Friday, January 15, 2021
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
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
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
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
|Join Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg at The Writers Place on|
Friday, January 15, 2021, starting at 7:00pm on Zoom.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
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 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:
Thursday, December 31, 2020
|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.
· 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,
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
|Selected Poems: 2000-2020|
JC Mehta, winner of the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize
Coming February 2021
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