Whispers / Silence by Barbara Waterman-Peters

Photo of Barbara Waterman-Peters

Barbara Waterman-Peters, (BFA, Washburn University, MFA, Kansas State University, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Washburn University) whose award-winning work is in museum, corporate and private collections, is represented by several galleries, including the Jones Gallery in Kansas City, MO, the Strecker Nelson West Gallery in Manhattan, KS, and the Beauchamp and SouthWind Galleries in Topeka. She was a founding member of the Collective Art Gallery (1987-2014) and is a charter member of Circle of 7.  She has shown regionally, nationally and internationally in more than 300 solo, invitational and juried exhibitions. 

Waterman-Peters taught at Washburn and Kansas State Universities as well as for Lassen Community College in California. She has received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement from the State of Kansas and the Monroe Award from the Washburn University Alumni Association. In 2011 she was awarded the ARTY for Distinguished Visual Artist from ARTSConnect in Topeka.

Waterman-Peters was the staff artist for the Washburn University Theater from 1999 until 2016. In 2010 she founded STUDIO 831, an artists’ space and gallery in the North Topeka Arts & Entertainment District (NOTO). She has served on numerous boards, most recently the NOTO Arts & Entertainment District Board. In addition, she was part of Heartland Visioning’s Quality of Life component, and a curator and panelist for various arts institutions. Currently she is part of the ARTS Leadership Roundtable.

She is co-founder of Pen & Brush Press with author Glendyn Buckley. She and Glendyn each received a Children’s Book Award from Kansas Authors Club for their work on their second book, Bird. Their first book, The Fish’s Wishes, was placed on the KNEA’s Recommended Reading List. Recently, she worked with poet Dennis Etzel, Jr on the exhibits, art, and book for the Two Ponders: A Collaboration project.

Working with other authors she has created cover art and illustrations for numerous books, most recently Marcia Cebulska’s Watching Men Dance. Her art has appeared in such publications as Inscape (Washburn University).

She writes articles about art and artists for TOPEKA Magazine and other publications. One of her creative non-fiction essays was recently included in 105 Meadowlark Reader.

About the Guest Editor: Dennis Etzel Jr. (he/him) lives with his spouse Carrie and their five boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has numerous books, including My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015) which was selected by The Kansas City Star as a Best Poetry Book of 2015. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, FUGUE, Puerto del Sol, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others.

Note about the poem: The two-voice poem is hard to accomplish, for sure. It isn’t simply writing two poems for two readers to synchronize reading at the same time, but the effect of it–that the form is about juxtaposition as much as it is about synchornization. Barbara Waterman-Peters shows her mastery of this through even the titles, “Whispers” and “Silence,” because in these difficult times both forms are catalystic in moving to change.