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More than Words: Poems & Sketches, by Kevin Rabas

Green book cover with floral images

More Than Words: Poems & Sketches

ISBN: 978-1-7362232-1-5

Retail: $12.00        136 pages

Order from the Meadowlark Bookstore

A book supersedes being a simple collection of words when a poet gets a hold of them. More Than Words by Kevin Rabas is an intimate collection of poetry and micro-fiction that takes a conscientious look inward and closely around us through stages of growing up, connecting with music, navigating romance, interacting with nature, and persisting through social and personal maladies.

As Kansas Poet Laureate Emeritus, Rabas’s expertise and passion show. He can write a poem about anything, and this collection displays his versatility. Each page is a surprise, with some poems educating the reader on historic jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker and other poems ruminating on contemporary social and political issues, such as the death of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic. Rabas is creatively invigorated by everything from questions about our places in life to working from home. 

Rabas often finds inspiration in conversation, such as in an exchange about beekeeping between him and his father. Conversations between lawyers and jazz drummers, bullies and the bullied, and a boy and his crushes let the reader live vicariously through some of the worst, best, and creative experiences these characters have. 

Each poem and sketch guarantee a clever turn of phrase, strong imagery, and clear language. Rabas uses his jazz background to channel the direct, concise percussiveness of language. The pieces in this collection span the entire scale of literal to metaphorical, always leaving something more to think about at the end. With bite-size poems and prose sketches, this is the perfect book to read in one sitting or in pieces, whenever you need a little inspiration to look at the world in a fresh way. 

Past Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019) Kevin Rabas teaches at Emporia State University, where he leads the poetry and playwriting tracks and chairs the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism. He has fourteen other books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner. He is the recipient of the Emporia State President’s and Liberal Arts & Sciences Awards for Research and Creativity, and he is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry. His plays have been performed across Kansas and on both coasts.

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