Log in

Featured Members

If you are a Writers Place member and would like to be featured, please contact Cory Unrein or Maryfrances Wagner. 

Steve Paul is our December featured member. After more than four decades as a Kansas City journalist, Steve Paul, longtime member and supporter of TWP, turned his research and writing efforts toward literary biography. Literary Alchemist: The Writing Life of Evan S. Connell (University of Missouri Press, December 2021) follows his biography debut, Hemingway at Eighteen (Chicago Review Press, 2017). Steve also is the editor of Kansas City Noir (Akashic, 2012), a collection of contemporary short fiction by 14 writers. A former winner of the Stanley Hanks Prize from the St. Louis Poetry Center, he has published poetry in New LettersI-70 Review, the Jerry Jazz Musician website and elsewhere. He's currently at work researching a potential biography of the poet William Stafford. And he regularly writes cultural commentary for KC Studio, the bimonthly magazine and website.

Marianne Kunkel, our November featured member, is the author of Hillary, Made Up (Stephen F. Austin State University Press) and The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press), as well as poems that have appeared in The Missouri ReviewThe Notre Dame ReviewHayden’s Ferry ReviewRattle, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Johnson County Community College, where she teaches children's literature and composition. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was the managing editor of Prairie Schooner and the African Poetry Book Fund. She is the editor-in-chief of Kansas City Voices and Kansas City Voices Youth and chair of The Writers Place‘s Youth Committee. She recently co-edited a poetry anthology, Curating Home (Woodneath Press), with Jose Faus and Glenn North that won the Missouri Library's Association's 2021 Literary Award. In her free time, she loves thrift-store shopping, attending political protests, and cooking vegetarian meals.


Our October featured member, Judith Towse Roberts, is an area writer, teacher of creative writing, and poet. Judith graduated from The University of Missouri at Kansas City with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and went on to receive her M.A. in English/Education, as well as a second Master's in Counseling/Psychology. Mid-America Press published her book of poetry, Chrysanthemums I Once Thought Sweet, a finalist for the Thorpe Menn Book Award.

During her years of teaching, she published books of student creative writing that won awards for excellence at both the state and national levels.  Her poetry and prose have appeared in many literary magazines as well as Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul. Judith retired from Avila University where she taught composition and finished a career of 40 years of teaching in both public and private schools. For nine years, she served as coordinator for In Our Own Words, a youth program for at-risk students sponsored by The Writers Place.  Through that program, she continues to teach writing workshops for inner city students.

Our September featured member is Polly Alice McCann. Polly Alice McCann's lyrical poetry paints a picture of the narratives of the internal heartland. Poet, curator, artist, editor, speaker. She is a writing professor, founder, and managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press. With a B.A. in Studio Art and her MFAC in Writing from Hamline University, Polly shows her art internationally-- recently in the Netherlands and Santa Monica, CA. She has been published in US newspapers and magazines, most recently Rattle Magazine. She credits much of her creative work due to her research on dreams which won her the 2014 Ernest Hartmann award from Berkeley, CA. She says her favorite thing is to tell stories-- other people's, her own-- maybe yours. Find out more at pollymccann.com. You can find her first three books of narrative free verse, KinlightTea with Alice, and Puss ‘n Bo├Âtes: Dark Poems. Find her at www.pollymccann.com.

In 2020 she founded Ketchupedia to connect writers, artists, and creatives in the Kansas City area and region through dialogue surrounding resources & collaboration. Ketchupedia helps poets “catch up” with their art, other creatives, and their audience through podcast, radio, and an annual poet in residence to create a single author collection by a regional poet who connects community advocacy and the arts, as well as poetry editor mentorships to exponentially increase the sharing of poetry.

For the month of August, we feature David Arnold Hughes. David Arnold Hughes Is a retired Firefighter and poet. He currently lives in North Kansas City MO. David has been a member of TWP since about 2003. He has participated in many readings at TWP, served on the outreach committee, and as a repairer of locks, lights, and other small maintenance issues and was once named, Member Of The Year.

He co-hosted Blue Monday Open Mic.at Uptown Arts Bar, for a couple of years, and guest hosted readings at Corbin Theater in Liberty MO a number of times. He has frequently read at bars, coffee houses, libraries, book stores, and theaters throughout  the Kansas City area. He has been published in a number of poetry journals around the Midwest, as well as the west coast and UK.

He has published 3 chapbooks, 2 are still in print. They are, in chronological order: Firefighters And Stained Glass Women, blue chair press 2005, The Sound Time Makes, iUniverse 2008, Born A Stranger, Spartan Press 2017.

