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The Poetry Mix Open Mic debuts April 20th, 7 pm & Humor Winner Julie Sellers

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

AfterWord Tavern and Shelves is partnering with us and KC writers to come on out for an adult beverage or two and an open mic featuring poetry and short fiction. We've been meeting for writing time and networking every other week to connect with local writers. For National Poetry month a special open mic cohosted by poets Beth Gulley and Polly Alice. Christopher Overgaard, co-owner of the bookshop which opened in Crossroads a couple years ago, calls it "A REFUGE FOR THE THIRSTY AND INQUISITIVE OF KANSAS CITY." He writes "While it may be libations and books we’re selling on paper, at a philosophical level we are peddling discovery and the city in which we live. We invite you to walk through our door, and when you depart we hope that you do so having discovered something stirringly novel." Here more from Christian and mixologist Parker Sterni when they came to our live Radio show last year to hear more about this unique book store. An open mic at Afterword's communal table, in general:

  • 6:30pm - Arrival, get a drink or empanadas, sign up for 5 minute read

  • 7 pm - Readings

  • 8 pm - Break

  • 8:25 - Lightning Round Call Backs

  • 9 pm - End of Open Mic

  • 10 pm Closing

Host: Beth Gulley lives in Kansas City and teaches writing at Johnson County Community College. She has an MA from UMKC and a PhD from the University of Kansas. She recently published a chapbook, $!*# Hole Countries: A Find and Replace Meditation. Her poems also appear in the Bards Against Hunger Anthology, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, The Thorny Locust, and The Gasconade Review Presents: Storm A’Comin’. She loves thrift store shopping, traveling, and drinking coffee. Find her newest collection "Dragon Eggs."

Host: Polly Alice McCann, poet, artist, says that poetry saved her life. She began writing after a night sleeping under desert stars with only a book for a pillow. Her work explores the tall tale midwestern voice, every day miracles and quirky dreamscapes. Her first solo books, “Kinlight,” and “Puss ’N Boötes” published in 2019, 2020. She has been published internationally in Naugatuck River Review, Arc 24 and elsewhere. She credits her narrative free verse style from her degree from Hamline University MFAC. Her art has been published in several publications including Rattle Magazine. She is an English Professor, the founder of Ketchupedia Poetry Radio and the managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press.


Pics From our Fall Open Mic...


Thanks to Julie Sellers for sharing her winning entry from our "Sugarcoat It" Humorous Short Fiction contest!

ARMED BANDIT REFUSES CASH, ACCEPTS MAGAZINES SMALLTOWN, KANSAS—The local Casey’s was hit last night by a mysterious criminal wearing a red bandana over his face and blue nitrile gloves. The individual, who was described by cashier Etta Mae White as being “really tall and pretty plump,” was sporting faded overalls and muddy boots when he entered the store and demanded she “hand over the goods.”

“I didn’t think anything of the hanky at first,” said Mrs. White, who has worked at the Casey’s for two years. “Everyone is wearing masks these days.”

When Mrs. White hesitated, the bandit warned her that he was armed with a murder hornet and wasn’t afraid to use it.

“I got pretty scared then,” the faithful clerk admitted. “I told him we only had about a hundred dollars in the till, and he could have it, just please don’t let that vicious monster loose in my store.”

But the desperate crook was not interested in the cash, according to Mrs. White. He had come for the toilet paper.

“We haven’t had any TP on the shelves for weeks,” Mrs. White confirmed. “The shortage is pretty grim.”

Mrs. White, who was an elementary school principal for 30 years, is a quick thinker, and she immediately offered the outlaw an option.

“I told him magazines work just fine, too, and I said he could have every magazine on the rack. And I threw in a box of donuts to sweeten the deal.”

After negotiating a cappuccino into the bargain, the desperado agreed. Mrs. White filled five bags with magazines while the masked malefactor covered her menacingly with his hand on the murder hornet in his pocket. Once the magazine rack was clear, the hooligan ran from the store to a waiting vehicle around back.

Local law enforcement is looking for the thief, whom they have appropriately dubbed the Paper Pirate. Anyone with information should call the non-emergency dispatch or contact Sheriff Johnson in person at the café during coffee hour.

“Working in a convenience store, you always know this day might come,” Mrs. White said with a shudder. “These are desperate times, and people do reckless things when they’re pushed to the end of their roll.”


Julie A. Sellers was raised in the Flint Hills near the small town of Florence, Kansas. Those great expanses of tallgrass prairie and reading fueled her imagination, and Julie began writing at an early age. After living in several states and countries, Julie resides in Atchison, Kansas, where she is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of World and Classical Languages and Cultures at Benedictine College. Julie has published three academic books, and her creative prose and poetry have appeared in publications such as Cagibi, Wanderlust, Unlost, The Write Launch, 105 Meadowlark Reader, and Kansas Time + Place. Her first book of poetry, Kindred Verse: Poems Inspired by Anne of Green Gables, was published by Blue Cedar Press in 2021. Julie was the 2020 Kansas Authors Club Prose Writer of the Year. @juliesellers


Flying Ketchup Press ® founded in 2018 to champion new and diverse voices in short fiction and poetry. Each year, Flying Ketchup Press produces collections of short stories and poetry by select authors. Check out our new Children's Imprint.

Ketchupedia is an outreach of Flying Ketchup Press ® began in 2020 a grassroots network to connect the Kansas City & regional writers community including poet in residencies, open mics, classes, and events to make room for poetry, as a space for personal narrative that empowers, heals, and unites diverse audiences. You can find us at Home | Flying Ketchup Press

Follow us on Facebook Group Kansas City Writers' Group @kcwriters

Instagram: @flying_ketchup_press  Twitter: @press_flying   

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