Kansas

Established in 2004 by the Kansas Arts Commission, the two-year position of state poet laureate in Kansas is currently held by Wyatt Townley, author of three poetry collections: The Breathing Field (Little Brown), Perfectly Normal (The Smith), and The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley Press), a Kansas Notable Book and winner of the Nelson Poetry Book Award. She is a fourth-generation Kansan.

recent & featured listings

typesort ascending name state
Writing Program Emporia State University Kansas
Writing Program Haskell Indian Nations University Kansas
Writing Program Kansas State University Kansas
Writing Program Pittsburg State University Kansas
Writing Program University of Kansas Kansas
Writing Program Wichita State University Kansas
Small Press Woodley Press Kansas
Literary Magazine Flint Hills Review Kansas
Literary Magazine The Midwest Quarterly Kansas
Literary Magazine Tribal College Journal Kansas

poems

poem
I washed a load of clothes
and hung them out to dry.
Then I went up to town
and busied myself all day.
The sleeve of your best shirt
rose ceremonious
when I drove in; our night-
clothes twined and untwined in
a little gust of wind.

For me it was getting late;
for you, where you were, not.
The harvest moon was
poem
John Brown of Ossawatomie spake on his dying day:
'I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery's pay;
But let some poor slave-mother whom I have striven to free,
With her children, from the gallows-stair put up a prayer for me!'

John Brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die;
And lo! a poor slave-
poem
At this height, Kansas 
is just a concept, 
a checkerboard design of wheat and corn

no larger than the foldout section 
of my neighbor's travel magazine. 
At this stage of the journey

I would estimate the distance 
between myself and my own feelings 
is roughly the same as the mileage

from Seattle to New York