Ethnic Voices Poetry Series


2011-2012 Series

Missouri Arts CouncilPartially supported by funding from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Books by all poets are available in the University Book Store.


Ada Limon

Originally from Sonoma, California, ADA LIMÓN is the author of three poetry collections, Sharks in the Waters (Milkweed, 2010), This Big Fake World (Pearl Editions, 2005), and Lucky Wreck (Autumn House, 2005). Her poetry has appeared in publications including The New Yorker and The Harvard Review. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. After working for a number of years as the Creative Director at Travel & Leisure magazine in New York she currently lives in California.


September 13
KC Public Library, Central Branch
14 West 10th St
Kansas City, MO
Reception 6PM
Presentation 6:30PM


Sherwin Bitsui

Sherwin Bitsui is originally from the Navajo Reservation and is a member of the Bitter Water Clan. Bitsui's first book of poems, Shapeshift, was published in 2003. His second book of poetry, Floodsong, received a 2010 PEN Open Book Award and an American Book Award. He is also the recipient of an Individual Poet Grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Marfa Residency, a Whiting Writers' Award and a Tucson MOCA Local Genius Award. Bitsui received a BA from University of Arizona Currently, Bitsui lives in Tucson, Arizona. 

October 27
Writers Place
3607 Pennsylvania
Kansas City, MO
(816) 753-1090 

6:30 Reception
7:00 Presentation


Latino Writers Collective

The Latino Writers Collective is a group of Latino writers living and working in the Kansas City metropolitan area with long-distance members in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. The Collective helps hone and polish the work of its members for publication. In addition to creative support, the Collective organizes and coordinates projects for the larger community, such as the Primera Página, Segunda Página, Tercera Página, and Cuarta Página Reading Series to showcase national and local Latino writers and provide role models and instruction to Latino youth. The mission of the Latino Writers Collective is to foster an environment where the voices of Latino students, blue collar workers, professionals, and homemakers can finally be heard, contributing their experience and vision to the larger community.

The Collective's anthology of poetry, Primera Página: Poetry From the Latino Heartland (Scapegoat Press), was published in 2008. It has received much national attention, including reviews in Bloomsbury Review, La Bloga, and Critical Mass: the Blog of the National Book Critics Circle. Primera Página won 2nd place in poetry for both the International Latino Book Awards and the Eric Hoffer Book Awards and was a finalist in poetry for the USA BookNews Award and in anthology for the ForeWord Magazine Book Award. They were also named Best of Kansas City 2008 by The PITCH for their festive, entertaining readings and events.

Read about the LWC

Mar 7, 2012
Park University in The Meetin' House
6:30 Reception
7:00 Reading

Rick Barot

Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. His first book, The Darker Fall, was the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and was published by Sarabande Books in 2002. Sarabande published his second book, Want, in 2008. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including New England Review,The New Republic, Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His work has also appeared in many anthologies, including The New Young American Poets, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Stanford University. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches both in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and Pacific Lutheran University Read more about Rick Barot.

March 21
Park University in The Meetin' House
6:30 Reception
7:00 Reading


Aracelis Girmay

Aracelis Girmay received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award for her second collection, Kingdom Animalia, which will be published by BOA Editions in fall 2011. She is the author of Teeth, a collection of poems published by Curbstone Press in 2007, which won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and was nominated for a Connecticut Book Award. Her poems have also been published in Ploughshares, Bellevue Literary Review, Indiana Review, Callaloo, and MiPOesias, among other journals. Her collage-based picture book, Changing, Changing: Story and Collages, was published by George Braziller in 2005. Girmay has been a featured reader at the Udi Aloni Project Room, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bowery Poetry Club, & prisons in Trenton & Manhattan. A recipient of fellowships from the Watson and Jerome Foundations, Girmay is a Cave Canem Fellow and serves on the board of the Acentos Foundation.The inheritor of Eritrean, Puerto Rican, and African-American traditions, she writes poetry, essays, and fiction. She regularly leads community writing workshops in Brooklyn and the Bronx and has taught in Drew University's low residency MFA Program and at Queens College. In September 2010, Girmay assumed duties as a full-time professor of poetry writing at Hampshire College.

April 6, 2012
American Jazz Museum
1616 E. 18th St
Kansas City, MO, 64108
7:00 Reception and Jazz Band
7:30 Reading
Jazz Band and Open Bar to Follow