Writer-in-residence and professor, English


  • rode. University of New Mexico Press (2011).


  • "The Garden at Pickering Castle" (short story), I-70 Review (forthcoming).
  • "Preacher" (novel excerpt), North American Review (forthcoming).
  • "Salves" (short story), Blue Ships (accepted for online publication).
  • "Garden Tours" (short story), Kansas City Voices, spring 2011.
  • "Garden Bully," "Weeding" and "Garden of Good Intent" (short stories), Little Balkans Review (forthcoming).
  • "Bone Bead" (poem), New Mexico Poetry Review 2(2) (spring 2011), p. 1.
  • "Flyover Country: Images of Kansas," Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains (34)1 (spring 2011), p 90-101.
  • "Moon Lust, or My Father Explains" (short story), Leaning House Press, Feb. 14, 2011 (online).
  • "From Weekly Garden News, August 1, 2007, The Woman who Wore Flowers and Pendulum" (poems), seveneightfive 5(4) (Dec 1. 2010-Jan. 15, 2011), p. 21-22.
  • "Punishment and Prayers" (short story), Flint Hills Review 15 (2010), p 94-95
  • "Digging with Darwin" (short story), Cottonwood Review 68 (fall 2010), p 83-98.
  • "First Fruit" (short story), Paradigm 13 (2010) (online magazine).
  • "At the State Hospital, Twelve Years Old" and "Topeka Underground" (short stories), ReThink Topeka, Selected Works, April 2010.
  • "Desire Bears No Fruit" (poem), seveneightfive 4(4) March 1 - April 15, 2010.
  • "The Poet Eats Redbud," "Villanelle for Spring" and "Desire Bears No Fruit" (poems), seveneightfive RowHouse Poetry Review, Spring 2010.
  • "The Last Coroner's Wife," "State Flowers," "The Marigold Capital of Kansas" and Hedge War" (short-short stories), Little Balkans Review 5(4) fall 2009.
  • "The Woman Who Wore Flowers" (prose poem), New Mexico Poetry Review 1(1) fall 2009.
  • "The Grass Garden" (short-short story), seveneightfive, June/July 2009.
  • "The House Hot" (article), Topeka Magazine spring 2009, pp. 52-54.
  • "Fugitive Interlude:  1825" (short story), Blue Earth Review 7(2) (spring 2009), p. 18-21.
  • "Answer: Because" (short story), Flint Hills Review, 2009, p. 35.
  • "The Garden Mapper," "Tenacious Beauty," "Alex and Harry in the Queen's Garden, Edinburgh" and "Seed Pinchers" (short stories),  Coal City Review 26: 2009, p. 3-6.
  • "Native Tongue" (article), Topeka Magazine winter 2008/2009, pp. 54-5.
  • "Cafe Holliday's Posole" (article), Topeka Magazine fall 2008, pp. 68-9.
  • "Garden Plots:  A Collection of Short Shorts," North American Review, May-August 2008, p. 30-31.

Book reviews

  • Banned in Kansas:  Motion Picture Censorship, 1915-1966, by Gerald R. Butters, Great Plains Quarterly 29(1) (winter 2009), p. 73-74.
  • Afterimages:  A Family Memoir, by Carol Ascher, Kansas History 31(3) (autumn 2008).


