poetry

Poets of the High Plains, get your pens ready! Seward County Community College’s English department is accepting entries for its annual poetry contest, and the deadline is 12:00 a.m. CT on WEDNESDAY, March 10th! I caught up with Dr. Lori Muntz, English instructor at SCCC, and student poet Dulce Perez. They shared more info about the contest, it’s history, and we even got a poem.

If you're feeling like you need some top-notch poetry in your life right now, mark your calendar for TONIGHT. As WT kicks off the Dorothy Patterson Poetry Series, they are featuring a treasure of the Texas Panhandle: writer, educator, and all-around rad dude, Seth Wieck. You can join the reading, which is ONLINE at 7 pm CT this evening via Zoom. To get the link, email Dr. Eric Meljac here and he'll send it straight away. A big thanks to Seth for his time, and see below for the text of the poem he read today on High Plains Morning. If you'd like to hear the full interview, click the link below.


When life gets heavy, as it has been this year, turning to poetry can be a welcome catharsis, allowing us to view life through another's experience. For those of you yearning for some raw human connection, tonight will be a treat.

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

Today on High Plains Morning, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Helbert, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate English Studies at West Texas A & M University’s Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, in advance of tonight’s Great Books Discussion Series, happening online at 7p CT.

For those who follow poetry challenges on Morning Edition, our new one involves a vocabulary lesson: ekphrastic.

Ekphrastic poems respond to a piece of art.

According to the Poetry Foundation:

Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the 'action' of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning."

Thanks to Dr. Phillip Periman for stopping by High Plains Morning today to share information about Passing Through, an open poetry reading that'll happen tonight, May 7th at 5:30pm CT at IC Gallery (1501 S. Washington). Poets, take note! It's the last one until September, so please come out and share your work. Click to hear the full interview with Dr. Periman, including a few poems. He read his own work, "Nothing of Yours"; then "What Catfish Catch" by Joan Urban; and finally he read "Stars I Cannot See," also his own. 

Sometimes Kansas' new poet laureate feels isolated and in transition. Huascar Medina's mother is Panamanian and his father is Puerto Rican, but Medina was born at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Texas, and is an American.

"I'm no longer from Puerto Rico or Panama, but sometimes I don't feel I'm American enough either, you know? My Spanish isn't the best, and sometimes I struggle with my English, so I live in the in between," says Medina, who has lived in Topeka for almost two decades.

Julia Wang, high school student / American Academy of Poets

I am Xánath Caraza, and I today will read one bilingual poem from my book Sílabas de viento  / Syllables of Wind

Selections:

Que la poesía

Que la poesía se ponga color verde

Que cubra la tierra

Se enrede en los patios 

Las flores blancas se hagan poemas

Roses come in many colours. / Violets mostly one. / If you can write a crappy poem / Come Friday for some fun. // Thanks to Dr. Daniel Helbert of WTAMU's Dept. of English, Philosophy, & Modern Languages for stopping by High Plains Morning today to encourage bad poets of the Panhandle to come together FRIDAY NIGHT, April 5th for the school's first-ever Bad Poetry ContestIt's from 6-8p CT at the Legends Club (Jack B.

Thanks to author Katie Young Foster for sharing her work with us today on High Plains Morning. She's got a reading tonight, March 7th, at Burrowing Owl Books (419 16th Street) in Canyon, TX from 7-8pm CT. It's a free event.   

Thanks to Dr. Daniel Helbert for stopping by High Plains Morning today to explains the particulars of tonight's Haiku Death Match

From 7 to 9pm on Friday, November 2nd (TONIGHT!), meet a motley crew of Panhandle poets at the Evocation Coffee Roastery (2300 SW 7th Ave., Amarillo) for a serious slam of 5-7-5'ers. That's right: you'll go head to head with other haikus, so bring your best and get ready to throw down.

Poetry Blooms In The Texas Panhandle

Sep 23, 2018
High Plains Poetry Project

In recent months, West Texas has seen a flowering of poetic talent and interest.

The poetic renaissance has been sparked in large part by the efforts to West Texas A&M University English professors Eric Meljac and Pat Tyrer, founders of the High Plains Poetry Project.

For someone with five horses, two dogs, three cats, a donkey, a rabbit, and a husband, Chera Hammons sure gets a lot of work done. She stopped by High Plains Morning, with Dr. Eric Meljac of the High Plains Poetry Project, to promote an upcoming reading with an impromptu literary throw down (ahem, a reading).

Texas Panhandle Poet Wins Prestigious Literary Prize

Jun 12, 2018
Chera Miller

A poet from the Texas Panhandle has brought home one of the most prestigious poetry awards in the American West.

Chera Hammons is the winner of the PEN Southwest Poetry Award for her book, The Traveler’s Guide to Bomb City. Judge Allison Adelle Hedge Coke called Hammons’s book an “astute take on life on the Southern Plains,” adding “we are the better for [this book] being here.”

Water & Replenishment - A Poet's View

Mar 1, 2017
Denise Low

Ogallala Aquifer

As the water table sinks

mid-range rivers falter.

The Arkansas River loses its way

to Wichita. The Smoky Hill

lapses into gravel

and long stretches of silence,

like Heraclitus, muffled,

only fragments remaining

from his distant writings.

Or Sappho—her broken

songs are beds of old lakes,

just the outlines visible

like wheel ruts

of the Oregon Trail,

almost imaginary traces

across grasslands.

Tinta negra / Black Ink

Sep 9, 2016
XANATH CARAZA

Edit

Xánath Caraza reads two bilingual poems from her latest book Tinta negra / Black Ink.   In one she asks, "

What is a border? Created limits

cultures forced to turn their back

Lyrical Postcards in Willa Cather’s My Antonia

Aug 12, 2016

The essence of poetry is song, or lyrical feeling. How well Willa Cather understood the lyrical beauty of the Great Plains. She delights readers of My Antonia with poetic passages, like Jim Burden’s first look at Nebraska: “There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”