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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 20, 2011    #084
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

Tokyo author to appear in Kansas City, Mo. and Lawrence, Kan.

Mariko Nagai's new book of stories published by UMKC's BkMk Press

Kansas City, Mo. - Mariko Nagai, author of the new story collection "Georgic," will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16 at the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. A reception will take place at 6 p.m. and admission is free. To RSVP or for more information, call (816) 235-2558.

New Letters, the University of Missouri-Kansas City's (UMKC) international magazine of writing and art, and UMKC's BkMk Press are co-sponsoring the event with help from the Heart of America Japan-America Society. Nagai will read from "Georgic" and talk about the inspiration for her book, especially Japanese responses to catastrophe in folk tales and more recent history.

Mariko Nagai also will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17 at the Raven Book Store, 6 E. 7th St., Lawrence, Kan. This event is co-sponsored by BkMk Press and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Kansas. For more information, call (785) 749-3300.

"Georgic" won the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Jonis Agee, and was published by BkMk Press. Winner of the USABookNews.com 2010 Best Books Prize for Short Story Fiction, the book is a finalist for ForeWord Reviews' 2010 Book of the Year Award for Short Stories.

"Starkly recounted with a clear, cold tone, these stories carry the weight of a survivor bearing witness," wrote Publishers Weekly.

Born in Tokyo and raised in Europe and America, Nagai holds degrees from New York University and Boston University. Her honors include the Erich Maria Remarque Fellowship from New York University, fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for the Arts, Yaddo and Djerassi. She has received Pushcart Prizes in poetry and fiction for work in New Letters. Nagai's collection of poems, "Histories of Bodies," won the Benjamin Saltman Prize from Red Hen Press. She teaches creative writing and literature at Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo. Her website is www.mariko-nagai.com. To read an interview with her, visit http://cas.umkc.edu/bkmk/interviews/Nagai-Reader's%20Guide.pdf.

Founded in 1971, BkMk Press has been a part of UMKC since 1983. BkMk concentrates on publishing collections of poetry, short fiction and creative essays. Publishing roughly six titles a year, BkMk Press has more than 125 titles in print. BkMk Press established the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize in 2002 to honor the memory of Chandra, a writer and longtime faculty member at UMKC. Financial assistance for BkMk Press is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, by UMKC, and by private donations.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

 

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