Oct 20, 2009    #126
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

BkMk Press to release essay and short story collections

BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) announces the Nov. 15 release of Kelly Cherry's latest book, "Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life" and the Nov. 20 release of "Homicide Survivor's Picnic," a short-story collection by Lorraine M. López.

"Girl in a Library" is an essay collection about Cherry's coming of age and authority as a Southern woman writer and reader. Cherry's essays touch upon such themes as literary enthusiasm, American literary culture since the 1960s, feminism, cultural diversity and the inspiring work of contemporary women writers, from Bobbie Ann Mason to Mary Ward Brown. The collection ends with an autobiographical essay reflecting on the author's own career, including her study with such luminaries as George Garrett and Fred Chappell.

"Poet, memoirist, fiction writer, and critic Cherry has assembled a lissome and winning retrospective collection of essays on writing, reading, and life," Booklist's Donna Seaman writes in her starred review.

Kelly Cherry has written 19 books of poetry, novels, short stories, criticism and memoir –including this year's "Girl in a Library." Cherry's short fiction has appeared in "Best American Short Stories," "Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards," "The Pushcart Prize" and "New Stories from the South." Her collection "The Society of Friends: Stories" received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award in 2000 for the best short story collection of 1999. For her poetry, she received the Hanes Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

"Girl in a Library" (ISBN 978-1-886157-66-8) is 232 pages, and the retail price is $16.95.

"Homicide Survivor's Picnic" features 10 stories, which are mostly set in the South and focus on family relationships among characters from Latino and other backgrounds. Lydia, a childless linguist, takes care of her four-year-old niece while the mother faces jail. Social worker Rita rents the empty half of her duplex to her ex-husband with disastrous results. In the title story, teenager Ted winds up attending a homicide survivor’s picnic with his sister, who is mourning her recently-slain boyfriend.

"In a voice that is all at once hilarious and mischievous, searing and seething and sardonic, Lorraine López presents, in her most necessary book to date, a celebration of the liberating power of bad behavior," writes Heather Sellers, author of "Georgia Under Water," about López"s fifth book.

ForeWord Reviews has selected "Homicide Survivor's Picnic" as its Book Club feature for the week of Dec. 2.

López teaches at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. In 2001, her manuscript "Soy La Avon Lady and Other Stories" won the first Miguel Marmol Prize for Fiction. That book went on to win the Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction and the International Latino Book Award for Short Stories. Her novel "The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters," published by Grand Central in 2008, was a Los Compadres/Borders Selection. Two other books are forthcoming in 2010: a novel, "Limpieza" (Grand Central) and an edited book of essays, "An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor and Working Class Roots" (University of Arizona Press).

"Homicide Survivors Picnic" (ISBN 978-1-1886157-72-9) is 266 pages, and the retail price is $16.95.

BkMk Press books are available through SPD/Small Press Distribution (, Baker & Taylor and directly from the press. For more information, contact BkMk Press at (816) 235-2558 or

BkMk Press was founded in 1971 and has been a part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City since 1983. BkMk concentrates on publishing collections of poetry, short fiction and creative essays. Publishing six to eight titles a year, BkMk Press currently has more than 100 titles in print. Assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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 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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