NC Literary Hall of Fame



A Swarm In May by Mark Anthony Powers

Hawksbill Press
$16.99, paperback / $6.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-7370329-0-8
May, 2021
Fiction: Upmarket
Available from your local bookstore or

"Mark Powers' suspenseful debut novel, A Swarm in May, utilizes his years as a physician and beekeeper to create a story that book clubs everywhere will compare to books like The Secret Life of Bees and Where the Crawdads Sing. Add the reality of racism in the South, and you have a story those readers will discuss late into the night."
—Dawn Reno Langley, author of The Mourning Parade and You are Divine: The Search for the Goddess in all of Us and president of Rewired Creatives, Inc.

"From the first day he steps into the intensive care unit, a cascade of events takes the reader on a thrilling adventure including medical mysteries, the ongoing legacy of racism, and the complex and fascinating lives of bees. It’s hard to put this riveting book down once you start it. Mark Powers captures with surprising clarity the complex thoughts of a critical care specialist, the intricacies of the ICU, and how choices made in caring for critically ill patients spill over into life outside the hospital."
— Tim Scialla MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia

"Mark Power's A Swarm in May is a great read filled with characters you immediately like and a story line that keeps you turning the pages. It brings together details of medical care in a teaching hospital, beekeeping, and racial tensions in a book that is a delight to read. I am already looking forward to Mark Powers’ next book!"
—Jim Snapper MD, Consultant Professor of Medicine, Duke University

Set in 1998, A Swarm in May tells the story of Phineas Mann, an intensive care physician and beekeeper whose life is upended when he is asked to treat an elderly man with a life-threatening case of tetanus. Complicating matters is the patient's racist son, who abuses and threatens Dr. Mann, his Black intern and colleagues. When his patient suffers unexplained setbacks, dark forces enter from Dr. Mann's past as he attempts to solve the novel's central medical mystery.

Mark Anthony Powers received his M.D. from Dartmouth and did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine. After almost 40 years in clinical practice and teaching, he retired from Duke University as an associate professor emeritus of medicine and began exploring his brain for the part he used when he studied creative writing at Cornell. He is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and, in addition to making stuff up, enjoys gardening and tending his bee colonies. For more on him, visit

Joomla Templates: from JoomlaShack