Nov 6, 2009    #134
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

BkMk Press releases poetry book inspired by Pacific World War II testimonies

Tony Barnstone's "Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki" wins Ciardi Poetry Prize

"Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki," a poetry book by Tony Barnstone, will be published Dec. 1 by BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

Barnstone wrote the book as a "love letter to the World War II generation," but also as a history in verse that allows readers to inhabit multiple and warring perspectives on the War in the Pacific.

B. H. Fairchild, an author and poet, awarded "Tongue of War" with the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry.

"'Tongue of War' is one of the most distinctive manuscripts I have ever judged for a book prize," Fairchild said.

Pulitzer-prize-winning writer Robert Olen Butler wrote that "Barnstone has revealed humankind's capacity both for evil and for redemption with a power that few writers have ever achieved."

Barnstone is the Alpert Upton Professor of English at Whittier College in California. In addition to being the author of four other poetry titles, he is a noted translator of Chinese poetry. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Benjamin Saltman Prize in Poetry from Red Hen Press and the grand prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Competition.

"Tongue of War" (ISBN 978-1-1886157-73-6) is 126 pages, and the retail price is $14.95.

Founded in 1971, BkMk Press became part of UMKC in 1983. BkMk concentrates on publishing collections of poetry, short fiction and creative essays. Publishing six titles a year, BkMk Press has more than 100 titles in print. Assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. For more information about BkMk Press and its titles, call (816) 235-2558 or email

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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