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, www.meadowlark-books.com.


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 www.meadowlark-books.com.


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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Celebrating Poetry in Pittsburg at the Eclectic Soul Studio on July 21

Pittsburg, KS – Three poets will be reading and talking about poetry on Saturday, July 21, 4-6pm at the Eclectic Soul Studio, 601 North Broadway. All have had books published by Meadowlark Books, Emporia, within the last year.

Olive Sullivan, Pittsburg, debuts Wandering Bone, her first full-length book of poetry. In addition to writing, Sullivan performs in the band Amanita, and in her free time, likes to fly-fish with her husband, the scholar and writer Stephen Harmon; takes long walks with dogs; and travel anywhere that requires a passport. She is an apprentice bookbinder.

Sullivan will be joined by Ronda Miller, Lawrence, author of
WaterSigns and MoonStain, both published by Meadowlark Books. Miller is the current state president of Kansas Authors Club, a writing organization that has been supporting authors since 1902. She is a Life Coach who specializes in working with clients who have lost someone to homicide.

The third poet in the trio is Izzy Wasserstein, Topeka,  author of When Creation Falls. Wasserstein teaches English at Washburn University, writes poetry and fiction, and shares a house with a variety of animal companions and the writer Nora E. Derrington. Her first poetry collection, This Ecstacy They Call Damnation, was a 2013 Kansas Notable Book.

Meadowlark Books is an independent publisher, specializing in printing books by authors from the heartland since 2014. Learn more at www.meadowlark-books.com.

The event will take place at Eclectic Soul Studio in Pittsburg. Eclectic Soul Studio offers a variety of classes and workshops including belly dancing. Owner Lastacia Ross is a certified intuitive healer. who offers reiki and meditation as well as sound healing and other services. 


Monday, June 11, 2018

Announcing The Birdy Poetry Prize, by Meadowlark Books

Now accepting entries! Meadowlark Books is pleased to announce that the first Birdy Poetry Prize for a full-length poetry manuscript will be awarded in 2109. Prize includes $500 cash and publication by Meadowlark Books. 

Read the complete guidelines here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Driving Together, Poems by Tyler Robert Sheldon

Driving Together
Poems by Tyler Robert Sheldon
Published by: Meadowlark Books
ISBN-13: 978-1732241008 
Retail Price: $15.00

Meadowlark Books is pleased to announce the publication of  Driving Together, poems by Tyler Robert Sheldon.

From Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas, 2017-2019, “Tyler Robert Sheldon’s first full-length poetry collection is a gem, a culmination of years of study and effort. As an MA student Tyler impressively published more than forty poems individually, demonstrating both his industry and his ambition, his talent and grit. With his MFA in Creative Writing currently in progress and this book complete, Tyler takes the next step as a poet and educator. With this collection, his audience and reach quickly extend. Tyler’s life is both ordinary and extraordinary, and he charts some of his journey in verse in this book. He does so with hope and pluck, with a kind of simple, clear vision. What he sees, we see.”

Sheldon received his BA in English and MA in Creative Writing from Emporia State University. He is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has also published the chapbooks Consolation Prize (Finishing Line Press, 2018), Traumas (Yellow Flag Press, 2017), and First Breaths of Arrival (Oil Hill Press, 2016). He is a book reviewer at the Los Angeles Review and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.  

We encourage readers to order our books through their favorite independent bookstore, 

or direct via the Meadowlark Bookstore     /    Amazon

Praise for Driving Together:

“Intimate and lovely, the poems of Tyler Robert Sheldon allow us to appreciate the small, overlooked wonders of our familiar worlds. In Sheldon’s poems, there’s great compassion for people, for landscapes, for family members, and for an unromanticized past. In this poet’s work, it’s the little things that count—moments of conversation, kitchen windows, the flights of native birds, the ‘sea ghosts’ of Kansas. [Sheldon] writes frequently of an overlooked Midwestern state—Kansas—and a storied Southern one—Louisiana—with an exacting eye for detail and a sense of earned wonder. In Driving Together, we encounter a poetic voice that will take us into the heart of each destination, and it’s a joy to hear this voice unwind in these fine and succinct poems.”
~ Allison Joseph, author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman

“Tyler Sheldon performs a young poet’s affection for formative experience recollected in early manhood, seasoned with a mischievous whimsy.”
~ Steven Hind, author of The Loose Change of Wonder

“Not many poets can bridge the wild terrain between lemons, ghosts of an inland sea, semiotics, a hurricane, and a coyote howling in the Flint Hills of Kansas, but Tyler Sheldon, in his first full-length collection of poetry, speaks directly and distinctly to the everyday realities and deep-night mysteries of life. Driving Together invites the reader to climb on for a ride across vistas of land and language, picking up speed by reading the omens along the way, and slowing down just in time to arrive at new understandings of home and adventure. His writing is clear-eyed and precise while embracing a wide vista of time and place. As he writes in ‘Elegy,’ ‘This poem believes / in extinction, knows / blades and grass keep / secrets just like us.’ Come drive together with Sheldon to find the more expansive view of our lives made visible in the quiet and original heart of these poems.
~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-2013 Kansas Poet Laureate, author of Everyday Magic: Field Notes on the Mundane and Miraculous

“Tyler Robert Sheldon’s Driving Together excavates a family history and maps its place in Kansas with a storyteller’s mind and a poet’s precision. These poem’s honor Sheldon’s identical twin brother who died after a ‘small handful of hours,’ and give a language for the spaces we make for the lives that were too short: ‘I see you behind my eyelids, and touch / you as I pluck a leaf from concrete.’ Sheldon writes to illuminate how loss defines a place—'Our best scenery / is not on the ground’—and in doing so, preserves what is fleeting.”
~ Ruth Awad, author of Set to Music a Wildfire

“Driving Together by Tyler Robert Sheldon is a dynamic book of verse that celebrates life through love: fraternal love, romantic love, love for mindfulness, love for nature, love for writing.  In its lines, the poet confesses his greatest fears, but they are released along with the breath the reader exhales when each syllable is pronounced; likewise, it is there where the poetic voice and the reader intersect in a journey of words that can be read peacefully time after time: ‘…The record will spin like the passing world…We’ll listen again—as many times as we need.’ In these pages, the poet holds an inner dialogue with himself, guiding the reader through the poetic voice’s rite of passage. With each verse, Sheldon’s voice matures, reaching a catharsis in the end.  The present moment is full of creative energy through which the poet continues his life journey, ‘his ears alert, his eyes full of wind and moon.’  This is a book I will read again and again.”
~Xánath Caraza, Writer-in-Residence, Westchester Community College, New York