BkMk Press Books

BkMk Press Book Wins IPPY Award

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BkMk Press announces that its book Thorn, by Evan Morgan Williams, won the 2016 gold medal in the category of short fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, currently in it’s 20th year. Williams previously won BkMk Press’ G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize in Short Fiction for Thorn in a contest judged by former California poet laureate Al Young. “The seductive beauty of these subtle troubling fictions,” Young states in the foreword to Thorn, “reflect their author’s dreamy, voice-drenched visions of underdog lives.”

BkMk Press annually offers the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize in Short Fiction and the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. The next deadline for these prizes is Jan. 15, 2017. Submissions must be book-length and written in English. Winners are announced in August, and receive $1000 and book publication. Authors published in this contest have gone on to be reviewed or featured in publications such as Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews. 

Independent Publisher Award page.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lenore Myka is one of only thirty-seven out of 1,768 applicants to be selected for this year’s $25,000 fiction fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Myka’s first book, King of the Gypsies, won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Lorraine M. López and published by BkMk Press in 2015. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Romania, Myka currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her work has also appeared in New England Review, Iowa Review and Upstreet.

New Book by Robert Day Available Now

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Billion-Dollar Dream, Robert Day’s third story collection, published by BkMk Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City, is now available. Its nine stories set in Kansas and France have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, New Letters, Numéro Cinq, and elsewhere. 

Day’s characters can be hoarders, filthy, larcenous and adulterous.  But there always emerges a moral point, a discovery or self-discovery, a quick drawing of the breath at what has been revealed or irretrievably lost.  Just as Paul in the story “Billion Dollar Dream” digs an elevator shaft and the narrator of “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” digs graves, author Day goes deep for the dirt and watches the sunrise from the hole.

Day’s previous story collection, Where I Am Now, also from BkMk Press, won the Eric Hoffer Award’s best academic press title as well as a silver ForeWord award. Publishers Weekly called it “a lyrical and discerning love letter to agrarian living,” and Booklist praised its “smart and lovely writing.”

Robert Day’s short fiction has received Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize citations. Among his awards and fellowships are National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and MacDowell fellowships and a Maryland State Arts Council Award. He is the author of the novel The Last Cattle Drive, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, two novellas, In My Stead and The Four Wheel Drive Quartet, and two collections of short stories, Where I Am Now and Speaking French in Kansas. He has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, University of Kansas, and Université Bordeaux Montaigne. He is past president of the Associated Writing Programs, and founder and publisher of the Literary House Press at Washington College, where he is an adjunct professor of English literature.

BkMk's Lauren Cobb at Fallbrook Library

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July 8, 2014 Lauren Cobb Reading
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fallbrook Library, 124 S Mission, Fallbrook, CA

Reading preceded by open mic for original poetry and prose

Lauren Cobb, Professor of English at Bemidji State University, Minnesota, will be reading from and discussing her new collection of linked short stories, Boulevard Women. Winner of the 2012 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, the collection delves into the lives of three women, born in three distinct generations and living as neighbors in Athens, Georgia.

Boulevard Women will be available for sale and signing by the author.

For more information, contact K-B Gressitt at kbgressitt@gmail.com or 760-522-1064.

Email: director@millbrooklibrary.org 

Maine Literary Award goes to Christian Barter's poetry book, In Someone Else's House

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

BkMk congratulates poet Christian Barter.  The Maine Literary Awards Poetry award for 2014 went to Christian Barter's poetry book, In Someone Else's House, published by BkMk Press

The Maine Literary Awards is an annual competition sponsored and coordinated by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.


2014 BkMk Book Publishing Contest Judging Begins

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BkMk's 2014 book publishing contest deadline has passed.  Thank you for your entries.  And good luck to the judges, who will have many fine manuscripts to consider.  Winners will be announced in August, 2014. 

If you missed this year's deadline, we encourage you to prepare your book for entry into the 2015 contest--deadline January 15, 2015. 

Submit to BkMk Book Publication Contest Online Now!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beginning in early December 2013 BkMk Press will accept online submissiions for the John Ciardi Poetry Prize and the G.S. Sharat Chandra Short Fiction Prize.  Please visit our contest guidelines for access to this new option for entering our book publication prizes. 

BkMk Announces Prize Winners for 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BkMk Press congratulates Evan Morgan Williams and Jane Hoogestraat, 2013 winners our book prizes.
Williams' manuscript was selected by Al Young as the 2013 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize winner.
Luis J. Rodriguez selected Hoogestraat's collection of poetry for the 2013 John Ciardi Prize. 

Thanks to all who submitted work to the contest. We hope you will consider sending manuscriipts for the 2014 competition

Silver Medal for Robert Day Short Story Collection

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Robert Day’s Where I Am Now won a silver medal in ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards in short stories. 