  • "What Kansas Means to Me: 20th Century Writers on the Sunflower State," Read Across Kansas presentations, January - May 2011, Emporia, Lawrence, Wichita, Topeka, Alma, Oakley, Quinter, Colby, Norton, Pittsburg, Hutchinson, St. John, Parsons, LaCygne, Ness City, Ulysses, Dodget City, Ashland, Kinsley, Silver Lake, Atchison, Burlingame, Manhattan
  • "What Kansas Means to Me," Kansas Libraries Conference, Topeka, November 2010
  • "Plotting the Short Story, The Novel and Your Life" (workshop), The Writer's Place, Kansas City, Mo., November 2010.
  • "What Kansas Means to Me" (webinar), Central Kansas library System, November 2010
  • "On Getting Published," Mark Twain Writing Camp, University of Missouri-Kansas City, June 2010
  • Plot Workshop, Iowa Summer Writing Festival, iowa City, June 2010
  • "Kansas Communities Value Their Libraries," State Library Luncheon, Wichita, Kan., April 2010 (as William Jennings Bryan Oleander)
  • Reader/mentor, North Shore Young Writers Conference, Beverly., Mass., March 2010
  • "Kansas Literature and Race," Race and Law course, Washburn School of Law, February 2010
  • "Kansas Folklore," Washburn Administrative Assistants, January 2010
  • "Porubsky's Transcendent Deli" introductions, Topeka and Manhattan, November 2009
  • "Burns, Bagpipes and Barleycorn," Osher Institute, University of Kansas, October and November 2009
  • "Tsil Cafe: Background," Lyons (Kan.) Public Library, October 2009
  • "Writing, Revising, Agenting, Publishing," Kansas Authors Club Convention, Topeka, October 2009
  • "On Being Here," Johnny Appleseed Festival, Leon, Kan., October 2009 (as William Jennings Bryan Oleander)
  • "The Importance of Kansas Literature," Leon (Kan.) Middle and High School, October 2009
  • "Digging for Darwin," WU Faculty Colloquium, October 2009
  • "On Becoming Scottish," Moehler Lecture, McPherson (Kan). College, September 2009
  • Plot Workshop, Iowa Summer Writing Festival, Iowa City, July 2009
  • Book talk, Shepherd's Center, Topeka, June 2009
  • "Three Character Revelations," Mark Twain Writing Conference, University of Missouri - Kansas City, June 2009
  • "Plotting, Forwards and Backwards," The Writers Place, Kansas City, Mo., June 2009
  • "Oleander on Preservation," Kansas Preservation Alliance, Topeka, June 2009
  • "A Kansas Literary Look at Charity," Doorstep Banquet, Topeka, April 2009
  • "Garden Plots," short, short story presentations, Washburn University Retirees, October 2008
  • "Plotting and the Novel," Partners in Crime, Border's Book Store, Overland Park, Kan., April 2009
  • Mentor/reader, North Shore Young Writers Conference, Beverly, Mass., March 2009
  • "Becoming a Reader," Topeka High School Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society) Initiation, February 2009
  • William Jennings Bryan Oleander performance, Talk for Iraq, Southern Hills Mennonite Church, October 2008
  • "Passion, Research, Travel -- where my writing comes from," Kansas College and University Librarians, Lawrence, October 2008
  • Secrets of the Tsil Café book discussion, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library, July 2008


  • Farrell Lecturer and visiting writer, Highland Park High, Topeka, April 2011
  • "Garden Plots," Midwestern Victorain Studies Conference, Washburn, April 2011
  • St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, Pa., February 2011
  • Michael Printz Writer-in-residence, Topeka West high, November 2010
  • Visiting writer, Emporia State University, October 2010
  • With poet Steven Hind, Top City Poetry Reading Series, Blackbird Cafe, Topeka, September 2010

Offices and appointments

  • Fellow, Center for Kansas Studies
  • Director, Faculty Colloquium on The Garden (fall 2008), College of Arts and Sciences

 Community involvement

  • Judge, Poetry Out Loud state finals, Brown V. Board site, Topeka
  • Advisory board, Porubsky's Deli Documentary
  • Humanities advisor, "Sunflower Journeys," KTWU
  • Humanities advisor, "Florence Documentary," Kansas Humanities Council
  • Advisory board, editorial, Kansas History, Kansas State Historical Society
  • Advisory board, editorial, Center for Great Plains Studies

Public commentary

  • Regular William Jennings Bryan Oleander commentaries, KPR 91.5 FM


  • Edited with Margy Stewart One Time on the Upper McDowell by Helen Poole Tonish, February 2009
  • Screener, Free State Traveling Picture Show, January-May 2009, Kansas Department of Commerce
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