The Riverfront Committee

Kathy Allen is a longtime resident of Kansas City, Kansas and has had 20 customer service jobs in forty years. Kathy has a chapbook, End of Front Street, and serves on the Riverfront Reading Series committee.

Phyllis Becker works in human services. She is coordinator of the Riverfront Readings series, which features local and regional writers. Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines, and she has a chapbook, Walking Naked into Sunday (Wheel of Fire Press) and a book, How I Came to Love Jazz (Helicon Nine Editions 2008).

James Benger is a father, husband and writer. His work has been featured in several publications including Blast Furnace, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, Periphery, and Thorny Locust. He is the author of two fiction ebooks, Flight 776 (2012) and Jack of Diamonds (2013) and one chapbook of poetry, As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016). He invites readers to contact him via Facebook, Twitter or He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.

Carl Bettis is a poet and computer programmer who grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He helped found the literary magazines Thorny Locust and The Same, and his poetry has been published in those magazines, in I-70 Review, in the anthologies Chance of a Ghost and The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, and elsewhere. He can be found online at

Maria Vasquez Boyd has not yet provided us with a bio.

Nancy Eldredge was in on the early foundation and on hand each step of the way during the two-decade evolution of the Riverfront Series. She has published poems in UMKC’s Number One. She is production editor of the Journal of Forensic Economics and editor of The Same. She lives in Mount Union, PA.

Silvia Kofler’s bilingual collection, From the Suburbs with the Wedding Dress in its Coffin/Vom Vorort mit dem Hochzeitskleid im Sarg, was published by Edwin Mellen Press. Radioactive Musings was published by UD Press. Her work has been included in a number of anthologies including The Sixth Surface: Steven Holl Lights the Nelson-Atkins Museum, a collection of poems, essays and artworks that helps translate the expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Book of Hopes and Dreams, an anthology to benefit Spirit Aid, published by Bluechrome Press in the UK; and The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, published by Whirlybird Press. Recently two of her poems were translated into Korean and appeared in Bridging the Waters, An International Bilingual Poetry Anthology, co-published by Korean Expatriate Literature & Cross-Cultural Communications in New York. She is a member of the American Literary Translators Association, and a number of her translations of the Austrian poet Ernst Jandl have appeared in journals like the New Renaissance and OR.

Patricia Lawson taught English at Kansas City Kansas Community College. She has published fiction and poetry in literary journals including Pleiades, New Letters, BigCityLit, Rosebud, The Chariton Review, The Dalhousie Review, The Same, and elsewhere. She co-authored Why We Love Our Cats and Dogs with Phil Miller. She is an associate editor of The Same.

The late Phil Miller co-founded the Riverfront Reading Series with the late Donn Irving Blevins (and with the help and support of Garry Noland, former president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition) over twenty years ago. His poetry has been published in many places, including Big City Lit, The Coal City Review, The I-70 Review, Poetry Wales, seveneightfive Magazine, and Thorny Locust. His books include Cats in the House (Woodley Press); Hard Freeze (BookMark Press); From the Temperate Zone–with Keith Denniston (Potpourri Press); Branches Snapping (Helicon Nine Editions); Why We Love Our Cats and Dogs–with Pat Lawson (Unholy Day Press); The Casablanca Fan (Unholy Day Press); and The Ghost of Every Day (Spartan Press). Phil passed away February 14th, 2011, but he continues to inspire us.

Eve Ott’s fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in The Same, Imagination and Place Press, I70 Review, The Whirlybird Anthology, Kansas City Voices, Redbook, Thorny Locust, Rebirth of Power, and various campus and regional publications. Her poetry collection, Album from the Silent Generation, will be released by Kelsey Books in 2014. She is active in the Kansas City literary community as a member of The Riverfront Reading Series Committee and The Writers Place.

Randy Ratliff has not yet provided us with a bio.

Rhiannon Ross is an award-winning journalist, freelance writer, poet and editor. She works with youth as an ELA tutor, substitute teacher, and teaching artist for In Our Own Words – a Missouri Arts Council-funded poetry program in urban schools. She also serves on the board of Jump Start Art KC, and as a co-coordinator for the Poetry Out Loud Kansas City South Region. She is committed to empowering youth through poetry.