Nov 21, 2006    #169
Contact: Nick Barron

Award winning poetry book published

BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City announces the publication of, Wayne’s College of Beauty, David Swanger’s fifth poetry collection.  This book won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry selected by Colleen J. McElroy.  McElroy, an author of seven poetry books and editor of the Seattle Review, writes, “I was much impressed by the way music and metaphor fueled the narrative thread…The cadence evokes imagery without losing the balance of sentiment and sentimentality. These poems are both hard-edged and beautiful, and exciting collection.”

            The poetic destination of Wayne’s College of Beauty can be seen in its journey through the relationship between the personal, philosophical, and metaphysical.  The work divides into four stages.  The first section “Fathers and Mothers / Husbands and Wives,” provides a glimpse at the personal reflections we take from one another.  “Water / War” then pushes us toward the struggle for balance between nature and technology.  While in the final sections, “Known / Unknown” and “Departure / Arrival” we begin to explore questions concerning our philosophical and metaphysical selves.  “Perhaps we can ask no more of Wayne’s College of Beauty than that it end with one of the greatest poems of the past quarter century, ‘What the Wing Says.’  But David Swanger’s long-percolated collection does offer more,” writes Stephen Corey editor of the Georgia Review.

            For Swanger recognizing these relationships is of the utmost importance.  “I rent a room on this planet that has many doors.  Who knows who will knock or enter unannounced?”  Swanger says.  “The point for me is to welcome whoever comes, and be grateful when what enters my life is both significant and surprising.  This can be made into a poem.” Wayne’s College of Beauty achieves this exploration and acceptance of the world around us with ornate tones and images which carry the reader to the places where Swanger hopes to meet us.

David Swanger received his BA form Swarthmore College, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard.  He has published poetry in dozens of magazines and journals and won a number of distinguished prizes including the Foley Award from America.  Swanger is a Professor Emeritus at the University of California-Santa Cruz, and he still makes his home in Santa Cruz.

Wayne’s College of Beauty is available from BkMk Press and from other wholesale and retail outlets.  It is $13.95 in trade paper back, ISBN 1-886157-57-X.  Media review copies of Wayne’s College of Beauty may be requested by calling 816-235-2558.

 BkMk Press was founded in 1971 and became a part of UMKC in 1983. The press publishes fine literature by contemporary authors. 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, established in 1963, has the following strategic goals: In 2006: We are a national leader in scholarship and creative activity; We attract, nurture, and develop responsible community leaders; We are an essential community partner and resource; We are a workplace of choice; and We have the resources to fuel our vision.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.  UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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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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