The program will commemorate National Poetry Month with presentations by John Jenkinson and Diane Wahto in a program titled “Words and Music.”
Jenkinson, a singer-songwriter, will play and sing. Diane and John will read and answer questions about poetry and their own writing.
John Jenkinson’s misspent youth consisted of long years enduring low-end jobs – gandydancing, tin-man hustling, drumming, taxi-driving, grifting and grave-site peddling among them. A late return to the groves of Academe resulted in an MFA from Wichita State University, a PhD from the University of North Texas, and a Milton Center post-doctoral Fellowship in Poetry at Newman University. His most cherished degree, however, remains the one he earned at the School of Hard Knocks, where he continues post-graduate studies. John’s poems have been recipients of an AWP Intro Journals Award, the Ellipses Prize, a New Voices Award, a Balticon Science Fiction Award, and awards from Kansas Voices. His poems appear in a surprising variety of journals and anthologies. Currently, he teaches literature and writing at Butler Community College in Kansas, where he directs the Oil Hill Reading Series. John has spent the past several years engaged in song-writing and occasional performances, although recent health troubles have kept his performances brief and infrequent. Good news? Therapy is finally bearing fruit, and he hopes to start performances again very soon, probably in time for the April presentation. Best thing about John? His new, and first, granddaughter, Lucille!