Paulette Myers-Rich, a book artist whose work is housed at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and in the Minnesota History Center archives, among other places, has been awarded the 2009 Book Artist Award.

The award is given annually by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts to recognize a book artist for a body of work. Myers-Rich, of St. Paul, has been creating one-of-a-kind, hand-made books, as well as fine-press, limited-edition books for 20 years.

"I'm feeling very honored, because I know who my peers are and I highly respect them," she said Thursday. "This is quite a wonderful honor for me."

Her work covers a wide range. "She does a lot of work incorporating black-and-white photography ... ," said Alayne Hopkins, programming coordinator for the Friends of the Library. "She creates books, and she does letterpress. She works solo, and she has collaborated with other artists." This is her third Minnesota Book Award; Myers-Rich was honored with the poet Anna Reckin in 2000, and then won again in 2006.

"I'm a person who loves to make things," she said. "It's an art form that kind of slips in between printmaking and sculpture."

The award will be given April 25 at the Minnesota Book Awards gala. Her work will be exhibited at Open Book in Minneapolis in February and at the St. Paul Central Library in late March and April. After that, the exhibit will go on the road, Hopkins said. "Both she and her work will be traveling around the state."

Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune's books editor • 612-673-7302