WSU writers, musicians taking part in inaugural Kansas Book Festival

9:48:35 AM CDT - Thursday, September 21, 2006

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

Prolific Kansas historian Craig Miner, the new director of WSU’s creative writing program, and the popular WSU Steel Drum Ensemble will be among those representing the creative talents of WSU at the upcoming Kansas Book Festival Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30.

The festival, which is making its debut in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, was created to showcase the state’s literary talent and to celebrate books, arts and Kansas heritage, according to festival organizers. It is being produced by the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council and the Kansas Center for the Book.

Festival hours will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. It is free and open to the public.

The festival will feature four stages, with concurrent events featuring musicians, historical re-enactment actors, authors and dancers.

Miner, a distinguished business history professor at WSU who’s been called the “dean of Kansas history,” will appear on stage 2 from 10-11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 29.  The author of several books on local and state history, Miner most recently published “Next Year Country: Dust to Dust in Western Kansas, 1890-1940.”

The WSU Steel Drum Ensemble will perform from 1-2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, on stage 2.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, writers from WSU’s creative writing program – both faculty and alums – will appear on stage 3 from 1-2 p.m. Those participating are poet Rick Mulkey, an alum of the program who has returned this year to lead the graduate creative writing program; fiction writer Margaret Dawe, who chairs the English department; writing program director Darren DeFrain, whose 2005 novel “The Salt Palace” was nominated for best small-press literary novel; and alumna Susan Telkulve, who is director of creative writing at Converse College in South Carolina. Following their presentations, the four will do book signings.

For a full schedule of events and list of performers, go to www.kansasbookfestival.ks.gov.

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