Did you know Kansas had its own poet laureate? Yeah, neither did I. Isn’t that just like the Sunflower State, though? Always has to its own thing, since the days of abolition. Anyway, K-Seb created the program back in aught-4, and a new poetess is preparing to take the throne.
The current holder of that position, Denise Low, ends her two-year term Wednesday. She’ll be replaced by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Both women live in Lawrence and are longtime friends.
Wait, what? First of all, way to perpetuate the image that Kansas is divided into Lawrence and everything else. (True though it may be.) Second of all: passing the torch to her friend? Not cool. Apparently there’s some kind of secretive poetry cabal in KS that the rest of us don’t know about.
Anyway, here’s the new poet laureate’s site. She looks skeptical in that photo. Here’s how she describes herself — it’s just a portion of the 1,191 words (!) in her “about me” section.
I write in the field, sitting in my house in the center of a west-sloping circle of half-brome, half-native prairie surrounded by hills of forest. Sometimes I sit in the grass and write in the wind. Sometimes I huddle behind my desk staring at the ten or more shades of tan that create winter in the distance.
… and sometimes the writing of poets is insufferable. Here’s hoping C M-G makes the one change the poetry world is desperately needing: transforming “poetry slams” into intense, rap battle-esque competitions, and doing away with the banal semi-sonnets and half-rhyming tripe which populate most such events and which are snapped at infuriatingly by aging hipsters and would-be Brownings. Ugh.