Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Sunday! December 7! 7 O'clock!

Please come to our An Actual Kansas Poetry Reading and Christmas Cookie Eating Party on Sunday Night at 7 p.m. at the lovely Gallery 6. This Actual Kansas features two tireless poets who have found their ways near Kansas, and who we are excited to bring to you.

Matthew Henriksen edits Typo & Cannibal Books. Recent poems appear in The Cultural Society, Third Coast, Handsome Journal, and Poemeleon. He recently moved back to Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Brooklyn, but like many good poets, he is a native of Wisconsin and an avid baseball fan.

Jordan Stempleman is the author of Their Fields (Moria, 2005), What’s the Matter (Otoliths, 2007), Facings (Otoliths, 2007), The Travels (Otoliths, 2008), and String Parade (BlazeVOX, 2008). Individual poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Big Bell, Court Green, The Hat, Jacket, and New American Writing. He lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute, and is the Associate Editor of The Continental Review.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Actual Kansas Pictures

Much thanks to Elaine Litzau for her impromptu intro of me at Mike, Karl, and Jim's reading, and for these pictures of said reading:

Jim "McCracken" McCrary.

K. Kenneth Saffran.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friday Night Reading!

Friday / November 7, 2008 / 7pm

6 Gallery

(716.5 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS)

Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collection, Winter Sex (Verse Press, 2002) and the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown, 2003), which Publishers Weekly included on its list of the Best Nonfiction Books of the Year and Esquire Magazine named one of its eight Best Books of the Year. Her second poetry book, The Heaven-Sent Leaf was recently released by BOA Editions, and will be available at the reading.

Katy's poems and prose have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Harvard Review, GQ, and elsewhere. She has been anthologized in Body Electric (Norton), From Poe to the Present: Great American Prose Poems (Scribner), and State of the Union (Wave Books), among other compilations. She serves as a Poetry Editor of Fence Magazine.

Katy is keeping a blog about her current book tour.

Given An Actual Kansas' obsession with tha skrilla/tha cheddah/cash money, this blurb on Katy's new book is appropriate to include here:

. . . Lederer charts her speakers' interior landscapes according to the [New York C]ity's highly monetized geography, viewing life in the big city through the lens of expenditure— not just of money, but of all that money signifies. In poems that are both heartfelt and ruthlessly critical of our current financial milieu, in which the fates of individuals are packaged, priced out, and then bundled for sale on the open market, Lederer proves Robert Graves's famous observation wrong: though there may be no money in poetry, there is indeed poetry in money.

Katy works at "a hedge fund in midtown Manhattan."

Kazim Ali is is the author of two books of poetry, The Far Mosque (Alice James Books), winner of Alice James Books' New England/New York Award, and The Fortieth Day (BOA Editions 2008). He is also the author of the novel Quinn’s Passage (blazeVox books), named one of Chronogram magazine's Best Books of 2005.

He is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the University of Southern Maine. His work has been featured in many national journals such as Best American Poetry 2007, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street, jubilat, and Massachusetts Review. He is one of the founding editors of Nightboat Books.

For excerpts and audio, to order books, and for other things Kazim Ali, visit his website.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCrary, Hauser, Saffran to read at 6 Gallery.

Karl Saffran (b. 1981) works as Bookstore Guru at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. He recently read his "dead wrestler sonnets" at an event involving live wrestlers. He is the only other person I know who is in horrible debt but doesn't change his spending habits. He is also the only person that can bring me to tears with personal criticism. He co-curates Salacious Banter Reading Series with Mike Hauser, who has said Karl looks like a bearded Peter Lorre.

Mike Hauser (b. 1978) is the author of several chapbooks of poetry, most recently Psychic Headset (Mitzvah Chaps, 2008) and Close Gauge Petcock (Dodo, 2007). His blog, The Last Billowy Shirt, provides absurd respite to all who visit. He co-curates the Salacious Banter Reading Series in Milwaukee with Karl Saffran, who has said Mike resembles a young Wilhelm Reich. Here are some poems by Mike in Dusie #5.

