State of Poetry: The Poets Laureate of Missouri and Kansas
Both Missouri and Kansas have a state bird, a state flower, a state tree – and for many years, a state poet laureate. Maryfrances Wagner began her two years as laureate in Missouri in July 2021. Kansas’ Huascar Medina wraps up a three-year term this December.
In a conversation moderated by the Library’s Anne Kniggendorf, Wagner and Medina discuss their work, the importance of poetry and their states’ poet laureate programs, what their roles entail, and what they’ve encountered in traveling Missouri and Kansas.
Wagner is a teacher from Independence and the author of nine poetry collections. Medina has published two collections of his work and lives in Topeka, where he edits the magazine seveneightfive.