Missouri's state poet laureate serves a two-year term and is currently held by Aliki Barnstone, who was appointed in 2016. Barnstone has published three chapbooks and eight poetry collections, most recently Dwelling (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016). She has received multiple awards and fellowships, including a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry. She is currently professor of English and creative writing at University of Missouri.

upcoming events

Apr 02 2018
Observable Readings: Erika L.Sánchez, Ari Banias & Aaron Coleman
Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her first collection of poetry, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf Press in fall 2017. Her young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, was published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in fall 2017, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her nonfiction has also appeared in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargeant Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She was recently named a 2017-2018 Princeton Arts Fellow. She lives in Chicago.
Ari Banias is the author of Anybody (W.W. Norton, 2016). He was born in Los Angeles, grew up in the Chicago area, and currently lives in Berkeley, CA, where he teaches poetry and works with small press books. He holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MFA in poetry from Hunter College, where he was a teaching fellow. The author of a chapbook, What’s Personal is Being Here With All of You (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2012), his poems appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Guernica, LARB Quarterly, Poetry, A Public Space, The Volta, and as part of the MOTHA exhibition Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects. He is the recipient of the 2014 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the 2012 Campbell Corner Prize, and has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program.
Aaron Coleman is the author of the chapbook St. Trigger, which won the 2015 Button Poetry Prize, judged by Adrian Matejka, and his first full-length collection, Threat Come Close, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in March 2018. A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow, Aaron received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. From Metro-Detroit, Aaron has lived and worked with youth in locations including Chicago, St. Louis, Spain, South Africa, and Kalamazoo. Former Public Projects Assistant at Pulitzer Arts Foundation, winner of the Tupelo Quarterly TQ5 Poetry Contest, The Cincinnati Review Schiff Award, and the American Literary Translator Association’s 2017 Jansen Memorial Fellow, Aaron’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in Washington University’s Comparative Literature PhD program.
Suggested $5.00 donation at the door.
7:30pm to 9:30pm
419 N Euclid Ave
63108 St. Louis , Missouri

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Missouri poet laureate

Aliki Barnstone

Aliki Barnstone is the author of three chapbooks and eight poetry collections, including Dwelling (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016) and Bright Body (White...



The moon in time lapse sliding over skyline
the way a remote frisbee might wheel through air
as slowly as a banjo once floated across the wide
Missouri River in my

The quake last night was nothing personal, 
you told me this morning. I think one always wonders, 
unless, of course, something is visible: tremors 
that take us, private and willy-nilly, are usual.

But the earth said last night that what I feel, 
you feel; what secretly moves you, moves me. 
One small,