Mar 6, 2007    #013
Contact: Nick Barron

Award-winning author’s latest book set for release

The University of Missouri Kansas City’s BkMk Press announces the March 1 publication of Gladys Swan’s latest book of short stories, “A Garden amid Fires.”

“Publishers Weekly” praises how the book “skillfully track(s) time’s toll on the ability to live and love fully.”

“I have always admired the fiction of Gladys Swan and now, with ‘A Garden amid Fires,’ she claims new mastery of the short story,” Fred Chappell, prolific fiction writer and past poet laureate of North Carolina, said. “A wide variety of settings adds brilliance to important themes: the irresistible powers of memory, the confusions of exile, genuineness and falsity in art, the integrity of loneliness.”

Swan is the author of seven previous fiction titles. Her awards include the Tate Prize for Poetry and the Lawrence Foundation Award for Fiction. She has taught creative writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at Vermont College. She lives in Columbia, Mo.

Some of Swan’s stories are set in Maine where she spent more than 30 summers on a lake in the woods. Others are set in Europe or the Southwest. She uses her experience as a writer and a painter to color her stories of self-discovery.

“I’m not sure whether I’m a writer who paints or a painter who writes. It’s all one now,” Swan said. Her painting “Patio with Flowers” appears on the book’s cover.

BkMk Press was founded in 1971 and became part of UMKC in 1983. The press publishes fine literature by contemporary authors, including two annual book prizes, one for short fiction and the other for poetry. Financial assistance for this project was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Media review copies of “A Garden amid Fires” may be requested by contacting the press at (816) 235-2558 or The book is available from BkMk Press, from SPD in Berkeley, Calif. (, and from other wholesale and retail outlets. The retail price is $15.95 in trade

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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