Denise Low, Ph.D., former Poet Laureate of Kansas, is winner of the Red Mountain Presspu-s5-1500x1500-PoetryUnbound_DeniseLow-01-768x768 Editor’s Choice Award, among other honors. She taught creative writing at the University of Richmond and the University of Kansas, and she founded the creative writing program at Haskell Indian Nations University. She is a free-lance writer/editor and teaches for Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies. She is a founding member of Indigenous Native Poets invited her to be a founding member. She resides in Healdsburg, California. Denise Low does individual consulting and editing, as well as professional workshops.  Her writing blog has over 400 entries.

Poetry Unbound’s close reading of  “Walking with My Delaware Grandfather,” is by Pádraig Ó Tuama. The poem is in Mélange Block, which is out of stock at SPD; but I have some copies to sell directly. Contact me at kansaspoetry [at] gmail [dot] com. This lovely letterpress image is by Myrna Keliher. Photo by Lucero Torres. © All Rights Reserved

Denise Low is a co-translator (among 30+) of this amazing publication, the last untranslated Greek epic, by Nonnus of 9780472038961DionysusEpic Panopolis, Tales of Dionysus ( . Thanks to Stan Lombardo and William Levitan for corralling poets to individually translate sections.

Purchase WING: Poems by Denise Low pAYpALlOGO

New poetry is from Red Mountain Press, Wing: Imagined and real worlds intersect as lyric poet Denise Low dances between mortals and the dead, humans and animals, her European and Indigenous heritages. Real pandemics and wildfires set the stage as she illumines connections between the rational and intuitive. This former Poet Laureate of Kansas mourns the lost buffalo herds and celebrates the irresistible and beautiful material world of art, from Renaissance paintings to recent works by Nick Cave, Julie Buffalohead, and Peter Max. History is a living entity in the works: English lords court on teacups; a spirit woman walks Cimarron Breaks. Two hands and vestigial limbs—including wings—are tools for understanding the dualities of existence. Low’s rich work sings a healing song, knitting opposites together into a whole. Publication date:4/1/2021,  Red Mountain Press ISBN978-1-952204-10-4; SKU #: F18A, 74 pages, 3 oz. Available at a discount from the author, 50 copies available.

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.

Shadow Light: Poems, winner of the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award, a SPD Recommended Book 


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 by Denise Low, (retail $16.95) for $11 email mammothpubs@gmail; or order here:

PAYPAL-click here  

PayPal for single copies, Multiple copies Email See book details on this site.

A Casino Bestiary: Poems by Denise Low is available

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.” 

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.”

Low reads from The Turtle’s Beating Heart at the Virginia Book Festival, with Lulu Miller and Ben Kessler: Soundcloud Audio. See her Academy of American Poets discussion .

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.  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 Denise.web.14.Daileyessay 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.

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