"We Coloradoans are very proud of Alan Swallow. Many think we live in a cultural desert out West and Alan attacked that stereotype head on by establishing one of America’s leading publishing imprints. Thanks to Dale Nelson, a great writer himself, for bringing Alan’s story to life for Westerners and readers everywhere to savor."—Pat Schroeder, former U.S. congresswoman and former president and CEO, Association of American Publishers
"Dale Nelson shows us with candor and insight a poet, editor, and publisher who was a leader in a yet-to-fully-blossom field."—Joan Swift, author of The Tiger Iris
Born and raised on the windswept prairies of northwest Wyoming, Alan Swallow (1915–1966) nurtured a passion for literature and poetry at an early age. Quickly realizing he was not suited to a life of farming and ranching, Swallow entered the University of Wyoming to study literature and earned a fellowship to further his studies at Louisiana State University. It was there, under the influence of Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, that Swallow began his almost three-decade long career as a publisher, teacher, and poet.
This outstanding biography is the first to explore the fascinating life of Alan Swallow, a pioneering western publisher whose authors included such literary luminaries as Anaïs Nin, Allen Tate, and Yvor Winters. Returning to Colorado, Swallow founded the Swallow Press and dedicated himself to bringing literary authors, both regional and well known, to print in high-quality yet affordable books. Swallow’s tireless work as an editor and innovative publisher gave him much integrity, becoming a revered literary figure of his day, while his fondness for whiskey and gambling earned him a different notoriety. Nelson brings this forgotten episode of publishing history vividly back to life, shining a bright light on the rich literary legacy of the West.
W. Dale Nelson spent forty years as a reporter for the Associated Press. During his twenty years in Washington, he received the Aldo Beckman Award for excellence in reporting about the presidency. He is the author of numerous books including Who Speaks for the President? The White House Press Secretary from Cleveland to Clinton and Gin Before Breakfast: The Dilemma of the Poet in the Newsroom.
5.5 x 8.5, 232 pages, 28 black and white illustrations