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Kansas City artist Hector Casanova is an illustrator, artist and creates comic books. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross stopped by his studio in the West Bottoms to learn more about how he constructs the stories he tells in comic book form.

Kansas City poet Andres Rodriguez recently won a prestigious award for emerging writers from Poets and Writers magazine. Rodriguez has been writing for decades - he's the author of a literary study of the 19th century poet John Keats and a book called Night Song.

During the month of February, KCUR's Sunday morning program, New Letters on the Air is featuring writers who pay tribute to those who came before them. Kevin Young is an award-winning poet who was raised in Topeka and now teaches at Emory University in Atlanta.

Original oil paintings from the book We Are the Ship are now being exhibited at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum through April 13th. Kadir Nelson recently spoke with KCUR's Maria Carter about the book.

With all the academic work, ex-lineman and UMKC professor Pellom McDaniels also finds time to write poetry and paint. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recently asked him about the relationship between his different pursuits.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Photographer Ronnie Farley speaks about her book Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of the American West.

Chris Crutcher says when he first read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, it was a life-altering experience. It was the first time he'd read a book that spoke directly to him. Tapping into an authentic voice continues to be a goal for Crutcher as an award-winning author of books for young adults.

courtesy of the Kansas City Public Library

The latest Kansas City Women Writers series will feature one writer who recently moved away from Kansas City.

Derrick Barnes saw himself as a poet when he was in college, and tried his hand at writing a sex column while he was there. He later moved back to Kansas City, his hometown, and began writing for Hallmark. All of these experiences came together in his most recent book.

Kansas City artist Hector Casanova is an illustrator, artist and creates comic books. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross stopped by his studio in the West Bottoms to learn more about how he constructs the stories he tells in comic book form.

Celtic singer and songwriter Connie Dover's first published collection of poetry is called Winter Count (published by Unholy Day Press). Dover's poems have already received acclaim, including this from poet Li-Young Lee: "A lively blend of narrative and song, the voice in these poems...speaks out of the richness of family canon and apocrypha." Here, she reads the poem Suler Monday.

Kansas City, MO – Suler Monday

Photo of Langston Hughes is courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection.

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre will present the free performance of some of the Semple stories, and a selection of Hughes' poetry at the Kansas City Public Library on Sunday, January 14th at the Plaza Branch (SOLD OUT, check for waiting list) and Thursday, January 18th at the Central Library. The shows are part a series of script-in-hand performances at the library this year.

Kansas City poet Mbembe Milton Smith would have been 60 years old this month. He had written four books of poetry before he took his life at the age of 36. Two of Smith's early books were published by UMKC's Bkmk Press, which is re-releasing a copy of his Selected Poems in honor of his birthday.

Here, Loren Long reads his "Note to the Reader" from The Little Engine that Could.

Kansas City, MO – From Loren Long's "Note to the Reader"
from The Little Engine that Could:

She would start with a soft whisper . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Slowly her voice would grow . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Until finally with a resolute confidence, she'd read . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Local writer Gloria Martinez Adams says she responded to her father's death by writing a series of short stories, including La Muerte or A Death in the Family.

Kansas City, MO – For many Latinos, family plays a vital role in your life. And when a family member dies, it can be a time to create shared understandings of family - past, present and future...sometimes, through storytelling.

Two time Newbery Medal award winner Lois Lowry 's latest novel is called Gossamer. In this story's fictional world, creatures called Thin One and Littlest bestow dreams. Here Lowry reads an excerpt.

Kansas City, MO – Here Lowry reads an excerpt from the end of the book when the creature called Littlest is going home at the end of the night.

C.W. Gusewelle joined The Kansas City Star in 1955. He now writes a weekly column published Sundays on the front page of the Metropolitan section. On a recent Up to Date, Gusewelle talked to host Steve Kraske and shared a holiday story.

Angela Cervantes is one of two Kansas City writers featured in the recently released Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul. Her story included in the collection is about her father and his compadres. Here's Angela Cervantes reading What's Up with Dads and Porkchop Sandwiches?

Poet Rita Dove discusses her life and work during a conversation with Angela Elam from New Letters on the Air.

Kansas City, MO – Akron native Rita Dove finds literary inspiration everywhere for her writing. After penning her first play, she talks about the novelty of playwrighting with Angela Elam from New Letters on the Air.

Today in the US, Halloween seems to have lost most of its spiritual connections. Some diverse voices in Kansas City share their experiences about the holiday and frightening stories from their cultures.

Halloween Spooktacular Stories by Kansas Citians

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