.
Natasha Ria El-Scari is most known for her honesty about motherhood, womanhood, politics and love. Once asked in an interview what makes her unique she replied, "most people lie to themselves, but I like to reveal myself.” Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Natasha El-Scari has a BA from Jackson State University and a MA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her poetry, academic papers, and personal essays have been published in anthologies and journals. She lives in Kansas City.
Eric McHenry is the immediate past Poet Laureate of Kansas. From Topeka, Kansas, McHenry attended Beloit College and then earned a MA in creative writing from Boston University. His work has been featured in The Harvard Review, Slate, Poetry Northwest, The New York Times Book Review and Salon. He lives in Lawrence and teaches at Washburn University of Topeka. McHenry will offer a poetry workshop at our 2017 writers conference.
The Readers Advisory committee is pleased to announce that Annie Newcomer has won our Build a Better World writing contest in the open category for her poem Caregivers. We find the poem an interesting and new take on our theme that works to capture a very specific type of "Building a Better World." The imagery is powerful and the author captures how our bodies can sometimes be forces of nature that suck us in and spit us out.
The Readers Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that Barbara K. Roberts has won our Build a Better World essay contest. We enjoyed how "Sisters Building a Better World" sheds light on the amazing rehabilitative work being done at Kansas City's Journey House, a prison re-entry program run in large part by a group of area nuns.
The Readers Advisory Committee is pleased to announce that Kayla Wiltfong has won our Build a Better World poetry contest. We enjoy Politics for both Wiltfong’s skill and confidence. She employs double-meanings to great effect, referencing multiple news items seen and heard in both social and mainstream media. On the surface, it’s a very short and simple poem, that evolves with each reading and teases our understanding. It’s clever in its aphoristic, tweet-like form, and addresses the theme of Build a Better World in an interesting way.
Ann Ingalls first started making appearances at Johnson County Library in 2009 with the release of her picture book The Little Piano Girl, a biography about the childhood of jazz prodigy Mary Lou Williams.
The Readers Advisory committee is very pleased to announce that Kent Moore has won the Open Category of our The Many in One writing contest with his entry "Rooted and Grounded in Love". In it, our protagonist Grace, is caught between the conflicting identities of wife and mother. The complexity of those relationships adds layers to Grace that we, as readers, get to know, but her daughter may never understand.
Amy Engel was born in Kansas. Over the next couple of decades, she boomeranged around the world – to Iran and back to Kansas City, to Taiwan and back to Kansas City, from the University of Kansas to Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and finally back to Kansas City. Phew! With a law degree in hand, she worked for ten years as a criminal defense attorney.
In this world of ever-increasing digitization, self-expression has largely gone online. Books and other artistic works are shared in electronic formats. Socializing happens through networked media. Magazines, newspapers, and other serial paper publications are struggling to maintain readership.
That does not mean that all forms of paper expression have disappeared, though. One form--that has always been an underground format--retains a thriving community in the Kansas City area: Zines.