Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

Posts about Minnesota Book Awards

Encores for three Minnesota Book Award winners

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: April 18, 2015 - 9:33 PM
This year's trophy is made of blue glass.

This year's trophy is made of blue glass.

Novelist Marlon James and poet Joyce Sidman each picked up their second Minnesota Book Award on Saturday night, and previous nominees Julie Klassen and Margi Preus also were among the winners. The Star Tribune's editorial writer Lori Sturdevant picked up her first award for writing; she had previously won two Minnesota Book Awards for editing.

The annual event drew about 800 people to St. Paul’s Union Depot for a festive night of music, champagne and celebration of the written word. Here are the winners:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books for Africa:
Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen: “Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Sidman, a Newbery Honor-winning author, won a Minnesota Book Award in 2010. She lives in Wayzata. Allen is an award-winning illustrator and printmaker in Duluth.

General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:
Nancy Koester: “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life,” published by William B. Eerdman Publishing Co. Koester is an ordained Lutheran minister and spiritual director. 

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College:
Julie Klassen: “The Secret of Pembrooke Park,” published by Bethany House Publishers. Klassen is the author of eight novels, including three winners of the Christy Award for Historical Romance.

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual:
Kaethe Schwehn: “Tailings: A Memoir,” published by Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock Publishers. Schwehn is the co-editor of “Claiming Our Callings: Toward a New Understanding of Vocation in the Liberal Arts.” She teaches at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Minnesota, sponsored by St. Mary’s University of Minnesota:
Lori Sturdevant: “Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement,” published by the  Minnesota Historical Society Press. Sturdevant is an editorial columnist for the Star Tribune and has written a number of books on Minnesota history.She won a Minnesota Book Award in 2003 for editing "Overcoming: The Autobiography of W. Harry Davis," and in 2001 for editing Elmer L. Andersen's "A Man's Reach."

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Education Minnesota:
Marlon James: “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” published by Riverhead Books. James is the author of “The Book of Night Women,” winner of a 2010 Minnesota Book Award. He teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:
Sean Hill: “Dangerous Goods,” published by Milkweed Editions. Hill, who was born and raised in Milledgeville, Ga., also is the author of “Blood Ties & Brown Liquor.”

Young People’s Literature, sponsored by the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University:
Margi Preus: “West of the Moon,” published by Amulet Books. Preus, who lives in Duluth, is a Newbery Honor Award-winning author of five books for young readers. 

Also at the event, writer and educator Mary François Rockcastle received the previously announced Kay Sexton Award for her long-standing contributions to Minnesota’s literary community. And Harriet Bart and her collaborative partners, Philip Gallo and Jill Jevne, won the eighth annual Book Artist Award for a new piece entitled “Ghost Maps.” Since 2000, Bart, Gallo and Jevne have collaborated to produce 10 artist books, two of which have received Minnesota Book Awards.

Judges sifted through 250 books nominated for awards this year, with 32 books selected as finalists. The winners were chosen by judges from around the state. 

The happy marriage of books and music

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: March 24, 2015 - 10:54 AM

 

Music inspired by four of last year's Minnesota Book Award-winning books will be performed on April 8 at the Bedlam Theatre in St. Paul.

 

The authors will also be there, to read from their books: Melanie Hoffert, winner for memoir and creative nonfiction, will read from "Prairie Silence." Carrie Mesrobian, winner in young people's literature, will read from "Sex & Violence." Matt Rasmussen will read from his debut poetry collection, "Black Aperture." And Ethan Rutherford will read from "The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories," which won in the category of novel and short story.

The accompanying music was written and will be performed by Ipsifendus Collective, a group of Twin Cities musicians who compose music for films and theater productions. The group includes musicians from a number of local bands, including Dreamland Faces, Bookhouse, Painted Saints and the Poor Nobodys.

The collaboration of books and music is sponsored by the Minnesota Book Awards, in advance of this year's gala event on April 18.  The April 8 performace at Bedlam Theatre will begin at 7 p.m. Bedlam Theatre is at 213 E. Fourth Street, at the last stop of the Green Line in Lowertown, across from the Historic Union Depot.

Minnesota Book Award finalists announced

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: January 31, 2015 - 6:16 PM

 

Larry Millett

Larry MMillett

Minnesota writer Larry Millett is a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in two categories; the children’s literature category is a hotbed of competition with all nominees previous winners; and Star Tribune editorial writer Lori Sturdevant has been nominated for her biography of Rosaline Wahl.

The winners will be announced on April 18 at the annual Minnesota Book Awards gala event at the Historic Union Depot in St. Paul’s Lowertown. Here are the finalists:

 

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa: “It’s an Orange Aardvark,” by Michael Hall; “Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster,” by Mike Wohnoutka; “Water Can Be… ,” by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija; “Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold,” by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen.

General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO: “Harriet Beecher Stowe,” by Nancy Koester; “My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks,” by Brenda J. Child; “New Scenic Café: The Cookbook,” by Scott Graden with Arlene Anderson; “Queer Clergy,” by R.W. Holmen.

Genre Fiction, sponsored by Alerus Financial: “Fallen Angel,” by Chuck Logan; “The Life We Bury,” by Allen Eskens; “The Secret of Pembrooke Park,” by Julie Klassen; “Strongwood: A Crime Dossier,” by Larry Millett.

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction: “Love Imagined,” by Sherry Quan Lee; “Northern Orchards,” by James Silas Rogers; “Seeking the Cave,” by James P. Lenfestey; “Tailings: A Memoir,” by Kaethe Schwehn.

Minnesota: “Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota,” by John J. Moriarty and Carol D. Hall; “Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the  Minnesota Women's Movement,” by Lori Sturdevant; “Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook,” by Tricia Cornell; "Minnesota’s Own,” by Larry Millett, photography by Matt Schmitt.

