“Writing from a Sense of Place –
About Ordinary and Extraordinary Kansans”
September 22, 2018
Reading at 2 PM, poetry with drums
Followed by an Open Mic | All poets welcome
Refreshments | Free admission
Lunch with Kevin at 12:30
$12.50 | Reservations
K E V I N R A B A S, Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019), 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 nine books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner. Rabas’s plays have been produced across Kansas and in North Carolina and San Diego, and his work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize six times. He is the recipient of the Emporia State President’s Award for Research and Creativity and 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.
Kevin is bringing his drums to Volland – Join us for the fun –
Kevin combines poetry with music. An article from the website of Emporia State University states “Kevin is a skilled jazz musician who trained as a percussionist. Mix well with poetry, and you have a chorus. He sings his poetry to an abstract tune. He moves easily between jazz and poetry and funk and poetry. In this way, according to Rabas, poetry becomes a visual and performance art. Rabas believes it’s also a way to get today’s poetry out of academe and into the Average Joe and Josephine’s living room. He’s a kind soul who also happens to be an excellent lyric poet and jazz musician. Emporia State is a perfect fit for him because ‘ESU is a teaching institution,’ Rabas declares, ‘and I like not being stuck with one thing.’
“He writes in a host of genres. The topics in his short stories, plays and poetry float and stretch across Kansas and into the greater Midwest, picking up characters along the way.
“His passion for words began as a 10 year old when he would carry a heavy tape recorder strapped around his neck for his mother as she, a newspaper reporter, ran to fires that lit up the night sky. She inspired him to become a writer, and while growing up in Shawnee, KS, he kept journals of his experiences. Today, he still has several volumes of those journals on the top bookshelf in his office.
“What sets Rabas apart from other writers is that he’s multi-dimensional in the arts. His poetry recordings include Last Road Trip, a jazz poetry CD featuring Rabas reading original poetry and drumming, with Josh Schlar on saxophone, which was produced in 2002. His work tells it like it is and in plain English. No flowery, sugary words here, but words stripped to their core. They seem more powerful that way.” – Adapted with permission from Emporia State University.