Wyatt Townley has been named the 2013-2015 Poet Laureate of Kansas. As Poet Laureate of Kansas, Wyatt will promote the humanities as a public resource for all Kansans through public readings, presentations, and discussions about poetry in communities across the state. Congratulations, Wyatt!
Wyatt Townley’s work has been read by Garrison Keillor on NPR, featured by Ted Kooser in his American Life in Poetry column, and published in journals ranging from The Paris Review to Newsweek. She won a Master Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Kansas Arts Commission to complete her latest book of poems, The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley Press), selected as a Kansas Notable Book. Other books of poetry include The Breathing Field (Little, Brown) and Perfectly Normal (The Smith); books of nonfiction, Yoganetics: Be Fit, Healthy, and Relaxed One Breath at a Time (HarperCollins) and Kansas City Ballet: The First Fifty Years (Kansas City Star Books).
Wyatt served as a frequent literature panelist for the Kansas Arts Commission and in 2003 was invited to help establish the State Poet Laureate position. A founding board member of The Writers Place, and for years a visiting author with Young Audiences, she serves on the board of the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education.
Wyatt also writes offbeat picture books. They use the same muscles as poetry, and she is determined to see them into print.
For more information on Wyatt’s books, visit her website at www.WyattTownley.com.
Congratulations to Anola Pickett and Wyatt Townley! These Heartlanders are finalists for the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence, sponsored by the Kansas City Branch of the American Association of University Women. The award recognizes excellence in writing by local authors.
Pickett’s middle grade historical fiction Wasatch Summer was published by by Bonneville Books, April 2011. Townley’s The Afterlives of Trees is a collection of poems published by Woodley Press in 2011.
Jenny Whitehead is the author/illustrator of Lunch Box Mail (2001—a collection of poems from a child’s point of view), Holiday Stew (2007—poems based on holidays and seasons) and illustrator of Punctuation Celebration (2009—poems about punctuation marks written by Elsa Knight Bruno). She enjoys writing poetry, stories, and young adult fiction. Her artwork style involves painting and collage, layering cut paper and tissue paper. Her website is www.jennywhitehead.com.