UMKC’s BkMk Press releases Berkeley poet’s first book

Megan Harlan wins John Ciardi Prize, USA Book News’ Best Books 2010 Award for Poetry

The University of Missouri-Kansas City‘s (UMKC) BkMk Press announces the December publication of Megan Harlan’s first poetry collection, “Mapmaking”. These poems span settings from contemporary Manhattan to prewar Paris, from the Arabian desert to the California coast, to explore the creative nature of place – how people navigate the deeper landscapes of love and loss, home and dislocation, memory and imagination. This book won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, selected by poet and translator Sidney Wade, who writes that Harlan “constructs genuinely new topographies for us that offer significant and original inroads into our understanding of what it means to be human.” The book also recently won the USA Book News Best Books 2010 Award for Poetry.

“Megan Harlan’s nuanced, visionary poems explore farsickness, the sensation of missing places we’ve never been,” said celebrated poet and MacArthur fellow Alice Fulton. “A profound meditation on the permeability of past and present, nature and artifice, self and other, space and time, ‘Mapmaking’ is a miracle of invention.”

Notre Dame Review editor John Matthias said, “When I think of mapmaking in contemporary American poetry I usually see a poet setting up surveying equipment in uncharted lands somewhere between Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Geography’ and Charles Olson’s ‘Maximus’. Megan Harlan’s work has the control of Bishop, the range and risk of Olson.”

The Berkeley, California author’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, TriQuarterly, Arts & Letters, Notre Dame Review, Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, AGNI Online, Poetry Daily and elsewhere. Harlan holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from New York University (where she was awarded Writers Fellowships) and a B.A. in English from Tufts University.

“Mapmaking” (ISBN 978-1-886157-77-4) is 66 pages, and the retail price is $13.95. BkMk books are available through Ingram Book Company, SPD and Baker & Taylor. For more information, contact Ben Furnish, managing editor of BkMk Press, at or (816) 235-2558.

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 roughly six titles a year, BkMk Press has more than 125 titles in print.

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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