Rick Malsick hosts (and plays), along with musical guests River Cow Orchestra and Jim Abel. Jason Preu, Brandon Whitehead, James Benger, and Martha Gershun will read poetry, and there will be art by The Visual Arts Group and Thomas Cobian, The Neon Warrior. This is a free quarterly event produced by Martha Gershun and Maryfrances Wagner – all tips go to support The Writer’s Place. Bring a snack or dessert for the table. And definitely BYOB.
James Benger is a father, husband and writer. His work has been featured in several publications. He is the author of two fiction ebooks: Flight 776 (2012) and Jack of Diamonds (2013), and two chapbooks of poetry: As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016) and You’ve Heard It All Before (GigaPoem 2017). He is a member of the Riverfront Readings Committee in Kansas City, and is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online poetry workshop and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.
Martha Gershun is one of the co-creators of Music + Poetry + Art. In 2009 she began partnering with Rick Malsick, Maryfrances Wagner, and Thomas Cobian to produce this quarterly Neon event, and we’ve been going strong for 8 years. In the real world, Martha recently retired as Executive Director of Jackson County CASA, a local nonprofit that helps 1,200 abused and neglected children every year. She is now spending her time working on her poetry and writing a novel about three children in foster care.
Jason Preu writes while not living in Brooklyn. His prose and poetry tend toward the weird and ineffable. His last collection of poems, The Avocado Among Other Fruits (Spartan Press, 2016) was about fruit and God. His next book of poems is about more than fruit and God. It is about wizards...and being awesome...and sadness. That book is titled More Poems About Purple Wizards and Our Neon Bright Exceptionalism (EMP, 2017).
Brandon Whitehead is originally from Oklahoma, where there are generally only two accepted ways in which a man may express himself: silence or rage. Brandon studied violin at the University of Kansas. Yes. Violin. Brandon likes to drink beer, smoke cigarettes and play role-playing games. Brandon has been a furniture mover, a short-order cook, a movie and music reviewer, a bartender, a camera operator for a local news station, a warehouse foreman for a blood bank and a courier of bio-hazardous materials. Brandon is one of the last of the old time projectionists. Brandon has a really cool collection of robot and spaceship toys which you are not allowed to touch. He lives in KC,KS, in a tiny apartment that doesn't adhere to normal Euclidian geometry. He spends his nights writing poems and stories while listening to the strange old man that lives above him play the violin.