UMKC BkMk Press authors speak June 15

KANSAS CITY, MO.University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) BkMk Press authors Tony Barnstone and Mary Troy will read from their books at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15 at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo. A $3 donation from Writers Place members and a $5 donation from visitors is requested at the door. For more information, contact BkMk Press at (816) 235-2558.

Barnstone will read from “Tongue of War: from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki,” which is based on Barnstone’s 14 years of historical research and presents the stories of individuals from all sides of World War II’s Pacific theater.

“Tony Barnstone has revealed humankind’s capacity both for evil and for redemption with a power that few writers have ever achieved,” said Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler.

“Tongue of War” recently received the Poets’ Prize, a $3,000 award given annually by a committee of 20 nationally prominent poets. “Tongue of War” also won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, selected by B.H. Fairchild. Barnstone, who also is a noted translator of Asian poetry, teaches at Whittier College in Whittier, Calif.

Troy will read from “Beauties,” which follows cousins Bev, who has one leg, and Shelly, who is a former model, as they open Alibi Cafe in urban south St. Louis in the late 1990s. The two go on to transform the way each understands success — in cooking, business, longing for parenthood, love and beauty. Pete Dulin, a Kansas City-based food writer and former co-editor of, will introduce Troy.

The book recently won the USA Book News’ Best Books 2010 Award for Literary Fiction and ranked third on Small Press Distribution’s fiction bestseller list for March and April. “Beauties” is a finalist for ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year in literary fiction.

Troy also received the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award for fiction and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award for her book, “Cookie Lily”. Troy directs the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and edits Natural Bridge, a journal of contemporary literature. Co-sponsors include The Writers Place and the following UMKC programs: the College of Arts and Sciences’ (CAS) MFA in Creative Writing & Media Arts, the Mark Twain Writers Workshop, BkMk Press, New Letters and the CAS’ Bernardin-Haskell Lecture Fund.

Barnstone and Troy also will lecture at the Mark Twain Writers Workshop on June 15 and 16.

Founded in 1971, BkMk Press has been a part of UMKC since 1983. BkMk concentrates on publishing collections of poetry, short fiction and creative essays. Publishing as many as six titles a year, BkMk Press has more than 125 titles in print. For more information, contact Ben Furnish, managing editor of BkMk Press at or (816) 235-2558. Financial assistance is 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 15,000 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. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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