Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, in Blue Springs, Missouri. His poems have been or will be published in over 40 different magazines, including New Letters, pamplemousse, Two Words For and TYPO
Dawn Downey is the author of From Dawn to Daylight: Essays. In this collection of personal vignettes, she explores the format of flash nonfiction—each story less than a page long. She is also the author of a memoir, Stumbling Toward the Buddha: Stories about Tripping over My Principles on the Road to Transformation. She tells her stories in traditional narrative style, as well as the nonlinear lyrical form. Although her subject matter is the familiar territory of daily life, she draws inspiration from the transcendent.
Her essay titled “The Cleaning Women” appears in the summer 2017 issue of Persimmon Tree. Other publications featuring her work include Kansas City Voices, Ink Byte Magazine, Skirt! Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Downey’s essays have earned awards from the Missouri Writers Guild, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Northern Colorado Writers, and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.
When she wants to remember how to express emotional pain, she reads the novels of Toni Morrison. She reads Annie Dillard to learn how to describe metaphysical experience, without succumbing to spiritual jargon. She reads George R. R. Martin to find out how to tell a good story.
She balances the solitary process of writing with frequent public readings. The Writers Place Reading Series hosted her in January 2017. She has created a set piece of essay selections, which she calls “Dawn Downey’s Four Steps to World Peace.” In July, a performance of “World Peace” was sponsored by the Manhattan Nonviolence Initiative in Manhattan, Kansas. She will appear at the Uptown Arts Bar in September. Through the creative process, she sees the workings of her own mind. Through her correspondence with readers, she learns that most minds work in a similar fashion. She writes to bring people together in a compassionate understanding of each other.
Thomas Zvi Wilson initiated this reading series in 2001. The Writers Place cosponsors this series with the Johnson County Central Resource Library. Mr. Wilson’s objective was to broaden outreach for The Writers Place and create an additional venue for poetry and prose writers to read. After Thomas’ health failed, his wife Jeanie Wilson, an emeritus board member and poetry and short story writer, curates this popular reading series in his memory. The readings take place at the newly remodeled Johnson County Central Resource Library from 6-8 p.m. located at 9875 W. 87th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. The readings are free and include light refreshments. Donations to The Writers Place are welcome. The contact number for questions is 913-826-4600.