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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Olive Sullivan's poem is included in a "notable" state work

  • Olive Sullivan’s life has always centered around words, and a small arrangement of her words, known as a poem, is included in “To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices,” which has recently been placed on the Kansas Notable Book List.

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  • Olive Sullivan’s life has always centered around words, and a small arrangement of her words, known as a poem, is included in “To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices,” which has recently been placed on the Kansas Notable Book List.
    The list is the annual recognition of 15 titles by Kansas authors or about Kansas. It is the only honor for Kansas books by Kansans.
    The collection was edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-2013 poet laureate of Kansas. A renga is a collaborative poem based on the Japanese haiku form.
    The daughter of Dr. Victor Sullivan, Pittsburg State University dean and professor emeritus, and former Pittsburg mayor Mary-Kate Sullivan, she was encouraged to focus on writing as a career by a beloved Pittsburg High School teacher, the late Elaine Bryant.
    While attending PSU, Sullivan worked on the Kanza yearbook and Collegio student newspaper. During her time as managing editor, the yearbook won its first Pacemaker Award, the most prestigious in collegiate journalism at that time.
    She graduated from PSU with a bachleor of arts in English/communication with a journalism minor, later earning a master’s in English/rhetoric from the University of Colorado - Denver.
    Sullivan taught writing and literature classes and advised student publications at the Community College of Aurora, Colo., and New Mexico State University - Carlesbad, before returning to Pittsburg and teaching journalism, writing and literature at PSU and Labette Community College.
    She also served as producer of the morning news show for KOAM TV before joining the staff of The Pittsburg Morning Sun. In addition to her regular reporting duties, Sullivan created and co-edited a Spanish language sister publication, El Amanecer. She also served as a lead writer for The Girard Press,  and has written for the Joplin Tri-State Business Journal, Southeast Kansas Business Journal and The Carthage Press.
    Sullivan joined the Missouri Southern State University communication department faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of  communication. She is also advisor for The Chart, the MSSU student newspaper.
    Her other passion is creative writing, and in addition to her poetry she has published short fiction and creative essays in anthologies and magazines in the United States, Canada and England. Sullivan has given readings of her work in Pittsburg  and at the Writer’s Place in Kansas City, Spiva Art Gallery in Joplin and venues in Lawrence, Wichita and Denver.
    One of her more unusual writing projects was to adapt Lawrence Block’s short story “Cleveland in My Dreams” into a screenplay for a film directed by her brother, Mark Sullivan. It brought her the Gold Remi Award for “Best Adaptation” from Worldfest Film Festival in Houston, Texas in 2006, as well as awards for Best Comedy at the Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield, Ill., in 2005 and the Best of Fest at the Bare Bones International Script 2 Screen Fest in Tulsa, Okla., also in 2005.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sullivan was also featured playwright at Playwrite’s Showcase of the Western Region, Denver, for the play “We Be Women” in 2004.

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