Washburn to honor Kansas Day with lecture on local histories

Washburn University
Washburn University
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 12:59 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University will honor Kansas Day in 2023 with a lecture that highlights rich local histories.

Washburn University says its Center for Kansas Studies will honor Kansas Day in 2023 with its annual Lecture from 7 - 8 p.m. on Jan. 26. This year, it also invites the public to an evening with Juliet Patterson, the author of “Sinkhole: A Legacy of Suicide” (Milkweed Editions, September 2022).

Washburn indicated that Patterson plans to give her lecture titled “What’s Hidden Beneath: A Writer’s Exploration into Grief” via Zoom. It will be free and open to the public. To register for the lecture, click HERE.

The University has also invited the public to join the Center in room 203 in the Henderson Learning Resources Center to watch the Zoom lecture. Kansas Day cake will be served along with copies of “Sinkhole” which are to be available for purchase.

Washburn noted that Patterson’s family has roots for three generations in Pittsburg which she visited often during her writing process. Here she unearthed the legacy of suicide in her family.

In Pittsburg, the University said Patterson also encountered the visible legacy of the communities mining history - the sinkholes which serve as a metaphor in a story that richly layers personal, familial, political and environmental histories to provide the heartbreaking truth.

Washburn said the event highlights its spring 2023 WUmester theme of health and healing. Patterson will discuss about how her writing allowed her to explore and reflect on grief. The WUmester is meant to foster a university-wide conversation on atopic related to social justice which changes each spring.

In addition to “Sinkhole,” the University noted that Patterson has authored two full-length poetry collections, “Threnody” and “The Truant Lover” from Nightboat Books. She is a recipient of an Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize in non-fiction and a Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize.