Jun 6, 2008    #066
Contact: Wandra Green
(816) 235-1601

“Dream Lives of Butterflies” by Colbert wins gold medal for short fiction

“Dream Lives of Butterflies,” a collection of stories by Jaimee Wriston Colbert, won the gold medal for short fiction in the 12th annual Independent Publisher (“IPPY”) Book Awards. The book was published by the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) BkMk Press. Colbert was honored at BookExpo America on May 30, 2008, in Los Angeles.

“Colbert knows the weight and shape of the human heart,” writes Small Press Review.

Set mostly in a St. Louis, Mo., apartment complex, the characters’ lives reflect the chasm between the haves and the have-nots in late 20th century America. The book’s title refers to a central character, a lepidopterist (butterfly collector) whose mother is in the early stages of dementia, as other characters cope with teen pregnancy, religious revelation and the loss of a family member to mental or physical illness.

Colbert appreciates the independent publishers who give authors a chance.

“I’m thrilled and particularly gratified that this award acknowledges the contribution independent publishers make,” Colbert said. “When so much of trade publishing has become about the bottom line, it’s the independent presses that are putting out the more risky, substantive literature. I especially thank BkMk Press for helping make a book I am proud of.”

Colbert’s fiction has appeared widely in literary magazines, including TriQuarterly, New Letters and Prairie Schooner. Booklist described Colbert’s characters as “incandescent,” people who “find grace by simply reaching out to another human being.”

“Dream Lives” was a Kansas City Star 2007 notable book; an earlier work of Colbert’s, “Climbing the God Tree,” won the Willa Cather Prize for Fiction.

BkMk Press publishes fine literature by contemporary authors and is supported in part by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; UMKC; and private donations.

For more information about “Dream Lives of Butterflies” and other BkMk titles, go to

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. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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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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