40 Years of Spring Poetry Series

Salina Arts & Humanities is set to celebrate 40 years of spring poetry.

According to the organization, in its 40th year, the 2024 Salina Spring Poetry Series features a lineup of accomplished poets who will read in downtown Salina. In-person readings will occur at 7 pm on Tuesdays in April at Red Fern Booksellers (106 S Santa Fe Ave).

The poetry series is sponsored by Salina Arts & Humanities and was curated by Traci Brimhall, Kansas Poet Laureate. Brimhall selected poets with a broad range of perspectives including those of a spoken word poet, a poet whose work is centered on the body, trauma, and the pharmaceutical industry, and the founder of the Salina Spring Poetry Series.

Admission to each reading will be $5 cash at the door and free for students with ID.

“Salina Arts & Humanities has been honored to present poetry to Salina over the last forty years,” said Brad Anderson, Executive
Director of Salina Arts & Humanities. “Over the decades Salina has been enriched through the diversity of voices that explore our sense of
place and reflect the human spirit.”

“It’s so incredible to be a part of celebrating 40 years of this series in Salina,” says Brimhall. “I’m so grateful for the celebration of
different voices in Kansas poetry, and I’m so glad that this year’s anniversary happens when there are five Tuesday’s in the month, so we
can hear even more great poems.”

The lineup of poets for the 2024 Salina Poetry Series includes:

  • Cash Hollistah is a national hip-hop recording artist, musician, spoken word poet, arts educator, and community activist based in Salina. Hollistah’s musical projects, “#cashmob.” (2016) & “#cashmob. 2” (2017), and live performances have earned him spots on high-profile stages, notably South by Southwest (SXSW), and billing with acts such as Common, Shaggy, Kirk Franklin, and T.I. Hollistah also founded/hosted the former poetry series, “ONE MIC”, and occasionally teaches “Poetry & Hip-Hop” specialty classes to students in central Kansas. Currently, Hollistah sits on the board of directors of the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Cash Hollistah performs Tuesday, April 2, at 7 pm at Red Fern Booksellers.
  • Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and award-winning author of several books of poetry, among them The Animal Is Chemical, The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, as well as the chapbooks Fountain and Furnace and Show Me Yours. She is also co-author with Michelle Boisseau of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Believer, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and elsewhere.  Hadara is a Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bar-Nadav reads Tuesday, April 9, at 7 pm at Red Fern Booksellers.
  • Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, the author of The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark) which was awarded the Nelson Book Award from the Kansas Authors Club,  This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize), and the Editor-in-Chief of Poetry Cooperative/Heartland: Poetry of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. Her book Arteries is forthcoming this May. Harbor Review’s Washburn Prize is named in her honor. Washburn reads Tuesday, April 16, at 7 pm at Ad Red Fern Booksellers.
  • Bradford Tice is the author of two books of poetry: Rare Earth (New Rivers Press, 2013), which was named the winner of the 2011 Many Voices Project and a 2014 Debut-litzer finalist, and What the Night Numbered (Trio House Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Trio Award. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, as well as in Best American Short Stories 2008. His poetry was also selected as the winner of Prairie Schooner’s 2009 Edward Stanley Award. He currently teaches at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Tice reads Tuesday, April 23, at 7 pm at Red Fern Booksellers.
  • In the decades since Patricia Traxler moved to Salina from San Diego, she has been active in the cultural life of the city. The founder and longtime director of Salina’s Spring Poetry Series, she also taught at Kansas Wesleyan University for more than three decades. Traxler is the author of four volumes of poetry (most recently,  Naming the Fires); a novel, Blood; and a short-story collection, In the Skin. She is currently at work on a book of essays, Don’t Ask Me, and a volume of her collected poems, as yet untitled. Traxler reads Tuesday, April 30, at 7 pm at Red Fern Booksellers.