Jim McCrary (b. ????) is a Lawrence dood whose collected chapbooks are forthcoming (2008) by ManyPenny Press. His list of “poetic friends” includes or has included Paul Blackburn, Tom Beckett, David Ignatow, Kenneth Irby, John Moritz, and countless others. He probably now hates me for "name-dropping". But he is generous, and will probably get over it. Here are poems by Jim in Locus Point.

26 October 2008, 7pm

Where: 6 Gallery (716 1/2 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS)

How much: Free (but you can buy books and donate monies for traveling poets)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Actual September 12: Brandon Brown and Judith Roitman

Brandon Brown is a poet and translator from Kansas City, Missouri. His poems have appeared or are about to appear in Abraham Lincoln, Aufgabe, Dusie, Small Town, and Work (alphabetically). Cy Press published a chapbook Memoirs of My Nervous Illness and Transmission Press published another one, 908-1078, both in 2006. TAXT Press in Oakland will publish Camels! in 2008; Mitzvah Chaps will Publish Wondrous Things I Have Seen in 2009. He currently co-curates The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand Gallery with Alli Warren and publishes small press books under the imprint OMG!

Here is a short blog post where Brandon talks about himself and also links to several places where he has been published on-line.

Judith Roitman
is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas where she is, this semester, teaching "abstract algebra." Her poetry (and I'm just copying and pasting this from Judy's KU site now) "has appeared in First Intensity, Spectaculum, Black Spring, Bird Dog, Locus Point, and 31 (an unbound chapbook anthology). A chapbook, The stress of meaning: variations on a line of Susan Howe, was published in 1997 by Standing Stones Press, a second chapbook, Diamond Notebooks, was published in 1998 by nominative press collective, and a third chapbook, Slippage, was published in 1999 by Potes and Poets Press. A book No Face: Selected and New was published in 2008 by First Intensity Press. A chapbook (actually, a bunch of unbound cards) Ku: a thumb book is forthcoming from Crane's Bill Books."

Friday, June 20, 2008

An Actual Kansas Chapbook Release Reading, Feat. Chuck Stebelton and Anne Boyer

This is a special edition of An Actual Kansas Reading Series. Both readers have chapbooks (the first two) on the newly minted Mitzvah Chaps.

Chuck Stebelton is Literary Program Manager at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI, and a friend of mine. Before that, he spent some time in Chicago curating the Myopic Poetry Series. His first full-length book of poetry, Circulation Flowers, was released by Tougher Disguises in 2005. Other chapbooks include Flags and Banners (Bronze Skull Press) and Precious (Answer Tag Home Press). Chuck enjoys good beer, please bring some to the reading to share with him.

Here is something from Tim Yu discussing Chuck's work and the 'controversial' Prairie School of Poetry.

Here is a video of Chuck reading poems:

And another one of him eating penne with a fake moustache for 'unknown' reasons:

Untitled from Chuck Stebelton on Vimeo.

Anne Boyer lives in a suburban Kansas hellscape with a charming cat, an artist prodigy daughter, and a lot of books. She is also a friend of mine, in my top 10 favorite 'writers', and my co-curator of An Actual Kansas Readings Series. Her first full length poetry book, The Romance of Happy Workers, was released this year by Coffee House Press. Other chapbooks include Anne Boyer's Good Apocalypse (Effing Press) and Selected Dreams (Abraham Lincoln).

Here is a review of The Romance of Happy Workers.

Here is a video Anne made that is funny:

Sunday, June 29, 2008, 7pm

6 Gallery, Lawrence, KS (716 1/2 Massachusetts Street)

Free but you can spend money on books.

'Substantial' 'snacks' will be 'provided'.

