Former KCKCC instructor honored in memorial reading and scholarship fundraiser

by Kelly Rogge

A former faculty member at Kansas City Kansas Community College is being remembered through the Riverfront Series.

Philip Miller taught English composition and literature at KCKCC as well as creative writing and learning center courses from 1976 to 2002, when he retired from the college.

He was a well-published poet, an editor, the co-founder of a long-running reading series and a promoter and supporter of literature in the Kansas City area for many years. Even after moving to Pennsylvania, he continued writing, publishing, editing and encouraging other writers.

One of Miller’s legacies is the Riverfront Reading Series, which began in the 1980s. The series continues, now sponsored by a six-member committee, and is headed by poet Phyllis Becker.

This year’s reading will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15 at The Writer’s Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave. in Kansas City, Mo. In addition, there will be a silent auction, and refreshments will be served.

Donations collected will go toward the Phillip Miller Scholarship fund at KCKCC. The $500 scholarship will be awarded to one English or creative writing student in the Humanities Department at KCKCC each year.

During the reading, KCKCC faculty and students are invited to read their work. Readers are asked to read original poems on the themes of love (or anti-love) or are invited to read one of Miller’s poems.

His work can be found online or in his books, such as “Branches Snapping or Hard Freeze,” (available through Amazon). Other works by Miller can be found at Prospero’s Bookstore, 1800 W. 39th St. in Kansas City, Mo.

Those interested in participating are asked to send an email to eveott6@gmail.com. Readers can also register the day of the event. If unable to attend the Poetry Reading, donations to the Phillip Miller Scholarship Fund can be mailed to KCKCC, 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. 66112. Put Attn: Dawanna Fangohr, professional assistant, KCKCC Endowment Association, on the envelope.

Checks should be made payable to the KCKCC Endowment Association and write “Phillip Miller Scholarship” in the Notes section.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.

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