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Beckemeyer Map

Roy J. Beckemeyer, Kansas Author

Roy J. Beckemeyer

Music I Once Could Dance To, Book Cover


        Roy Beckemeyer was born in Illinois in 1941, earned a BS in engineering in 1962 and served in the United States Air Force. He moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1966 and has made the state his home ever since.  He received an MS from Wichita State University and a Ph.D. from The University of Kansas, both in engineering.  He worked almost 30 years for Boeing, retiring in 1997. 

        He and his wife have traveled extensively, and have been to every continent. He has also traveled all over the state of Kansas for the past 40 years, learning the state's ecological regions, bird life, and insects. During his retirement he has been a research associate of the Natural History Museum at KU, specializing in the study of the dragonfly fauna of Kansas, and has become an authority on the Paleozoic insect fossils of Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition to publishing scientific and historical papers on those subject areas, he served as co-editor of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science from 2005 through 2011, and editor of the Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society from 2009 through 2014. 

        He has written poetry most of his life, but began a period of sustained and consistent writing in 2009. His work has appeared in a variety of mostly regional literary journals, including Gazebo, Beecher's Magazine, Kansas City Voices, The Midwest Quarterly, Straylight, The North Dakota Quarterly, Nebo, Mikrokosmos, Coal City Review, and The Bluest Aye, as well as in the anthologies Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems (Woodley Memorial Press, 2011), and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga (Mammoth Press,2012). He was the Kansas Authors Club poet of the year for 2013, and won first place in Beecher's 2014 Poetry Contest. His first book of poetry was published by Coal City Review and Press in 2014.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  


  • Stage Whispers (Meadowlark, 2018)
  • Amanuensis Angel (Partan Press, 2018)
  • Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014)


  • Begin Again (Woodley Press, 2012)
  • To the Stars Through Difficulties (Mammoth Publications, 2012)

Scientific Publications

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Writing Samples  


At the same age he learned to sight-read
music he began watching for his
father to come home. His father’s feet
would ascend the stairs like notes of a scale
on a staff. Ear-trained, he would listen
for the door to slam, hoping to hear
perfect intervals of footsteps, wincing
at sharps, at flats.  He took his cues from
his mother as she conducted with
glances, quick nods - as she kept their little
duo always in harmony, no matter
how dissonant the opening chords
of his father’s homecoming cadenza.

---"Lessons" first appeared in the Autumn 2013 issue of The Midwest Quarterly

Tree Shadows

tree shadows  
      their   skeletal souls
            like Chinese

against      roof    lines,  

       na       inked     at  mansards


         shuzhe  on the dormers  bow

                   and   sit,    
                        knees  bent,

    leaning,        their
                  backs to  the   sun

---"Tree Shadows" first appeared in the 2014 issue of Beecher's Magazine

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150 Kansas Poems  

Oceans of Kansas
Initiation Song from the Prarie
We Discuss the Geomorphology of Life

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