Friday, January 15, 2021

Virtual book launch event Feb. 5 - Brian Daldorph's Kansas Poems

It's just about time for a toast! We would like to cordially invite you to join us in celebrating the book launch of Kansas Poems by Brian Daldorph! The free, public event will take place at 6 p.m. (CST) on February 5 via Zoom. Please register for the event at https://tinyurl.com/kspoemsregistration.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wednesday Book Excerpt: It all started with a Green Bike

 As it is the first month of a new year, I've been reviewing 2020--a year that took us in all sorts of unexpected directions--and making plans for the new year. Looking forward always leads to looking back, of course. And thinking about beginnings makes me think about Green Bike, the group novel that put Meadowlark on the path to what it has become today. Join me on a ride down memory lane with a few excerpts from Meadowlark's very first book.

Tracy Million Simmons

Meadowlark Press



McGuffin  (məˈɡʌfɪn) —n

an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot



 

That Damned Green Bike

Kevin Rabas

Calvin was suspicious when Bea came home to her apartment with a bike, a classic green Schwinn, the kind Harley always rode around town. Harley ran the bike shop, and Calvin knew Bea didn’t have the dough for a new bike. She said it was a gift or a loan, she wasn’t sure, but Harley told her to take it. Calvin had always wondered about Harley’s intentions, and now he had some evidence. There was something there.

Harley wore retro clothes, often a mechanic’s jumper with someone else’s name on the lapel, “Dave,” or “Joshua,” or “Stan.” Harley brought Bea chamomile tea when she visited the bike shop, brewed the tea in a round metal steeper and put a few flower petals from his jasmine plant on top; they floated in the yellow, soporific water. He winked at Bea when she passed the bike shop, “Jake’s Bikes.” Calvin didn’t even know if there was a Jake, but Harley ran the shop, kept up the name, and hit on Bea every chance he got.

Calvin loved Bea and didn’t want to appear jealous. He brought home a bread loaf-sized Saraswati to her. She was seated with her sitar guitar on an enormous blooming lotus, its petals surrounding her like a feather boa. That same day the green bike showed up. Bea looked at the Saraswati and kissed Calvin, then claimed she had “things to do” and rode her bike into town. Calvin lit incense, watched the Saraswati in the yellow embers of autumn, Manhattan-Kansas light. A shadow fell on the figure’s forehead.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Wednesday excerpt, book giveaway, and a really good recommendation!

For this special Wednesday, we have an interview excerpt between two Meadowlark authors, book excerpts from Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's new Meadowlark book, How Time Moves, as well as another special giveaway opportunity for a free copy of the book.


The Interview

The other day, I was reading the interview Cheryl Unruh did with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and I was so taken by Cheryl's unique and valuable questions and Caryn's quick and confident answers that it felt important to share an excerpt of the interview with you:

"In a writing workshop many years ago, I latched onto one of your comments. You said that you yourself don’t get writer’s block, that if you get stuck on one project, you just move on to another project – that you have several works-in-progress at once. I can’t tell you how valuable that concept has been for me. Because of that, I tend to have 3-4 projects going. For any writers who feel blocked, do you have additional suggestions on how to get unblocked?

"Yup, I don’t think we need to embrace the notion of writer’s block, which is not to say that sometimes we can’t find the right way to finish or start something. But by re-interpreting that moment as something more like, “Well, I’m just not ready to do this at this moment, and I’ll come back to it,” then do something else, we can free ourselves from the numbing or torturous impact of being stuck. There’s a lot of unhealthy myths about the writing life, including and especially that the writer needs to be constantly tormented, and I reject those myths as much as possible.

"What to do if you’re not ready to write something, if the thing itself isn’t ripe for showing up on the page? Write something else, take a walk or nap, drink some very cold water or hot tea, watch a TED talk, play some loud fiddle music, open a book and begin reading, and in short order, take the pressure off yourself. That pressure can cause you pain and also, it will absolutely shut down the possibility of new growth coming through. I like to work on numerous projects at once too, and I just go where the energy is. Although I spend many years on each book, the books get done eventually, and it can add up to a lot of books."

We are proud of our Meadowlark authors and love when they get together to talk craft and philosophy! I highly encourage you to read the interview in full HERE.


The Poems!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

From the Publisher's Desk: Goodbye 2020, looking back on the highlights

Headwinds, by Edna Bell-Pearson
2020 Kansas Notable Book Award

 December 31, 2020

Dear Reader-Dear Friend,

It has been a difficult year on so many levels, yet we have been fortunate to add some amazing books to the Meadowlark bookshelf. We are growing, and the community that supports us is growing too.

I thought I’d take this time to share just a few of the highlights from our year.

· The city of Iola chose ToLeave a Shadow, by Michael D. Graves, to be their winter, Community Reads book. We also released the 3rd Pete Stone novel, All Hallows’ Shadows, at this time.

· Our first YA novel, Opulence,Kansas, by Julie Stielstra, was published and quickly claimed as a great read by book lovers of many ages.

· Our first audio book was launched, thanks to the patience and diligence of Ruth Maus, author of Valentine (2019 Birdy finalist).

