February 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm

In conjunction with the AKMA current exhibition “Memory of Water:  Conducting a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere”, three regional artists will read excerpts from their works that touch on themes of water.  The readings take place on Saturday, February 24th at 2:00 pm at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art.  “Found Documents” and “Feet of the Messenger” will be available for purchase and signing.

Author, Tom Averill

Author, Tom Averill“Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr”

Not just epistolary, this novel is archival, told entirely through journals, letters, photos, drawings, notes, and clippings left behind by Nell Doerr, who lived in Lawrence, Kansas, between 1854 and 1889. Although Nell seems so real you can reach out and touch her, she is a fictional character. The novel tells the story of her two stillborn babies, her move to Kansas, the loss of her husband in Quantrill’s Raid, and her discovery, while hiding in her basement, of the fossils of ancient creatures in the foundation rock. In finding these specimens this unforgettable heroine finds herself, a woman unconventional and strong, a mother without children, a wife without a husband, a scientist without educational pedigree, but someone who nurtures her passion for nature and contributes to the scientific knowledge of her time.  Thomas Fox Averill is the author of rode, Secrets of the Tsil Café: A Novel with Recipes, and A Carol Dickens Christmas: A Novel, all available from UNM Press.  He lives in Topeka, Kansas.

“Averill has a remarkable facility for expressing wisdom in the simplest of language. Indeed, sincerity—in both language and feeling—is a signature feature of this unique historical novel; for Averill’s style is unaffected and natural.  The voice of Nell Doerr is so clear you believe she must surely be more than an invention.” —CATHERINE BROWDER, author of Secret Lives

Author, Marcia Cebulska  – “Washed Away”

Marcia Cebulska in Greece

A woman who has left her husband and children behind to live on a Greek island wakes up to a life-threatening downpour.  “Washed Away” is a story of heroism, the power of water, and the call of home.  Inspired by the Odyssey, the story is an excerpt from Marcia Cebulska’s novel-in-progress, Watching Men Dance.

 Marcia Cebulska has spent most of her career writing for the stage.  Her plays have been chosen for development by the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Sundance Playwrights Lab, the William Inge Theatre Festival and Shenandoah Playwrights Retreat and produced at The Georgia Repertory Theatre, HERE (NYC), the Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Frontera at Hyde Park (Austin TX), Fremont Centre Theatre (Pasadena), The Theatre Building (Chicago), Fusion Theatre (Albuquerque) and elsewhere.  Marcia has received the Dorothy Silver Award, the Jane Chambers International Award, Kansas Arts Commission and Indiana Arts Commission Master Artist Fellowships, “Best Historical Film” (Traildance Film Festival) and other honors. Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the national celebration of  the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision has been performed internationally at thousands of venues and has been excerpted in the French film Barbara Johns: The Making Of An Icon.   Marcia’s Through Martha’s Eyes (screenplay) aired nationally on PBS.  Marcia has been playwright-in-residence at The University of Georgia, Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, Marion College and The William Inge Center for the Arts.  Marcia is a member of The Dramatists Guild and is a Fellow of the Center for Kansas Studies.  Her award-winning Visions of Right, written in response to the hate ministry of the Westboro Baptist Church, is enjoying a series of productions nationwide. Marcia lives in Topeka, Kansas with her husband, historian Tom Prasch. She is at work on her first novel, Watching Men Dance and a memoir, A Stubborn Heart.


Poet, H.C. Palmer – “Feet of the Messenger”
H.C. grew up in Chanute and Atchison, Kansas. He attended Kansas University on a football scholarship and graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1963. Following his first year of residency in internal medicine, he was drafted, along with 1500 other American doctors, to serve in the United States Armed Forces, and eventually served in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon with the First Infantry Division. During his medical career, H.C. was Team Physician for the 1973 USA All-Star Basketball team touring the People’s Republic of China, Chief Medical Officer for the USA team at the 1979 World University Games in Mexico City, and Team physician for the San Diego Clippers. He raised registered Polled Hereford Cattle for 12 years. He also held a private pilot’s license and logged over 550 hours before he left Liberal, Kansas to return to the Kansas City area. Retired from medicine now for five years, he has worked with veterans from Kansas and Missouri, helping them write to tell their stories. H.C.’s poems have appeared in many literary journals and the national on-line journals, Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. He served as an assistant poetry editor for Narrative Magazine. His first collection, “Feet of the Messenger”, was recently published by BkMk Press and the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas. H.C. and his wife Valerie live in the suburbs of Kansas City. They have 11 grandchildren.