If you are looking for a poet's poet, Mike James is it. He has inspired more poetic exploration and joy than just about anyone I've ever met. James has a keen sense of humor, an obsession with American Americana and the ability to transcend the page with glamour and astonishment. Plus, he uses exclamation points with the ultimate panache!!
Frankie Met is a man with a past, which is why he's such a great poetry editor and makes such a unique lit mag! Rarely have I been treated with such grace and amazing friendship. I've traveled all over to read with this amazing human! Check out his press, Kleft Jaw!
Kevin Peery is one of the most prolific poets I've ever met, and a charming roustabout to boot! His sleek and minimalist poems cut straight to the wheat of great beer, good whiskey and rough times.
If you aren't following what Kim Vodicka is up to, you are missing some of the richest sex-posi, radical femme, vibrant wowza working today. She is the touringest female poet in the scene and her performances are mesmerizingly vulnerable.
Daniel and Margaret Crocker host this hilarious podcast which meets at the intersection of poetry and mental health and will have you crackin up about both: this is perhaps the rarest and best gift I have ever found. Plus they have tons of epic modern indie poets on. Great show!
Darling Fitch is an American-born, Berlin-based writer, musician and performance artist. Their performance work has appeared in festivals internationally, including the Dixon Place HOT! Fest, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Month of Performance Art-Berlin. Fitch holds a merit award in fiction writing from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Recent poetry publications include Slanted House, Anti-Heroin Chic and Transnational Queer Underground (TQU). In April 2018, Fitch finished the three-year durational multimedia project A Stranger Sound, an auto-ethnographic narrative of gender transition and community. They are currently working on a poetry collection and on their next solo performance piece. An adaptable and versatile performer, Fitch creates work that is at home everywhere from college campuses to raves, art galleries and independent theaters, bars, living rooms, and museums. In addition to performing regularly in Berlin and abroad, Fitch runs the local performance series Yes/No/Other/All: Performance on the Boundaries of Identity.
Alexis Rhone Fancher isn't afraid to ask hard questions, and we love that! Alexis is Poetry Editor of Cultural Weekly. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems,(Sybaritic Press, 2014.) She and her husband live and collaborate on the bluffs of San Pedro, CA. They have a spectacular view.
I was privileged to meet Hillary Leftwich in Denver, September of 2018 and was blown away by the raw vulnerablity this stunning poet brings to the stage, and the warmth and grace she holds fast offstage. It's been a true honor to get to know more about her and read her work!
I was mesmerized instantly by Mark Sebastian Jordan's words and performance, he is a truly gifted performer who is able to make his words live and breathe off the page, not to mention being an amazing community builder, which I love!
Tony Plocido is a poet who likes to surf his phone during poetry readings. He SWEARS it helps him pay attention to the poem better. I believe him, he is a tremendous supporter of poetry everywhere.
Jason Preu is amazing on so many counts, the least of which is having my same initials and loving Ozark mythology as much as I do! His work with Lit KC podcast is leading the KC charge to illuminate that wonderful scene, and he is the fearless leader of KC's Small Press Poetry Fest: FountainVerse, coming Oct 2018!
James Benger's poems are a quiet and incisive explosion of intimacy. He plumbs depths of poverty, addiction, love and family with unmatched skill. He sees and expresses without aggrandizement or pity. His poems are must reads for everyone.
DC Lozano is a radical feminist, political agitator and fantastic human. She has worked as a union organizer, written for progressive newspapers, taught self-defense classes to women & children, & trained large retail companies on de-escalation techniques. last year, dc read 140 books.
Purpose is part poet, part community activist, part slammaster and pure spirit. Rarely has a person caused more catharsis and support for this little mostly-atheist. Her contributions to KC poetry are beyond accolades, she has made a real difference.
I was enchanted by Todd Cirillo when I first met him in KC at FountainVerse, where his undeniable charm and terrific performances really made me see the joy in our dysfunction. Here's a human who knows how to accept folks for who they are, and I hope his poems delight you as much as they do me. He's also a co-founder of Six Ft. Swells Press and one of the originators of the After-Hours Poetry movement
Krista Cox is a poet "especially passionate about communication, emotional and spiritual health, and advocacy for victims and marginalized communities. Also, foxes and sloths."
Artistic Nomads are a married couple that expresses our artistic vision through a variety of media. Our work includes poetry, acrylic painting, photography, writing, collage, video, altered objects, spoken word, mixed media.