For to order the new chapbooks ahead of time, or anytime thereafter, visit If you live in Lawrence, I will 'hand deliver' them. If you live other places and plan to come to the reading, you 'might as well' wait, because they won't arrive in time. You can buy both chapbooks at the reading for 'only' $10, which is a 'deal'.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Actual Kansas Special Edition: Rachel Sherman

Rachel Sherman was born in 1975. She holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney's, Open City, Post Road, Conjunctions, n+1, and Story Quarterly, among other publications, and in the book Full Frontal Fiction: The Best of Nerve Anthology . Her book of short stories, The First Hurt (Open City Books) was short listed for The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and was named one of the 25 Books to Remember from 2006 by the New York Public Library.

Rachel will read:

Friday, May 2, 2008 @ 7pm

6 Gallery
(716.5 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, KS)

Free (but please put something in the "passed hat" if you can -- it will help cover the cost of Rachel's movement from where she lives in NYC to the airport, which is some insane amount that people in Kansas can't comprehend.)

An Actual Kansas Reading Series is teaming up with the University of Kansas English Department to welcome Rachel. Deb Olin Unferth asked us if we would consider making Rachel's visit part of the series so that she didn't have to read in some unfriendly university room in Wescoe Hall and instead read at the very friendly and cozy 6 Gallery that houses AAKRS and lots of art that you should buy. We jumped at the opportunity to take part in the event, so did Sally (of 6 Gallery). It should be fun.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The legendary Jennifer "el" Knox, Danielle Pafunda, and Shanna Compton
7 pm, Saturday, April 5, 2008
6 Gallery (716 1/2 Massachusetts St., downtown Lawrence)

there will be wine and chicken buckets

Jennifer L. Knox was born in Lancaster, California—where absolutely anything can be made into a bong. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies The Best American Poetry (1997, 2003 and 2006), Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to Present, Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books, and The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present. She has taught poetry writing at New York University and Hunter College, and is available for children’s parties, séances, and tradeshow booth demonstrations. For even more specious information, see

Danielle Pafunda is the author of Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull, 2005), and the chapbook A Primer for Cyborgs: The Corpse (Whole Coconut Chapbook Series, forthcoming). Her poems have been chosen three times for Best American Poetry (2004, 2006, and 2007). Other poems and reviews have appeared in such publications as American Letters & Commentary, Conjunctions, the Georgia Review, and TriQuarterly. She is coeditor of the online journal La Petite Zine, a doctoral candidate in the University of Georgia's creative writing program, and Spring 2008 Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College Chicago. See for more information.

Shanna Compton is the author of For Girls (& Others), Down Spooky, and several chapbooks, as well as the editor of GAMERS: Artists, Writers & Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels. Her poems and essays have appeared widely in magazines such as No Tell Motel, MiPoesias, Verse, the tiny, McSweeney's, Absent, Coconut, Spork, and Court Green, and in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2005, The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, Bowery Women, Digerati, and Exchange Values Vol. 2. She lives in New Jersey. For more information, see

Donations lovingly pried from your hands!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"the best reading series ever"

deb olin unferth reads "sickos" from her McSweeney's threeway

tao lin explores the emotional lives of the child stars

this photo does not do service to the appreciators piled up to the door

More photos are in a flickr set.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More on AAKRS #4

Tao Lin's second poetry collection, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, will be published by Melville House in May, 2008. He lives in Brooklyn.

Tao's main blog about literature is called Reader of Depressing Books.

He also posts his visual art on Underwater Hamster.

Here are two little e-books by Tao Lin on Bear Parade:

this emotion was a little e-book

Today The Sky is Blue and White with
Bright Blue Spots and a Small Pale
Moon and I Will Destroy Our
Relationship Today

Tao Lin interviewed Deb Olin Unferth for Bookslut.

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of the story collection Minor Robberies (McSweeney's). Her first novel is forthcoming, also from McSweeney's.

Frank Tankard at interviewed Deb.

AGNI has something Deb.

YouTube has something Deb, too:

An Actual Kansas #4