LIBERAL — After a career in writing and teaching, a southwest Kansas woman decided to take the plunge and write.

For the past four years, Janice Northerns worked on a book that sets the prairie to poetry, from rural Texas to southwest Kansas.

In her recently published first book, "Some Electric Hum," Northerns shares more than 50 poems, many of which focus on real-life events.

"My poetry has a strong sense of place," Northerns said. "All of my poems pretty much tell a story."

Northerns constructs her poignant poems against the backdrop of a stark rural landscape. These carefully crafted poems explore topics of coming of age, womanhood, immigration and human rights. With Northerns’ specific setting and a clear voice, "Some Electric Hum" delivers poems about carnival workers, criminals, historical figures and everyday rural scenes.

"Maybe there’s something in the ground here," Northerns said. "It’s flat, it’s dry and there’s no trees."

Northerns taught English at Seward County Community College in Liberal from 2008 to 2019. While at SCCC, she and her husband, fellow English instructor Bill McGlothing, instituted an annual Poetry Coffee House and poetry contest. Before teaching at SCCC, Northerns taught English for Liberal Unified School District 480.

Having grown up on a farm in rural West Texas, Northerns has great respect for the land. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Texas Tech University, where she studied with poets Walt McDonald and William Wenthe.

Her poetry is published in literary journals and has won numerous awards. Lamar University Literary Press is the publisher of her first book. To find out more about the author, go to

"The book has a little bit for everybody," Northerns said.