Creative Collaborations at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, KS on 1/4/2020

Creativity gives me community
voices pushed by the voices
of my ancestors– love
creativity allows a clear mind
kindness in my life
don’t judge me but feel me
creativity gives me freedom of spirit
we are better together than apart
passion with purpose = power
we are shaped by what we create
we create what we hold in our heart
creativity lets you express
your soul to the world
creativity is the expression derived
from the internal collaboration
of the two selves
your voice is you power
to live a creative truth
words become wings that
give birth to the future
I dream of a day when all are
equal & live without fear
thankful for moments to reflect, now onto
reality; nephew’s memorial service,
post suicide
Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you
become your reality or define you
don’t go looking for evidence that you
don’t belong
be willing to uplift others
leaders are created
when you teach others
how to lead


Exquisite corpse: (from the French term cadavre exquis), A method by which a collection of words or images are collectively assembled. I collected these poems as I traveled through Kansas. These poems are written collectively by Kansans at readings, open mics and workshops. The titles of each poem are the locations and dates where they were assembled. They are part of Exquisite Kansas, a collection to be published at the end of my laureateship.