The United Poets Laureate had its first convergence, “Poet Laureati!”, on March 14-15 in Lawrence, Kansas. Bringing together six poets laureate past and present, we launched ourselves with a reading March 14 at the Spencer Museum of Art, attended by over 85 people from Kansas and Missouri. On March 15, we hosted “Lunch Laureati: Brown Bag It with the Poets Laureate” at the Lawrence Arts Center, a noontime gathering to discuss the art of poetry and the writing life. Participating poets included Mary Swander, poet laureate of Iowa; Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of Kansas; Marilyn L. Taylor, poet laureate of Wisconsin; Walter Bargen, past poet laureate of Missouri; and Denise Low and Jonathan Holden, past poets laureate of Kansas.
We were so enthused by what came from this first Midwest Poets Laureate Convergence that next year, on March 13-14, we plan to invite all state poets laureate from throughout the U.S. to come to Lawrence, Kansas for a reading, and a mini-conference featuring various sessions and panels. We’ve found great joy, wonder and meaning in sharing with one another and each other various styles and angles of poetry, and the wild road trips we’ve each taken as poets laureate.
Thanks to our sponsors: Kansas Arts Commission, Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence Public Library, Spencer Museum of Art, Raven Bookstore, Free State Brewery and the Community Mercantile Food Co-op.
Photos (from top): Marilyn L. Taylor, Walter Bargen, Denise Low