 

Marlon James

Marlon James

Marlon James

Marlon James

Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Education Minnesota: “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James; “In Reach,” by Pamela Carter Joern; “The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons,” by Heather A. Slomski; “Stillwater,” by Nicole Helget.

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management: “Dangerous Goods,” by Sean Hill; “Albedo,” by Kathleen Jesme; “Soul Over Lightning,” by Ray Gonzalez; “This Way to the Sugar,” by Hieu Minh Nguyen.

Young People’s Literature, sponsored by The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University: “Ambassador,” by William Alexander; “Leroy Ninker Saddles Up,” by Kate DiCamillo; “West of the Moon,” by Margi Preus, “The Witch’s Boy,” by Kelly Barnhill.

Previously announced are the Book Artist Award, which will be awarded to Harriet Bart, Philip Gallo and Jill Jevne, and the Kay Sexton Award, which will go to Mary François Rockcastle.

Tickets for the Minnesota Book Award gala are $50 and are available at www.thefriends.org or by calling 651-222-3242.

 

Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302. On Twitter: @StribBooks

Kay Sexton Award, Hognander History Award announced

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: March 7, 2014 - 2:39 PM

The last two big awards leading up to next month’s Minnesota Book Awards gala event have been announced. The Hognander History Award, which is given every other year to the author of a significant book about Minnesota history, and the Kay Sexton Award, which is given annually to a person who has made a significant contribution to the world of books, reading and literature in the state, were announced Friday.

The Hognander award will go to Gwen Westerman and Bruce White for their book, “Mni Sota Makoce, The Land of the Dakota.” The book was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012 and won a Minnesota Book Award last year.

Westerman is professor of English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Bruce White is author of “We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.

Mark Vinz

Mark Vinz

This year’s Kay Sexton Award winner is Mark Vinz, retired professor of English at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, co-director of the Tom McGrath Visiting Writing Series, and founding editor of the literary journal Dacotah Territory.

Vinz was also director of the college’s MFA program, editor of Dakota Arts Quarterly, and the co-founder of Plains Distribution Service, an organization that worked to get good books into small Midwestern communities.

Vinz is also a poet and fiction writer, winner of three Minnesota Book Awards, six PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and was named a poet laureate of North Dakota.

His next collection will be published by Red Dragonfly Press.

Westerman, White and Vinz will be honored on April 5 at the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards gala at the St. Paul Union Depot.

Minnesota Book Award finalists announced

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: January 25, 2014 - 6:36 PM

 

Several winners from years past are among the finalists for this year’s Minnesota Book Awards, including children’s writer David LaRochelle, who won last year and who is a finalist twice this year. Other past winners and finalists include mystery writers William Kent Krueger, Erin Hart and Brian Freeman, novelist Kent Nerburn, and children’s author Alison McGhee.

Finalists in eight categories were chosen Saturday afternoon by 24 judges from around the state ­­— writers, teachers, librarians and booksellers.

Here’s the list:

Children’s Literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:


 “The Case of the Missing Donut,” by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Isabel Roxas; “How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans,” by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mark Fearing; “ Moo!” by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka; and “Peep Leap,” by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello.

General Nonfiction, sponsored by Minnesota AFL-CIO:

 “Evil Men,” by James Dawes (Harvard University Press); “Harriman vs. Hill: Wall Street’s Great Railroad War,” by Larry Haeg (University of Minnesota Press); “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII,” by Jack El-Hai, and “Soda Shop Salvation: Recipes and Stories from the Sweeter Side of Prohibition,” by Rae Katherine Eighmey (Minnesota Historical Society Press)


 Genre Fiction, sponsored by Alerus Financial:
 The Book of Killowen,” by Erin Hart; “The Cold Nowhere,” by Brian Freeman; “Tamarack County,” by William Kent Krueger; and “Wolves,” by Cary J. Griffith

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by GovDelivery:
 “The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder and the Light from an Ancient Sky,” by Kent Nerburn; “Prairie Silence,” by Melanie Hoffert; “Thunder of Freedom: Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi,” by Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner with Cheryl Reitan, and “We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter,” by Rachael Hanel (University of Minnesota Press)


 Minnesota, sponsored by MSR Architects:
“A Love Affair with Birds: The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts,” by Sue Leaf (University of Minnesota Press); “Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront,” by Penny A. Petersen (University of Minnesota Press); “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison,” by W. Jackson Rushing III and Kristin Makholm, and “Survival Schools: The American Indian Movement and Community Education in the Twin Cites,” by Julie L. Davis (University of Minnesota Press)


 Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Education Minnesota:
 “Let the Dark Flower Blossom,” by Norah Labiner; (Coffee House Press) “Little Wolves,” by Thomas Maltman; “The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories,” by Ethan Rutherford, and “Vacationland,” by Sarah Stonich (University of Minnesota Press)


 Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:
“Black Aperture,” by Matt Rasmussen; “The First Flag,” by Sarah Fox (Coffee House Press); “It Becomes You,” by Dobby Gibson (Graywolf Press); and “Slip,” by Cullen Bailey Burns


 Young People’s Literature, sponsored by Sit Investment Associates:
 “Chasing Shadows,” by Swati Avasthi with graphics by Craig Phillips; “The Real Boy,” by Anne Ursu; “ Sex & Violence,” by Carrie Mesrobian (Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Publications); and “Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron,” by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering.


The winners will be announced April 5 at the book award gala, this year to be held at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. That same evening three special awards will also be given--Fred Hagstrom will receive the seventh annual Book Artist Award, which has already been announced; the Kay Sexton Award, which will be announced in February, and the biennial Hognander Minnesota History Award.
 

 

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