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Emporia Writers
Featured Writers :
Don Coldsmith
James Hoy Kevin Rabas
William Allen White    
William Lindsay White    

Emporia, a city of around25,000, was founded in1857. When he bought the Emporia Gazette William Allen White put Emporia on the map, and his writings idealized the small town as a repository of common sense and democratic values. White's son, William Lindsay White, took over for his father with the Gazette, but also published novels and journalism in a prolific career. Emporia is home of Emporia State University, which has a strong writing program, including author Kevin Rabas, who, along with Amy Sage Webb, edits the Flint Hills Review. Emporia State is also home to the Great Plains Studies Center, which hosts the Tallgrass Writing Workshop each summer. ESU English Professor Jim Hoy, who studies cowboys, cowboy poetry and the literary traditions of the Flint Hill and the American West, was co-founder and director of the Center. Renowned poet Keith Waldrop, who won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2009, was born and raised in Emporia, and had a long career teaching at Brown University. Topeka poet Ben Lerner, a Brown graduate, is Waldrop's literary executor. Don Coldsmith , renowned for his Spanish Bit Series of novels, practiced medicine and made his home in Emporia.