Dec 15, 2008    #115
Contact: Laura Byerley

Ohio prize-winning poet publishes first book through BkMk Press"Black Tupelo Country" satirically recounts a lost childhood

BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) announces the Dec. 15 release of “Black Tupelo Country” by Doug Ramspeck, winner of the UMKC John Ciardi Prize for Poetry.

“‘Black Tupelo Country’ is a book of cinematic lushness razored with ache,” writes poet Leslie Adrienne Miller, who selected the book for the Ciardi Prize. “These poems dwell in the dark, immutable seam between the natural and interior worlds.”

Vivian Shipley, editor of “The Connecticut Review,” writes, “wicked humor is also woven into the collection in poems about commerce that depict Socrates engaging the Greeter at Wal-Mart in a Dialogue, Adam and Eve selling sub sandwiches in a mall and Odysseus buying a Cinnabon franchise when he retires.”

Ramspeck teaches English and coordinates the Writing Center at The Ohio State University at Lima. Since he began writing poems in 2004, his work has appeared in more than 200 publications, including “Passages North,” “West Branch,” and “Hayden’s Ferry Review.” A graduate of Kenyon College and the University of California at Irvine, he lives in Lima with his wife Beth Sutton-Ramspeck and their daughter, Lee. “Black Tupelo Country” is his first book.

Founded in 1971, BkMk Press became part of UMKC in 1983. Financial assistance for BkMk Press is provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; by UMKC; and by private donations.

For more information about this book, please contact BkMk Press at (816) 235-2558 or “Black Tupelo Country” (ISBN 978-1-886157-65-1) is 101 pages in trade paper, and the retail price is $13.95.

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 four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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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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