Arts & Entertainment

KU professors, student launch new poetry books at Firefly

By Ella Luzzi
Copy and Line Editor

On Feb. 17, two KU English professors and a professional writing undergraduate student released their poetry books with a book launch hosted by Firefly Bookstore on Main St.

There was standing room only when the event began, a few minutes after 7 p.m. Dr. Brandon Krieg and Dr. Robert Fillman, both of whom teach poetry, opened for Ellen Robinson, junior. Krieg’s collection “Magnifier” won the 2019 Colorado Prize for Poetry. Fillman’s chapbook was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Robinson’s self-published book is called “This Smoking Lung.” After Krieg and Fillman read some of their poems, Robinson took the stage and requested a moment of silence for all people who lost their lives to domestic violence so far this year.

Ellen Robinson reads from “This Smoking Lung” -Photo couresy of Ella Luzzi

“I struggled a lot with my instance of domestic violence, and I let that really define my year,” Robinson said, “and this book is a testament to that new suffering, but also to the joys and beauties that still exist in this world.”

After thanking her friends, family and Firefly Bookstore, Robinson read highlights from her new book, a few new poems on loose paper and a poem from her first book, “pencils + messy things.” 

Krieg has two other poetry books, too, and Fillman’s poetry has been seen in many other publications.

There was a brief break after the readings to eat pizza, grab a refreshment (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) and browse or purchase a book. 

The first 15 of Robinson’s books were “limited edition” with a yellow stripe down the spine. In the back of those editions, Robinson hand wrote another poem.

The evening concluded with an open-mic, allowing fellow poets in the audience to read some of their poetry.