Fresh Review for Christian Barter's new book, In Someone Else's House

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Christian Barter's book of poems, In Someone Else’s House was reviewed by Denise Low in the Kansas City Star Sunday

BkMk's We Are Taking Only What We Need on O's 2013 Summer Reading List

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stephanie Powell Watts' BkMk Press book, We Are Taking Only What We Need, has made O's 2013 summr reading list.  Yet another wise recommendation to read this collection. 

New Bargen Book to be Released

Monday, May 27, 2013

Walter Bargen has published sixteen books of poetry and one chapbook.  His poems and fictions have appeared in over one hundred magazines, including New Letters, River Styx, and A capella Zoo.  He has won the William Rockhill Nelson Award, the Chester H. Jones Foundation Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In 2008, he was appointed to be the first poet laureate of Missouri.  He lives in Ashland, Missouri, with his wife, Bobette, and twenty-some cats.  His website is www.walterbargen.com.


Whether turning his attention to the poet as unlikely, small-town-parade Grand Marshall, a relationship that’s reached the point-of-no-return that pilots know (“fuel / too low to turn back and too low to arrive”), fedora-tossing grandfathers who cheat at Go Fish, or American foreign policy as enacted by Laurel and Hardy, Walter Bargen reminds us—in language at once plain-spoken and oddly elegant—that we walk through a world fraught with equal measures of danger, wonder, and cockeyed joy.
                —David Clewell, Former Poet Laureate of Missouri

In Trouble Behind Glass Doors, Walter Bargen offers up—by way of those moments that adhere to us forever, those “trumpet vines / [that] once brushed the backs of our necks / at the zenith of a creaking arc”—a sympathetic voice to honor the land he lives on and the lives who seek its often difficult heart. Because “We never leave the places / we’ve lived. We construct and reconstruct our absences.” To this end, the poet has created a strong, lyrical, sometimes humorous testament that heeds a world we can very much, and gratefully, see.              
                —Gary Gildner

Press Release

Walter Bargen to Release New Book Of Poetry With BkMk Press

Poems explore life: life in general, life in Missouri, life as a poet, life as part of death.


Kansas City, MO. – BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is pleased to announce the publication of “Trouble Behind Glass Doors”, a book of poetry by Walter Bargen written during and following his time as Missouri’s first poet laureate.  The book contains 40 pieces of new and published poetry covering a range of topics with titles from Tolstoy’s Ants and Foreign Policy to Naked History and Scantily Clad Poet. 

“Walter Bargen reminds us,” writes fellow former Missouri poet laureate David Clewell, “—in language at once plain-spoken and oddly elegant—that we walk through a world fraught with equal measures of danger, wonder, and cockeyed joy.”

“Trouble” is organized into three sections: the first considers the poet’s varying and ambiguous role as laureate, the second contemplates and illustrates and ludicrous nature of the phrase “whole facts,” and the third meditates on the apocalyptic fate of the world around and in us.

   “The title says it all,” says Bargen when asked sum up his newest book, “the ways that we fail ourselves, each other, sustaining ourselves on the earth, are there for all of us to see/read, if we will just open our eyes and minds.  I hope the panes of these poems are clear enough for all to see through.”

Bargen, who resides with his wife, Bobette, in Ashland, Missouri, has appeared in over 100 magazines and published 16 books of poetry and one chapbook, including “Days Like This Are Necessary” (BkMk Press, 2009), “West of West”(Timberline Press, 2007), and “The Feast” (BkMk Press, 2004).  He is also the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship (1991), the Quarter After Eight Prose Prize (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), the Chester H. Jones Foundation Poetry Prize (1997), and the 2005 William Rockhill Nelson Award for Best Poetry Book by a Missouri or Kansas writer.

            Media representatives who wish to obtain a review copy of “Trouble Behind Glass Doors” or purchase other BkMk titles may contact Ben Furnish, managing editor of BkMk Press, at furnish@umkc.edu or (816) 235-2558.  BkMk books are available through Ingram Company, SPD, Baker & Taylor, and directly through BkMk Press.


New Chapbook from BkMk Press

Friday, May 17, 2013

This edition of selected poems by Crystal MacLean Field has been produced by the editors of BkMk Press, in concert with the poet’s estate, to commemorate the 25th year of the Crystal Field Scholarship in Poetry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Proceeds from sales of this book will support the scholarship.  We trust, also, that the book will re-introduce readers to the work of this influential and distinctive poet.

BkMk Press author Stephanie Powell Watts wins the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Thursday, February 7, 2013

BkMk Press author Stephanie Powell Watts wins the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence For her book, We Are Taking Only What We Need (BkMk P, 2012)

Kansas City Literary Events

Coutley, Gaskin & Molberg

Friday, August 21, 2020
Kansas City, Mo.


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New Letters, New Letters on the Air, and our affiliate publisher, BkMk Press, stand in solidarity with our black writers, readers, listeners, friends, and community. Read our full statement here.


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