ArTSPEAK RADIO + McCann, Stempleman, & The Sextet

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes writers Polly Alice McCann, Jordan Stempleman, and jazz group The Sextets.

Polly Alice McCann received her BFA in Studio Art from Messiah University near Harrisburg, PA and her MFA from Hamline University in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her art has been published in US newspapers and magazines and is showing across the US. She is a creative writing instructor with Society of Young Inklings, an illustrator, and a mother of two. She says her favorite thing is to tell stories– other people’s, her own– maybe yours. An avid fine artist, poet, writing adjunct, and curator– she is now founder and Managing Editor Flying Ketchup Press where she says she “curates” galleries of words inside their upcoming books.
A Kansas City Publisher for the epic acceleration of great literature, poetry, children’s books and fine arts materials. Flying Ketchup Press — to discover and develop new voices in poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction with a special emphasis in new short stories. We are a publisher made by and for creatives in the Heartland. Our dream is to salvage lost treasure troves of written and illustrated work– to create worlds of wonder and delight; to share stories. Maybe yours. Find us at
Upcoming books? Ten in 2019 are already on the table including their newly announced winners of their first short story contest, “Tales from the Goldilocks Zone” & “Tales from the Dream Zone.” Their first release in summer 2019 by debut Author, TL Sanders, “kNew,” is a biopic screenplay in verse about a teacher who attends an open mic poetry night in the jazz district following the death of his estranged father.
How to be involved: We want to get to know the writers in our area. Our first local project is an anthology of poetry.
Blue City: Kansas City Poets, Song Writers, and Spoken words artists. Send us your best poems, lyrics. They can be on any topic you have given to your unique voice. They certainly will have rhythm and they may hold the blueness of the open sky or the soul of our music. Whatever you chose to submit this is about you. We want to collect the poems of 60 area poets. One of them should be you don’t you think? Deadline is March 15th. Book cover created art by local artist Susan Kiefer, Consulting Editor Chell Navarro.
Winners of our poetry contest will receive a free copy of the book. Winning poems will also be featured in both soft cover and eBook editions titled, “Blue City Poets.” This book includes a page about each poet — including a link to your website or social media. Are you a writer? Submit today. Let’s catch up! Flying Ketchup Press.

Jordan Stempleman is the author of eight collections of poetry including Wallop and No, Not Today (Magic Helicopter Press). He is an assistant professor in the School of Liberal Arts at the Kansas City Art Institute. Stempleman co-edits The Continental Review, one of the longest running online literary magazines devoted to video poetics. He is the faculty advisor for the literary magazine Sprung Formal, curates A Common Sense Reading Series, and in 2013, The Huffington Post listed Stempleman as one of “The Top 200 Advocates of American Poetry.”

KCAI Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Robert Castillo, The Sextet-Playing original compositions and arrangements of bassist Robert Castillo, The Sextet plays music to move to and moved by. Castillo originally formed the group in the fall of 2015 in Portland, OR and when Life called him back to his native home of Kansas City, he reformed the group with childhood friends and other prominent KC musicians.
Robert’s writing incorporates elements of funk, soul, and dance, as well as jazz song structures and harmonies. The result is contemporary groove jazz that a listener of any background can bob their head to. The songs are influenced by life events and experiences – a set can include a variety of emotions including joy, anger, frustration, and bliss.
The Sextet’s debut album was released just before Castillo left Portland and was listed on KMHD Portland Jazz Radio’s Top 10 Albums of 2016 list. In October 2017 The Sextet released their sophomore album “Blob Castle” shortly after being named KCUR 89.3 Band of the Week. The album has been well received in Kansas City, receiving airplay on various stations as well as being included in the Plastic Sax Favorite Albums of 2017 by Kansas City Based Artists list. The Sextet will perform Thursday March 21, 9pm – 12am at The Ship 1217 Union KCMO.
Band Members-
Joe Tesoro (soprano sax) Max Levy (tenor sax), Trevor Turla (trombone) Forrest Fowler (guitar) Nik Douglas (drums), Robert Castillo (bass, composer)


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