Press Release from Kansas Humanities Council (April 15,
View KHC Page
Photo credit: Kelly Magerkurth
Kansas Humanities Council (KHC) announced that Eric McHenry of
Lawrence, Kansas has been named the 2015-2017 Poet
Laureate of Kansas. In this role, McHenry will promote the
humanities as a public resource for all Kansans through public
readings, presentations, and discussions about poetry in communities
across the state.
“Eric brings to the Poet Laureate of Kansas position an abundance of
talent and enthusiasm,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of
the Kansas Humanities Council. “As a writer, his words seem
effortless, although we know how meticulously and thoughtfully he
deliberates on each. As a teacher, his intelligence and humor make
poetry come alive. The combination of these qualities will make Eric
an exceptional poet laureate for our state.”
“There’s nothing I love more than sharing poetry with people, and I
look forward to doing that in every corner of Kansas over the next
two years,” said McHenry. “I think we’re all grateful when we
encounter language that’s equal to life’s richness and complexity.
Poetry can provide that.”
Eric McHenry is a nationally known poet and associate professor of
English at Washburn University in Topeka. His work has been featured
in publications such as Poetry
International, Slate, Yale
Review, and Topeka magazine,
among many others. He also contributes poetry reviews for the New
York Times and Columbia magazine. Odd
Evening, his third book of poems, will be published by Waywiser
Press in 2016.
A fifth-generation Topeka native, Eric has been nominated for the
Pushcart Prize for poetry seven times and received the Theodore
Roethke Prize in 2011. His first book of poems, Potscrubber
Lullabies, earned him the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery
Award in 2007, the largest American prize for a first book of poetry
Outside of the college classroom, Eric has taught poetry in various
settings, including K-12 teacher workshops, adolescent service
agencies, local authors’ groups, and libraries.
Click here to request
a Poet Laureate of Kansas presentation with Eric McHenry or e-mail
Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at
Initial support of the Poet Laureate of Kansas
program is made possible by the Friends of Naomi Patterson: Carol
Patterson Baldwin, David Patterson,Kent and Susan Garlinghouse
Russell and Jane Greene.
Additional support comes from KHC’s Friends
of the Humanities.
Click here to make a
donation in support of the Poet Laureate of Kansas program.