August's reading will feature four fantastic Kansas poets--Lesley Owens (Lawrence), Kevin Rabas (Emporia), Leah Sewell (Topeka), and Jeff Tigchelaar (Lawrence)! The featured readers will follow an open mic session, so bring your best work to share. As always, there will be a merch table, so please support our readers by buying their books.
Lesley Owens, a native of Kansas City, aspired at an early age to be an opera singer because she thought that being a writer was too glamorous and unreachable a goal. At a less early age, upon realizing that she didn’t understand what “in key” meant, she changed her mind. She earned an MFA at Penn State before moving to Lawrence where she tends a small herd of cats, works at KU, and does her best to live undetected as a faux townie. Her poems have appeared most recently in Snowy Egret and The Sierra Nevada Review.
Kevin Rabas co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State and edits Flint Hills Review. Rabas writes poetry, plays, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. He has four books: Bird’s Horn, Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, and Spider Face: stories. He writes regularly for Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM). Rabas’s plays have been produced across Kansas and in San Diego. His work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, and Rabas is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry, the Victor Contowski Poetry Award, the Jerome Johanning Playwriting Award, and the Salina New Voice Award.
Leah Sewell is an assistant editor at Coconut Poetry Press, an MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska, and a book designer, poet, chef and mother. Her work has appeared in such publications as [PANK], Midwestern Gothic and Weave Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart in 2012. Her chapbook, "Birth in Storm" was the 2013 winner of the Emerge Publications Chapbook Competition.
Jeff Tigchelaar is a stay-at-home dad operating out of Lawrence. He blogs for the magazine XYZ Topeka. His poems appear in such places as Pleiades, LIT, Fugue, Harpur Palate, North American Review, The Laurel Review, The Wallace Stevens Journal, and anthologies including Best New Poets (2011) and A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (forthcoming from Woodley Press).