39th Salina Spring Poetry Series Planned

An event that’s been happening in Salina for nearly four decades is approaching.  In its 39th year, the 2023 Salina Spring Poetry Series features a lineup of socially-minded poets who will read in downtown Salina. In-person readings will occur at 7 pm on Tuesdays in April at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House (135 N. Santa Fe Ave).

The series is sponsored by Salina Arts & Humanities and was curated by Huascar Medina, Kansas Poet Laureate Emeritus. Medina selected poets with a broad range of perspectives featuring the perspectives of a migrant farm worker, an award-winning spoken word poet, a poet whose work is centered on comics and graphic novels, and the current Kansas Poet Laureate. Admission to each reading will be $5 at the door and free for students with ID.

“Salina Arts & Humanities is proud to sponsor this important community event,” said Brad Anderson, Executive Director of Salina Arts & Humanities. “This series provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the humanities and build community as poets, and the audience reflects on diverse views.”

“Thank you, Salina Arts & Humanities, for spotlighting poetry. What a gift it is to see poets shine,” says Medina. “The Salina Spring Poetry Series continues to be a poetic lighthouse across Kansas, and this year will be one of the most radiant to date.”

The lineup of poets for the 2023 Salina Poetry Series is:

Traci Brimhall is the author of four poetry collections: Come the Slumberless from the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon); Saudade (Copper Canyon); Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Believer, The New Republic, Orion, New York Times Magazine, and Best American Poetry.  She’s received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently serves as Poet Laureate of Kansas. Brimhall performs Tuesday, April 4, at 7 pm at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House (135 N. Santa Fe Ave).

Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collections origin story (University of New Mexico Press, 2021) and Missing You, Metropolis (Graywolf Press, 2010), which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He’s also the co-editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair Publishing, 2021). His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Callaloo, The Sun, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Copper Nickel. He’s received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Art Omi. He’s published work in Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology and was featured in the 2013 New American Poetry Series by the Poetry Society of America. He’s an associate professor in English and creative writing at the College of Charleston where he’s currently the Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing and teaches in the MFA program and serves as the Poetry editor of swamp pink. Jackson performs Tuesday, April 11, at 7 pm at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House (135 N. Santa Fe Ave).

Miguel M. Morales grew up in Texas working as a migrant and seasonal farmworker. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow and an alum of VONA/Voices and of the Macondo Writers Workshop. Miguel’s work appears in Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands, Primera Página: Poetry from the Latino Heartland, Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland, From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction, The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce, in Duende Journal, Acentos Review, Green Mountains Review, Texas Poetry Review, Hawai’i Review, and World Literature Today among others. Miguel is the co-editor of Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando and of Fat & Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives, which was named the 2021 Book of the Year by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Miguel has earned several awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists First Amendment Award. He is currently co-editing a portfolio of farmworker writing for The Common Magazine’s Fall 2023 print edition. Morales performs Tuesday, April 18, at 7 pm at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House (135 N. Santa Fe Ave).

Sheri Purpose Hall is an award-winning spoken word artist, author, radio personality, actress, educator, and minister who uses her work to provide perspective and engage conversational empathy. She has four books: a book of poetry, epistles, and essays titled Black Girl Shattered (2017); two poetry chapbooks Mélange du Femme Noir (2019) and Chosen for Both (2015); and a workbook/workshop Writing Wrongs: Writing to Heal (2016) which won an award from Bike for the Brain, a non-profit organization that works to reduce mental health stigma. She is the founder of Arsyn Spit Fire, East of Red ArtHouse, and PenFire Publishing; Executive Director of Poetry for Personal Power. Hall performs Tuesday, April 25, at 7 pm at Ad Astra Books & Coffee House (135 N. Santa Fe Ave).