Conference speakers welcome public

October 4, 2011

The public is welcome at two keynote events during the 2011 annual conference of Kansas Reading Association, which will be Oct. 20 and 21 on the Emporia State University campus.

Public events on Thursday, Oct. 20 include a vendor exhibition from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Visser Hall Atrium. At 6 p.m., ESU’s Dr. Jim Hoy will present “Cowboy Songs and Poems of the Old Chisholm Trail,” the keynote address during the Western-style buffet dinner in Webb Hall of the Memorial Union. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person.

On Friday, Oct. 21, author Brian Lies will speak on “From Reader to Writer: How Books Shaped a Children's Book Author” during the Italian lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Webb Hall. Lies will talk about his book, “Bats at the Library,” which has received the 2010 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award. The lunch costs $20 per person.

Hoy is a native of Cassoday, Kan., where he was reared on a small stock ranch working cattle, breaking horses, driving mules, and stacking loose hay.  Too much of the latter two activities convinced him to go to college. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, a master’s degree from Emporia State and a Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia.

He taught at the junior high level before moving to the college setting. Hoy has published more than 100 articles, both scholarly and journalistic, and is the author or co-author of nine books including “Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie.” Copies of his books will be available for sale, and Hoy will sign them after the dinner.

Lies is a prolific and talented illustrator.  He grew up in Princeton, N.J., and fell in love with books and illustration at a young age.  He attended Brown University to study psychology and literature.  Shortly after graduating, Lies went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.  Since then, he has illustrated approximately 20 books.  He has had four written-and-illustrated books on the New York Times bestseller list — “Bats at the Library,” “Bats at the Beach,” “Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite” and “Hamlet and the Magnificent Sandcastle.”

Lies lives in a seaside town in Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, two cats and a hamster — but no bats! His books also will be available for purchase and autographs.
The Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award is given annually by the KRA in honor of internationally renowned Kansas author Bill Martin, Jr., an ESU alumni and author of well-loved titles including “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.”

Reservations for each meal are due by Friday, Oct. 7 and may be emailed to Dawn Moews at

For more information:
Kansas Reading Association:
Bill Martin Jr.:



Achievement - Emporia State University

Check out our students' achievements and accomplishments on Emporia State's site