· The BigQuiet: One Woman’s Horseback Ride Home, by Lisa D. Stewart, became a quick favorite with readers, garnering some of the most heart-felt reviews we have ever received.

· Linzi Garcia joined the Meadowlark Team as publicist!

· Edna Bell-Pearson made the 2020 Kansas Notable list with Headwinds, A Memoir.

· Michael D. Graves was awarded the 2020 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award for All Hallows’ Shadows at the Kansas Authors Club virtual convention in October.

· We were honored to add Arlice W. Davenport to our list of authors, with the publication of his first poetry book, Settingthe Waves on Fire.

· Our second YA novel was published, ATime for Tears, by Jerilynn Jones Henrikson.

· With Cheryl Unruh/Quincy Press, we began planning for the launch of 105: Meadowlark Reader, a new literary print journal featuring true Kansas stories written by Kansas residents (past or present).

· Three of our authors, Jerilynn Henrikson, Julie Stielstra, and Mike Graves, were invited to present at the Kansas Library Association Conference (online) in October.

· We published Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s master collection of poetry, How Time Moves: New and SelectedPoems. Caryn was the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate. The virtual book launch, hosted by The Raven Bookstore and Lawrence Public Library, was attended by more than 100 guests.

· James Kenyon completed his second book on closed high schools, this time covering the state of Iowa. The book will begin shipping in 2021.

· The Birdy Poetry Prize had its biggest year yet, with 120 entries! We hope you will join us for a reading and announcement of the 2021 winner in March (stay tuned for a save-the-date announcement and invitation).

 

And a preview of what is to come:

· We will kick of 2021 with the release of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize Books. Winner, JC Mehta’s SelectedPoems: 2000-2020 and finalist Brian Daldorph’s KansasPoems are now available for ordering on our website.

· We are working with Kevin Rabas on his newest collection of poetry titled More Than Words.

· Our first illustrated children’s book will be published, a project with the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. We are working with Mandy Kern, program specialist for the center, and Emporia artist, Onalee Nicklin.

 

If you have a Meadowlark book on your bedside table or bookshelf, we count you among our blessings for this year. Thank you, and I look forward to checking in with you next year.

Much love and good reading,

Tracy

Meadowlark Press

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Introducing Selected Poems, by JC Mehta -- Winner of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize

Each Wednesday we share an excerpt from a Meadowlark book. Use the "Follow our website" form on the right to receive Meadowlark updates by email. 

This week we present poems by the winner of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize, JC Mehta. This title is now available to order, and we expect to begin shipping by early February. Stay tuned for news regarding the 2021 Birdy Poetry Prize announcement and an opportunity to hear JC Mehta and our previous winner and finalists read. 

Selected Poems: 2000-2020
JC Mehta, winner of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize
ISBN: 978-1-7342477-5-6
Coming February 2021





Birthdays

The morning I turned thirty-five,
I asked the women orbiting my life
to meet me in the forest at dawn. It meant
getting up at four-thirty, being the first
car on the glittering asphalt, boyfriends
and lovers who wouldn’t understand. Slipping
out before toddlers unclenched
their dream fists. Which of you would come
after all these years? It was stupid,
it was childish, all Prove that you cares
and Show me you love mes. I know that,
but I wanted, I needed, I was desperate
to see who would be there
before the birds, in the hours when rabbits
felt safe over human footprints. And it was nobody
I would have imagined, the quietest of sisters
who came, walked beside me, shot
fast as homemade bottle rockets
through the darkest morning hours.

Selected Poems: 2000-2020
©2020 JC Mehta

Ingredients of Love

If food is love, what does it mean
for those who starve ourselves? Eat this,
says Maa, gajar halwa she shredded
all morning till her fingers burned orange.
I’m full, I say, pushing
her love off my plate, feeding
her sacrifice to the bin, to the birds,
to the raccoons that forage
at dusk. Taste this, you tell me,
fingers pinching palak paneer
gone limp. I’m fasting, I tell you,
scooting the bowl of our vows
back into your space. Over and over,
year following year, the love
is ladled and forked, plated
and whisked again and again
toward my clamped-shut mouth.
Maybe tomorrow, I keep saying,
the words by now stale
and crumbling out, an explosion
of yesterday’s confections.

Selected Poems: 2000-2020
©2020 JC Mehta

When to Stay

They say I don’t know when to leave. I say
they don’t know
when to stay. What good comes
after the bars shut down, past the window
of these shoes could go all night? Knowing
when to stay is what brought me to you.
Knowing how to stay shot us
through the affairs, the culture battles, the year
I ran away to another land with another man
and yet you played stowaway
in my organs. When you know
when to stay, how to close down
the party and watch the lights come on,
you see everything. The way the floors
are caked in syrup and the booths
are worn to threads. How the dancers
wear their stretch marks and the barbacks’
fingernails are chewed. We stayed through
the last song, the final bathroom checks,
when the last dish was scraped of tots
and plopped into the machine—through the ugly
and into the empty morning streets
where New and Hope trudge soft
and amble on bare feet into the next.

Selected Poems: 2000-2020
©2020 JC Mehta