I was born in 1956, my Grandmother was a real Bootlegger on Vine Street in KCMO, and my Grandfather was a World War I Veteran (see my books for references). I have been teaching at Avila University for almost 25 years. I also have taught every Grade Level! Finally, on a humorous note, a failed my Headstart exam on purpose because I thought it was important at the time to stay home and help my Grandmother with her Bootleg business!
As Avila’s Artist-in-Residence, my main objective is to bring visibility to the university’s Creative Writing emphasis in the English major. The writing of poetry, short stories, and plays is an extremely popular pursuit by more and more professionals, students, and the general public in the contemporary world. Even before coming to Avila, I took on the cause of broadening the audience for writers in all genres.
Further, as Artist-in-Residence, I am joining a great tradition of artists who believe strongly that the world needs and must know about the importance of the imagination as it relates to Creative Writing. As a result, I see myself as an ambassador for Avila to the community, state, and nation. I know Avila’s Creative Writing students will go on to be serious professional writers. Finally, it is my intention to create a reputation for Avila as a place that allows one’s creative muse to flourish.
Awards & Recognition
2002: Kansas City, Missouri Mayor’s Recognition Proclamation Award; The United Minority Media Association’s Leadership Award from the Midwest-Southeast Regional Conference; The Special Exhibit of Stanley E. Banks’ Life and Literature at the Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.
2000: Writers Place Award in Kansas City, Missouri 1989: The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship/Grant for Creative Writing 1987: Future Playwrights of America Institute Playwriting Award from the University of Missouri-Kansas City 1981: The Langston Hughes Prize For Poetry from BookMark Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City 1979: The English Department Award at University of Missouri-Kansas City
Books / Publications
- On 10th Alley Way. Kansas City: BookMark Press, 1980.
- Coming From a Funky Time and Place. Kansas City: The Georgia A.B. Press, 1988.
- Rhythm and Guts. Kansas City: The Georgia A.B. Press, 1992.
- Blue Beat Syncopation . Kansas City: BookMark Press, 2003.