For the month of July, we are featuring Gary Lechliter. Gary Lechliter is a birder, poet, and editor.  He has written poetry since 1981 and gives credit to Michael Heffernan, Jim McCray, Tom Wilson, Brian Daldorph and Philip Miller as mentors.  James Tate, William Stafford, Mark Strand and Anne Sexton have influenced his writing style. He is recipient of the Langston Hughes Award and the David Ray Award.  He is the author of four books of poetry and the edited anthology The Shining Years. In addition to managing editor of I-70 Review, Gary is an editor for Woodley Memorial Press. He holds an advanced degree in psychology and worked in the Mental Health field for many years.  He and his wife Camille will be re-locating to New Mexico in 2021. 

For the month of June, we are featuring Beth Gulley. Gulley lives in Spring Hill, Kansas and teaches writing at Johnson County Community College. She has an MA from UMKC and a PhD from the University of Kansas. When not writing about teaching, Beth primarily writes poetry.

She in 2018 published a chapbook, $!*# Hole Countries: A Find and Replace Meditation.  Her poems also appear in the Bards Against Hunger Anthology, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, the Thorny Locust, and The Gasconade Review Presents: Storm A’Comin’, Kansas Letters to a Young Poet, and the 105 Meadowlark Reader. She has been a proud member of the Facebook group 365 Poems in 365 Days since 2015, and her poems appear in all three of the 365 Poems in 365 Days anthologies.

Beth serves on the Riverfront Reading Committee and is a Writer’s Place board member. When not writing and teaching, she loves thrift store shopping, traveling, and drinking coffee. More information can be found on her blog at https://timeeasesallthings.wordpress.com/.

For the month of May, we are featuring member Catherine Anderson. Anderson’s most recent collection of poetry is Everyone I Love Immortal (Woodley Press). Other collections are Woman with a Gambling Mania (Mayapple Press), The Work of Hands (Perugia) and In the Mother Tongue (Alice James Books).  A recipient of the Cornelia C. Ward Fellowship in Poetry at Syracuse University where she received an MA in English, she has received awards from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, The Crab Orchard Review and the I-70 Review. In 2019, she was a finalist for the Jake Adam York Auburn Witness Poetry Prize from the Southern Humanities Review. Poems have also appeared in bosque, the Dunes Review, the Laurel Review and other journals. She lives in Kansas City and works at Jewish Vocational Service where she heads programs for spoken language interpreters from the city’s immigrant communities. On the third Monday of the month she facilitates the Poetry Reading Circle sponsored by The Writer’s Place.

Everyone I Love Immortal, Woodley Memorial Press


Woman With a Gambling Mania, Mayapple Pres


For the month of April, The Writers Place is featuring Wayne Courtois. Wayne has been involved with The Writers Place since 2010, has served as a board member and is currently a member of the TWP Programming Committee.

Wayne is author of the award-winning memoir A Report from Winter, the literary novel Tales My Body Told Me, and the gay erotic novels My Name Is Rand and In the Time of Solution 9. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including The Shining Years, I-70 Review, Hibernation and Other Poems by Gay Bards, and Assaracus (poetry) and Jonathan (fiction) from Sibling Rivalry Press.

Wayne is owner and sole proprietor of The Art of Grants, LLC, and as a grant writer has raised millions for HIV/AIDS services, hospice care, and the arts. He lives in Kansas City with his husband of 32 years, author and translator Ralph Seligman.

Featured member: William Trowbridge

In March, TWP featured member William Trowbridge.  Bill has served as a Writers Place board member and is currently a member of TWP programming committee.  William Trowbridge’s ninth poetry collection, The Complete Fool, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2022. His latest, Oldguy Superhero: The Complete Collection, came out from Red Hen in 2019. His other collections are Put this on, Please: New and Selected Poems, Ship of FoolThe Complete Book of Kong, Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger. His poems have appeared in more than 40 anthologies and textbooks, as well as on The Writer's Almanac, AnAmerican Life in Poetry,  and in such periodicals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, Plume, Columbia, Rattle, The Iowa ReviewPrairie Schooner, Epoch, and New Letters. He lives in the Kansas City area and teaches in the University of Nebraska Low-residency MFA in Writing Program. He was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012 to 2016.

If you are a Writers Place member and would like to be featured, please contact Cory Unrein or Maryfrances Wagner. 

(c) 2023 The Writers Place

31 W. 31st ST, Kansas City MO 64108

Email: info@writersplace.org 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software