Monday, January 14, 2019

And the winner of the 2019 Birdy Poetry Prize is...

A Certain Kind of Forgiveness
Carol Kapaun Ratchenski
Fargo, North Dakota

Congratulations, Carol! We look forward to sharing more about Carol and to publishing A Certain Kind of Forgiveness, the first of our 2019  poetry books.

Congratulations, as well, to the following finalists. These entries are now being considered for standard 2019 publishing contracts. Thanks to all who entered. It was a wonderful year for our first poetry contest and we look forward to reading entries again! Keep an eye out for updates to the contest guidelines.

2019 Birdy Poetry Prize Finalists

Maia Carlson
Manhattan, Kansas

Ruth Maus
Topeka, Kansas

The Monastery of Stars
Shaun Griffin
Virginia City, Nevada

Out of Place
Kirsten Morgan
Golden, Colorado

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Dear Meadowlark Friends --

I love a new year! It's a fresh calendar. It's a notebook filled with fresh, clean pages. It's a sharp new pencil with a perfect pink eraser. It's a glorious new pen or collection of markers at the ready to help me create lists, check boxes, draft prose, and color code the multitude of projects sure to cross my desk.

And 2019, for Meadowlark Books, will bring the publication of the very first Birdy Poetry Prize manuscript! I am so excited! The entries for this inaugural year of our poetry contest have been a delight to read. We've been so pleased with the talented poets who shared their collected works with us. My only regret is that we do not have more awards to give. We certainly have many worthy manuscripts!

I expect to be making the announcement about The Birdy Poetry Prize winner no later than mid-January.  

Stay tuned. I will keep you up to date here, and finalists will be notified directly via email when the announcement date is set.

As well, we've had a tremendous number of submissions in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for the Meadowlark Bookshelf, in general. The quality and quantity of manuscripts has been amazing! My only regret--I swear--is that I will be unable to publish them all. They are just that good. My "favorites" list continues to grow and I've even recruited additional readers to help us make some decisions. 

Get ready book lovers! Meadowlark is going to provide you with some gems!

Tracy Million Simmons
Owner/Publisher, Meadowlark Books

Monday, October 15, 2018

James Kenyon’s Book about Growing Up in on Farm in Northwest Kansas Selected for Martin Kansas History Book Award

Salina, KS – At the Kansas Authors Club annual convention on October 6, A Cow for College and Other Stories of 1950s Farm Life, by James Kenyon, Bogue native, was selected for the Martin Kansas History Book Award. Of the book, judge Karen Kolavalli wrote, “James Kenyon’s memoir brings to life a time and place that may be familiar to many readers, but at the same time introduces stories of 1950s Kansas farm life to a broader audience. Speaking as young Jimmy, Kenyon skillfully and with great heart tells stories, both humorous and poignant, of being a farm boy—starting as a 3-year-old heading out on the tractor every day with his dad, baseball games at recess at his country school, raising a Hereford calf each year in 4-H, experiencing that first kiss, the heartbreak of losing a dog or cow, and many more. A Cow for College adds to our understanding and appreciation of mid-20th century life in rural western Kansas.”  
James Kenyon
Kenyon was born and raised on a third-generation family grain and livestock farm near the town of Bogue, Kansas. A graduate of Kansas State University, Kenyon is a veterinarian in a 35-year, mixed animal practice in Iowa and a veterinarian for the Alaska Iditarod Dog Sled Race. Some might consider A Cow for College, Kenyon’s second book, a series of origin stories for a man who has devoted his career to caring for animals and building his community. As well as a writer, he is a 24-year member of his local school board and a leader in numerous community organizations such as Rotary, church, library, museums and the historical society.

About the Martin Kansas History Book Award: The award was named in 2018 as a tribute to Gail Lee Martin, who was Kansas Authors Club State Archivist from 1995-2005. Gail Lee Martin joined the Club in 1992 and was a member of District 5. Martin enjoyed writing fiction, nonfiction, stories for children, journalism, history, and poetry. Martin’s work was published in numerous magazines. She also published two books: Clyde Owen Martin Family Memories of His Life and Times, and My Flint Hills Childhood, which was a winner of the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award in 2010. The funding for the Martin Kansas History Book Award comes from the Gail Lee Martin Memorial established in her name. This book award is open exclusively for Kansas history.

A Cow for College, and Other Stories of 1950s Farm Life
By James Kenyon
Published by: Meadowlark Books, October 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9966801-4-1
Available on Amazon, by order through any bookstore, and direct from Meadowlark Books


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Newest Book by Kansas Poet Laureate, Kevin Rabas, Released by Meadowlark

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Meadowlark (August 31, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1732241023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1732241022

In this collection of poetry and stories, the tenth book by Dr. Kevin Rabas, chair of the Department of English at Emporia State University and current Kansas Poet Laureate, the author walks us through the everyday, capturing moments in poetry, personal and relatable.

