BkMk Press Books

The Owl That Carries Us Away


by Doug Ramspeck

Price: $15.95, 184 pages

ISBN: 9781943491131, 2018

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Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Billy Lombardo.

Bronze winner, Independent Publisher Award (IPPY)

Current finalist, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award in short stories

­Excellent reading for those who value meditative, beautiful storytelling. —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review)

Ramspeck's debut collection abounds with flawed families, tense confirmations, and unlikely moments of grace...These precise and resonant stories chronicle humble lives and unspoken traumas, making for a subtle and moving reading experience. —Kirkus Reviews 

One is tempted, in describing Douglas Ramspeck’s new collection, to use the word ‘unflinching’—and indeed, these fictions tackle crises that might tempt many to avert their gaze: dead, missing, or decamped fathers, tragic accidents, romantic disappointment, childhood trauma, awkward aftermaths of all kinds. The problem is that ‘unflinching’ gives the viewer, or the writer, special credit for not looking away. But flinching is for those who have a choice, and the characters in these spare, close-to-the-bone stories do not. What Ramspeck succeeds in here is to show us, in poignant, lyrical, but never fussy prose, what everyday fortitude looks like, what it’s like to look hardship straight in its eye and keep pressing on. These are flawed, sympathetic, fully human characters, and this is a sad, dark, terrific book.
    —Michael Griffith, Trophy and Bibliophilia

Read the review in New Pages


Doug Ramspeck teaches at the Ohio State University at Lima. His prizes
include the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, selected by Leslie Adrienne
Miller, the Barrow Street Prize, selected by Mary Ruefle, and the
Michael Waters Prize from Southern Indiana Review Press. A graduate
of Kenyon College and the University of California at Irvine, he lives in
Lima with his wife, Beth Sutton-Ramspeck. They have a daughter, Lee,
who lives in North Carolina. The Owl That Carries Us Away is his first
fiction book. He is the author of five books of poetry.

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