When Brian Daldorph, a poet and professor at the University of Kansas, moved to Lawrence in 1990 after graduating from the University of Illinois, he began writing poetry about his experiences and the people he met in the university town.

Years later, Daldorph collected poetry about Kansas and included it in a poetry book that he will make available to the public in February. “Kansas Poems” is available for pre-order at meadowlark-books.square.site.

Daldorph and Meadowlark Press are hosting a book launch on Zoom on February 5th. Interested parties can register at tinyurl.com/kspoemsregistration. The poetry collection was also selected as the first runner-up in the 2020 Birdy Poetry Prize competition.

According to Daldorph, a native of England, the collection of poems is divided into four sections according to the seasons.

“The poems in each group are somehow related to each season and the poems are about the people here, the country here, the stories people tell, the way people live their lives, the people I’ve met , some of my own experiences, “said Daldorph.

Daldorph, who said it wasn’t his intention to live in Kansas that long but that he was satisfied with his decision, wrote the poems over the years, getting to know the state and its people very well better.

“I think it takes a long time to understand a place well enough to write something meaningful about it,” said Daldorph. “It took me a long time to do this, but I’m happy with it.” the way it turned out and I think it has something to say about what that state is, who the people are and what they care about. “

The poems take place in various locations in Kansas, including Lawrence, Linwood, Garden City, and Coffeyville, as well as in specific locations like Oak Hill Cemetery and Stull, which is said to be one of the gates of Hell.

Daldorph said Oak Hill Cemetery was a significant place in his life and is mentioned in several poems.

“There are poems in different places I’ve visited here and some of them are mythical places because the place wasn’t that important, so I made up some names,” Daldorph said.

Daldorph said the poems gave him an opportunity to explore the people of Kansas and their meanings.

“I think I tried to look at the people here, the geography here and the landscape,” he said. “I think what interests me most are the people here and the different people I’ve met and the stories they have told. I think it’s an opportunity to maybe find out a little more about who the people here are and the stories they tell, what’s important to them. “