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. He is the author of two fiction ebooks: Flight 776 and Jack of Diamonds (LAB 52 2012 and 2013 respectively), three chapbooks of poetry: As I Watch You Fade (EMP 2016), You’ve Heard It All Before (GigaPoem 2017), and Things Have Changed (Dark Particle Press 2019), three split books of poetry, Little Fires Hiding and Everyone’s Alone Tonight (with Jason Baldinger) (Kung Fu Treachery Press 2018 and 2019 respectively), and Against The Dark (with Tyler Robert Sheldon) (Stubborn Mule Press 2019), and two full-length solo book of poems, The Park (Kelsay Books 2019), and From the Back (Spartan Press 2020). He is a member of the Riverfront Readings Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of The Writers Place in Kansas City. He is the founder of the 365 Poems In 365 Days online poetry workshop and is Editor In Chief of the subsequent anthology series. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and children.

Carl Bettis (he/him) is a poet and software engineer 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 edits an e-zine of short horror-themed poetry, prose, and art at

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.

Beth Gulley writes short, quirky poems that she most recently published in Thorny Locust, Bards Against Hunger, and 365 Poems/365 Days volume 2. She teaches at Johnson County Community College.

Silvia Kofler is a widely published poet, translator, and educator who has read her work in NYC and Berlin, Germany. Her newest book release is Gambol the World: Eine Weltanschauung, by Spartan Press, KC, 2017. She is the organizer of Vino & Verse, a new reading series in Kansas City, MO.

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. A collection of her stories, Odd Ducks, will be published soon by BKMK Press. She was 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 thirty 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 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. She has published two books, a full length collection, Album from the Silent Generation (Kelsey Books, 2014) and a chapbook, On the Jefferson Line (Prolific Press, Inc. 2018).

Randy Ratliff has not provided us with a bio.