Nicole is " a writer of all things sappy, and/or emotional as hell. " Nicole! Please name your first chapbook "Love and Laundry."!!
Charlotte Seley is a writer and poet from the Hudson Valley region of New York, currently residing in Kansas City.
Mark Matzeder is a brilliant and sardonic human with an immensity of knowledge about the esoterica of the universe. It's a great pleasure each time I get to spend time with him and you cannot miss when he performs.
Zojha is more than a poet, they also are a fellow resident and a visual artist and an AMAZING installation/performance artist. They're dog is my dog's best friend!
MG Salazar is clearly super-human. This person does more, better than most people can even dream up, and all while working their ass off and never taking any slack!
Margaret Atwood is a poet, author and someone gifted me a scholarship to their online master class. Thank you, "anonymous" ;) !
Spartan Press, run by the spectacular Jason Ryberg specializes in publishing Kansas and Missouri poets in sets of 12 in their acclaimed series. They also are behind the Gasconade Review and The Missouri Anthology. Visit their site here.
Dianne Borsenik is the brains and beauty behind the illustrious NightBallet Press. If you are looking for some amazing chap books from some of the best indie poets around, this is one-stop shopping.
John Burroughs relentlessly supports poets local to his Ohio home and beyond. He is the rare gem of subtlety, humor and piquant emotional vulnerability in his poems and his selections for his press, Crisis Chronicles.
KC's Small Press Poetry Festival, happens October 12, 13 and 14 of 2018. FountainVerse brings KC local poetry scenes together with national and international presses for a weekend of amazing contemporary work.
OAC is a non-profit artist in residency program in the northern Ozarks which has hosted over 140 artists and is very active in the rural community surrounding them, as well as huge poetry supporters!
Belle Book & Candle is a radical venture is Belle, MO ... a business which sells only indie press books, does tarot and reiki readings and hosts amazing events for creatives from all across the nation!
20 years in the indie bookstore circuit aint nothing to sneeze at and Prospero's can brag that brag. Difficult, fascinating, controversial, and some of my oldest friends.
Flow STL is: " We're a close team of writers, teachers, and scholars who believe in the power of individual creativity to connect people. We work together to build strong communities by fostering meaningful writing and storytelling experiences."
Ezhno is a real Ezhno, but that doesn't mean he isn't some super-genius hurrying off to a quick grave. He's one of the best developmental editors I've ever met and you'd be lucky to be on his press EMP, especially if you don't mind terrible design and spelling errors.
TMMF has been actively promoting poetry in KC for as long as I can remember, and hosts frequent poetry extravaganzas at the Nelson Atkins Museum.
Arts Bar is home to dozens of original, live performing arts events each month, and home to a very well-attended poetry open mic which happens each Wednesday night at 9 pm.
Thimble Lit Mag is one of the best looking online poetry magazines around but also is posted here just to shout out at the editor Nadia Wolnisty, who is one of the best poets writing today.
Jessica Conoley is a human of singular bravery and fiercest humor. Working in the YA fiction field and a well-renowned public speaker, there are few folks out there more dedicated to writing and cultivating wonderful projects.
Justin Williams better be hilarious because comedy is his job! And he is, also he's just charming and he looks great with a whiskey in his hand.
Muchfoolishness is a tremendous painter, poet, activist and human and one of my favorite people to message back and forth with. Here's an excerpt:
" we have the momentary priveledge of being poets "
Jessica McGan makes heckin rare sketchbooks and is always there for a laugh outside of the bookstore.
Innergy Photography is the work of my dear friend, Sharon Rodriguez, who documents marginalized folks with her photography documentary. Her current focus has been homeless in Olathe and Johnson County, the wealthiest county in KS.
Alison Erazmus is a photographer and curator extraordinaire. Her installation at OAC Gallery was brilliant and inspiring, she's also a generous and insightful commentator on art.
Black Site record label is a "cooperative created by Kansas City musicians interested in supporting regional punk and rock bands release their recordings on a physical medium. With the world around us becoming a deluge of digital l’s and 0’s, transient as a trust fund crust punk on a cross country excursion, tangible art is critical to maintaining connections to our past, our sense of place, and who we are as a people. "
I met Moe Shinola a lifetime ago, and this human has known more incarnations of me than Shiva. Here is a selection of his wonderful folk music.