Midwest Poets Series 40th Anniversary Celebration and Readings

Thursday, February 8, 2024 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Record Bar, 1520 Grand Blvd., KCMO

In honor of the 40th year of the founding of the Midwest Poets Series, Rockhurst University will host a celebratory reading event featuring six nationally-known guest poets in downtown Kansas City!. George Abraham, Leila Chatti, Marlin M. Jenkins, Karyna McGlynn, Erika Meitner and Khadijah Queen will read a selection of works. Beverages available for purchase—snacks provided while supplies last. All are welcome at this FREE event, but you must show an ID to enter. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Please register in advance here as seating is limited. A bus departing at 6:15 p.m. from the Rockhurst campus to downtown and back is available for Rockhurst students. Register here if you are an RU student and would like to reserve a seat (roundtrip) on the bus.

About the Featured Event Poets:

George Abraham (they/هو) is a Palestinian American poet. Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020) won the Arab American Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. They are currently executive editor for Mizna, and are a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, The Arab American National Museum, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, National Performance Network, and more. They are currently co-editing a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology with Noor Hindi (Haymarket Books, 2024) and are a Litowitz MFA+MA candidate at Northwestern University.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), winner of the 2021 Levis Reading Prize, the 2021 Luschei Prize for African Poetry, and longlisted for the 2021 PEN Open Book Award, and four chapbooks. Her honors include multiple Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Cleveland State University. Her poems appear in The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Atlantic, POETRY, and elsewhere. She is a Provost Fellow at the University of Cincinnati and teaches in Pacific University’s M.F.A. program.

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit. The author of the poetry chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press, 2020) and a graduate of University of Michigan's MFA program, their poems, stories, and essays have found lots of good homes online and in print. When they’re not writing or mentoring young people, they’re playing video games and watching cartoons. They currently live and teach in Minnesota.

Karyna McGlynn is a writer, educator, and collagist. She is the author of three poetry collections from Sarabande Books, including 50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse, which was a 2023 Lambda Literary finalist, and Hothouse, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She received her PhD in Creative Writing & Literature from University of Houston. Her writing has appeared in Poetry, The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, New England Review, and Kenyon Review. Karyna is the Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and is currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Poetry in the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. 

Erika Meitner is the author of six books of poems, including Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010)—a 2009 National Poetry Series winner; Copia (BOA Editions, 2014); and Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018), winner of the National Jewish Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. Her poems have appeared recently in The New Yorker, Electric Literature, Oxford American, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Meitner is currently a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her newest book, Useful Junk, was published by BOA Editions in 2022.

Khadijah Queen is the author of six books of innovative poetry and hybrid prose, most recently Anodyne (Tin House 2020), winner of the William Carlos Williams award from the Poetry Society of America. Individual works appear in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Harper’s Magazine, The Poetry Review (UK) and widely elsewhere. In fall 2023 she completed a six-week writing residency in Umbertide, Italy, awarded by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. A Cave Canem alumna, she holds a PhD in English form University of Denver. Her book of literary theory and criticism, Radical Poetics, is forthcoming in 2025 from University of Michigan Press.