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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

2024 Kansas Notable Books

We are delighted to announce that a Meadowlark poetry book has been named a 2024 Kansas Notable Book. 

The State Library of Kansas is proud to announce the 2024 Kansas Notable Books list. This year’s list of Kansas Notable Books continues the tradition of celebrating the rich stories and vibrant spirit of the state.

“The 2024 Kansas Notable Books list recognizes 15 books written by Kansans or about Kansas,” said Ray Walling, State Librarian. “ From historical figures like abolitionist James Montgomery, to the remarkably resilient residents of Udall, to people reflecting on grief and personal struggles through poetry, the authors introduce readers to a variety of Kansans. The selections also take readers on a geology field trip across the state, to Kansas City's Montgall Avenue, into a classroom as seen through the eyes of a child on the autism spectrum, inside a murder mystery, and beyond to other worlds. With something for everyone, I hope all Kansans will visit their local public library to check out these wonderful titles.”
Authors will be recognized and awarded medals by the State Librarian at the Kansas Book Festival Author Reception on September 27 at Washburn University. For more information on the event, visit kansasbookfestival.com.

Even though he was often vastly outnumbered by enemies on the outside and by demons on the inside, Antonio Sanchez-Day took on life. He fought against racism as a boy, fought against family troubles, and fought as a street soldier for his gang which was the “family” he’d always wanted. Then he had to fight simply to survive 13 years of incarceration. Inside the walls, Antonio found his main weapon, his pen. He wrote brilliantly, and with pen in hand, he turned his life around. The 123 pages of new, unpublished poetry in this book was put together by Antonio’s friend and mentor, Brian Daldorph, to “cement [his] legacy” (Antonio’s words).

Antonio died in March 2021, aged 44.


Sometimes I am lucky enough to encounter a poet who uses poetry as it should be—to reach within and challenge the demons, worship Mother Earth, scale back the lies and strip one of all deception and holler out the truth in beautiful verse in the way birds and oceans and trees speak themselves, reveal their true selves every minute of every day, and that’s what is so powerful in these poems, a sense that language is being used in a way that break shackles, honors beauty, endures sorrow, and keeps climbing, keeps digging, keeps in the hand what is meaningful and scared—he does this in this book. Antonio Sanchez-Day is one of those rare poets who makes language and song and poetry his magic, his brew to drink each morning before stepping into the world of feelings, visions, regret, vulnerability—no poet i have read delivers such clarity and honesty as does Mr. Sanchez-Day, he reckons and muses and renders his poetry to the readers with such beautiful candor and connection, making community that invites us in to embrace and honor him. You must read this book, give it as a gift to loved ones, recommend it to teachers, put it on reading lists, order it for your classes. It aligns poetry where it should be, front and center in the heart and mind, to awaken in us the reason why we live. An extraordinary talent!

Jimmy Santiago Baca: American poet, American Book Award winner, author of many books including Healing Earthquakes, A Place to Stand, Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet of the Barrio

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