Kansas Poet Laureate emeritus (2019-2022) and Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, Huascar Medina has authored two books of poetry: Un Mango Grows in Kansas and How to Hang the Moon. He is the Lit editor for seveneightfive magazine, a staff editor at South Broadway Press in Denver, CO, an op-ed writer at Kansas Reflector, a founding member and former Chair of TopekaUnited.org, the founder of wordssavelives.org, and co-founder of latinidad.us.

Huascar works for Mid-America Arts Alliance as an Artist INC program associate, providing professional development programming to artists over a six-state region. He is President of Artsconnect Topeka’s Board of Directors, a Kansas Book Festival Advisory Committee Member, a Salina Spring Poetry Series Curator, a member of the Accessible Arts Greater Kansas City (AAGKC) Roundtable, and a National Council on the Arts Member.

Huascar was born in Killeen, TX, and has lived artfully in Kansas for over two decades. He considers himself a special kind of Kansan—a helianthus. Huascar took roots in Kansas, grew there, and blossomed.

As a second-generation immigrant living in the Heartland, Huascar pushes the boundaries between identity and location, focusing on cultural empathy, social cohesion, class structures, first-generation trauma, minority mental health, and internalized diasporic longing and belonging.

His work has appeared in the Flint Hills Review, Green Mountains Review, Kansas Magazine, Latino Book Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

Read his poems and profile at poets.org