Denise Low, Ph.D., is a former Poet Laureate of Kansas and winner of the 2018 Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award, among other honors. She has taught creative writing in graduate programs of the University of Richmond and the University of Kansas. She founded the creative writing program at Haskell Indian Nations University.
Thank you to Shirley Braunlich for this review essay about Jackalope, A Casino Bestiary, and Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival.
Advanced Poetry Workshop with Denise Low, Online or KC area, Jan. 22-Mar. 5. (FULL. Contact Denise Low for Online options.) Poets as Innovators Study of individual poets who have had an influence on the American tradition, especially those who write prose poems, experimental work, inspiring work. We will take apart poems and see what makes them work. I remember my brother disassembling wristwatches and exposing all the tiny springs and gears. This course will do the same with poems. To join, email kansaspoetry[at]gmail.com
- William Stafford (he can write about 2, 3, and 4 timeframes in a single poem)
- Charles Simic, prose poems, with a look at Rimbaud’s Season in Hell
- Ronald Johnson (erasure inventer, ultra-compression)
- Francis Ponge, “poet of things,” who included his process with his poems https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/francis-ponge
- Hadara Bar Nadav’s inversions of points of view
- Other topics/poets: Talk poetry of Tommy Pico; Claudia Rankine’s mixed genre in Citizen;
I’ll work with Poetry Foundation samples of poems mostly, so no need to buy books. The course includes weekly course materials, online editing of 2 poems a week, plus: In person: workshop meeting, access to online/in-person print materials, and OPTIONAL online editing of 2 poems before the class meeting (48 hrs. ahead of the meeting time). We meet 6-8pm: Jan. 22, 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 26, Mar. 5. (March 12 snow day). Meetings are in the Johnson Co. Central Resource Library, Study Room 9 (Jan. 22) and Study Room 10 (all meetings after Jan. 22). We have the room reserved starting at 5:45 pm for informal chatting. Regular workshop participants who miss a meeting may access online materials and participate in online editing/chat rooms. Online option only, review of the session’s portfolio at the end (editing and suggestions for publication of 10 revised poems from the course). Terms are $30@ or 6 for $150, payable through PayPal, Google Wallet, or Square (credit cards): mammothpubs[at]gmail.com. Cash or checks (made out to Mammoth Publications) work also.
SHADOW LIGHT shifts poetics into the natural world–laws of optics. Words are lenses to sort lineages—Lenape (Delaware), European, Cherokee—into harmony. This beautiful assemblage uses inter-textual dialogues, silences, and explosions of images to celebrate an unlikely personal and historical survival.
“Denise Low’s SHADOW LIGHT extends her poetics to the realm of natural magic: Lyric embedded with Story. History embedded with Myth. English challenged with Native languages. Imagery enriched with Sound. Pop Culture meshed with ritual Culture. The built Environment genuflecting to the natural Environment. SHADOW LIGHT is masterful poetry.”—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Online discount for Moods in Poetry: A Guidebook for Writers, (retail $16.95) for $11 email mammothpubs@gmail; snail mail 1916 Stratford Rd., Lawrence, KS 66044 or order here:
PayPal for single copies, Multiple copies Email See book details on this site.
Spartan Press of Kansas City ONLY A FEW COPIES REMAIN of this small-run edition. Keven Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas: “A Casino Bestiary continues Denise Low’s exploration of the frontier West, what it means for Indigenous and settler citizens, its myths and boundaried realities. This is the most personal of Low’s books, full of wit, sting, surprise.Denise Low-Weso, a prolific polymath, is the author of 25 books of poetry and prose. She has a poet’s heart and a scholar’s mind, and she sounds the depths of where she’s researched and been and lived, capturing moments [in Casino Bestiary] with Wm S. Burroughs, Thelonious Monk, and rooms of ghosts.”
Story from Jackalope (Red Mountain Press) airs on High Plains Public Radio “Jackalope Walks into a Truck Stop.”
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is award-winning author of 25 books of poetry and prose. She does individual consulting and editing, as well as professional workshops. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications ,an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star and other venues. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies.
The University of Nebraska Press published a memoir about her Native grandfather in 2017: Bison Books-The Turtle’s Beating Heart. Kirkus Reviews writes: “An engagingly written mix of research, reportage, and memoir, infused with the passion of discovery.” Library Journal writes: “Readers interested in the 20th-century American Indian experience will find this to be a valuable account.” In the Minn. Star-Tribune Pamela Miller writes: Low does Americans with Indian ancestry a valuable service by illuminating the unique and often terrible circumstances and choices their forebears faced.” In Forward Reviews Letitia Montgomery Rodgers writes: “An accomplished poet, Low’s well-honed prose flows with lyric intensity. In Kansas, a place ‘where eternity has a real valence,’ she searches for documentary evidence of her ancestors’ passage through history and for the timeless threads of culture—familial and tribal—that could offer an unbroken legacy.”
A book of short fiction, Jackalope, is from Red Mountain Press (Santa Fe, 2016), also available from Small Press Distribution or this website: PAY PAL – JACKALOPE. See a video of Jackalope reading in KC. Cream City Review nominated Low’s flash fiction piece “A Jackalope Walks into an Indian Bar” for a Pushcart Prize.
Her book of poetry Melange Block (Red Mountain Press 2014), explores geological scales of elegies, celebrations, and American Indian and European histories. PAY PAL-MELANGE BLOCK. She has won three Kansas Notable Book awards, five Pushcart Prize nominations, the Lichtor Poetry Prize, fellowships from the Ks. Arts Commission, The Newberry Library and the NEH, and Roberts Foundation Poetry Prize, 2nd place.
Online publications are an essay on the poet Ronald Johnson, an essay on the Black Mountain-related poet Kenneth Irby in Jacket2, an online chapbook In the Direction of North with paintings by Thomas Pecore Weso and new poems, Numero Cinq, May, 2016. Excerpts from Melange Block are featured on the We Wanted To Be Writers website. An interview is in the Museum of Americana literary journal. See her Poetry Foundation biography and sample poems; and Academy of American Poets biography.