W. Dale Nelson
"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
—Pat Schroeder, former U.S. congresswoman
"Dale Nelson shows us with candor
and insight a poet, editor, and
publisher who was a leader in a
—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. Moving
to Colorado, Swallow founded the Swallow Press and dedicated
himself to bringing literary authors, both regionally and nationally recognized,
to print in high-quality yet affordable books. Swallow’s tireless
work as an editor and innovative publisher gave him much integrity. He
became a revered literary figure of his day, while rumors of his marital
infidelities and his fondness for fast cars 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, both published by
Syracuse University Press.
5 1/2 x 8, 112 pages, 30 black-and-white illustrations, abbreviations, notes, bibliography,