Like Buddha-Calm Bird, improves on and riffs off the variable rhythms of the stories we create, revise, and live. Writing the music inherent in changing narratives of the ordinary and extraordinary, Rabas illustrates what a fellow Kansas poet meant when he said, ‘Anyone who breathes is in the rhythm business, anyone who is alive is caught up in the imminences, the doubts mixed with the triumphant certainty, of poetry.’ Whether writing about Ugandan rain, the Bossa Nova, a middle school drummer, or the T.Rex at a museum, Rabas puts his ear to what wants to be said, then moseys into words slow and deliberate, or explodes into language fast and on the wing. In a sense, much of this collection leads up to the final section, "Eclipse," showing us how we partner with the life force to co-create this world: ‘the breath of God/comes in a cloud’ and ‘an open/mouth whistles/over and past tall grasses/ from dust, remakes the world.’
-Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas Poet Laureate 2009-13, and author of Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous

The book is available at Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, at online booksellers, and direct from the author or publisher,


Dr. Kevin Rabas chairs the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism at Emporia State University and leads the poetry and playwriting tracks. He has nine books, including: Bird’s Horn, Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, also a Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Eliot’s Violin, Spider Face: stories, Songs for My Father: poems & stories, and Green Bike, a group novel written with Michael D. Graves and Tracy Million Simmons. Rabas writes regularly for Kansas City’s Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM), and Rabas’s plays have been produced across Kansas and in North Carolina and San Diego. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and Rabas is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry, the Victor Contoski Poetry Award, the Jerome Johanning Playwriting Award, and the Salina New Voice Award. A native Kansan, Rabas grew up in Shawnee and attended KU (PhD), Goddard (MFA), K-State (MA), and UMKC (BA).

 Meadowlark (Emporia, KS) is an independent publisher, born of a desire to produce high-quality books for print and electronic delivery. Meadowlark is developing a collection of books that focus on a Midwest regional appeal, via author and/or topic. Meadowlark is open to working with authors of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and mixed media. Learn more at


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Memoirs of the Dysfunctional? -- Now Available!

We are excited to announce that another Meadowlark Book is nearly ready for your bookshelf! As we wrap up the final details, go ahead and place your order. Those who order by September 10 will get a signed copy from our first run. Use the promo code: BUYNOW and the shipping is on us!

Order early to help us out. We are still trying to decide how many copies to order!

 The author, Joann Williams, served for four years as state president of the Kansas Authors Club. This is the first time many, including family members and close friends, will learn the truth about Joann’s unique childhood and upbringing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Review of Ronda Miller's MoonStain

· Paperback: 110 pages
· Publisher: Meadowlark; 1 edition (May 17, 2015)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0692434666
· ISBN-13: 978-0692434666

In exquisite style, poet Ronda Miller shares her life-changing events in MoonStain. She writes of finding freedom in tumbleweeds that taught her “how to roam”, of feeling pelting “fresh summer rain” and “hedge apple sized hail.” But Miller can never know how different she would be if her mother hadn’t died—suicide—when she was three. As a result this child “was left to grow wild and free.”

Miller reveals to us the depths of her emotional turmoil and her desperate need to find her identity—before it’s too late—in her powerful poem, “Mama Slam.” In this composition she reveals how she attempted to cope through self-destructive behavior.

Fortunately for her—and us—Ronda learns she doesn’t need to be angry at her mother, or to become her mother. Instead, only by being herself is she set free.

--Jim Potter, author of Taking Back the Bullet: Trajectories of Self-Discovery

We encourage readers to order all Meadowlark Books through a favorite Independent Bookstore.
You can also order from Amazon or direct from the Meadowlark Bookstore.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Publisher's Diary -- Oh the Places these Poets Take Me

I was looking forward to Poetry in Pittsburg, first because it was my chance, finally, to meet Olive Sullivan, author of Wandering Bone (Meadowlark 2017) in person. Olive has had a rather tough time, health wise, since the publication of her first poetry book. So I was thrilled to get this opportunity to help Olive debut her book in her hometown. We were joined by Ronda Miller, WaterSigns (Meadowlark 2017) and Izzy Wasserstein, When Creation Falls (Meadowlark 2018).

Any author who has ever organized a book event knows that they can be hit and miss. It's not unusual to hear a story about an author traveling for a reading to find perhaps only an audience of three. So there is always a certain amount of anxiety prior to a book event, and as soon as even a handful of attendees show up, you can hear the authors breathing great sighs of relief.

At this book event, however, we had more than a handful. We pretty much filled up our seating and ended up adding a few extra seats. Even better, the audience was warm and appreciative. It was truly one of the best poetry readings I have attended.

Much credit, of course, goes to Olive and the work she did sharing the news of our event with the locals. I spent the rest of the weekend feeling pretty blissful and relaxed. I wanted to figure out how to bottle the entire experience and perhaps repeat it, town by town, all across the state of Kansas.

 (And the second reason I was looking forward to Pittsburg? I attended school there, my freshman year of college, nearly 30 years ago! I have made a few trips back to visit friends, but the last one was too long ago. I was due for a return visit. And how wonderful that it was such a great one!)

I had a fabulous time in Pittsburg, Kansas, with poets Olive Sullivan, Ronda Miller, and Izzy Wasserstein. We were hosted at the fabulous Eclectic Soul Studio. It was a beautiful setting and the audience was warm and welcoming. As well, we were treated to music by the band, Amanita. 

For our Poetry in Pittsburg event, we also enjoyed the following before and after press!

July 20, 2018 - Joplin Globe
Pittsburg Poet Sullivan to Read from Latest Book

July 21, 2018 -- KOAM TV, Channel 7 Pittsburg
Book Launch