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Doctoral student wins publisher's contest for poetry

Feb. 2, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University graduate student Gary L. McDowell has won the 2009 Orphic Prize for Poetry from Dream Horse Press and will have his manuscript, "American Amen," published in late 2010.

The book is his first full-length poetry collection. In it, he explores such themes as father/son relationships, impending fatherhood and coming of age. He also explores the way narrative is constructed through an interweaving of recurring images, such as fishing, lakes, ghosts and birds.

The contest, sponsored by the independent publishing company in San Jose, Calif., also awarded McDowell a $1,000 cash prize.

McDowell, who lives in Kalamazoo, is the author of the recently released book, "They Speak of Fruit," published by Cooper Dillon Books in 2009. He is also the co-editor of "The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice," due out from Rose Metal Press in April 2010. He has poems forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Indiana Review, Quarterly West, Reed, Lumina, Parthenon West Review, Barn Owl Review, Cider Press Review and others.

A native of Chicago, McDowell earned his bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University in 2003 and his master's degree in poetry from Bowling Green State University in 2007. He is a third-year doctoral student at WMU studying poetry and American literature.

For more information, contact Gary McDowell at mcdowgl@gmail.com or (269) 216-3824.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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