When New York resident Christie Leigh Babirad was living in Topeka and attending Washburn University, she became heavily influenced by the Sunflower State, its open land and the peacefulness that it offered.
Now, years later, Babirad continues to feel Kansas’ pull and has incorporated her thoughts and feelings about the state into her first published poetry collection.
“Sapphire Stars,” which was released Nov. 24, features 170 poems and 48 of Babirad’s personal photos.
According to Babirad, the ideas and concepts behind the poems date back to her childhood, but most of them were written in her early 20s.
Two of the poems, “Konza Prairie” and “Still With Me,” tell of Kansas and Babirad’s days at Washburn.
“I wrote both because I was heavily influenced by the open land in Kansas and that feeling of freedom,” Babirad said. “Being there at such an impressionable age — I was like 19 (or)