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 Local publishers

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.

L.A. Times book prize finalists announced, and lots of Minnesota connections

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: February 20, 2014 - 10:59 AM
Wazyata poet and writer Joyce Sidman. Star Tribune photo by Glen Stubbe

Wazyata poet and writer Joyce Sidman. Star Tribune photo by Glen Stubbe

So many familiar titles and publishers on the list of the L.A. Times Book Award finalists--Lawrence Wright's "Going Clear," and A. Scott Berg's biography of Woodrow Wilson, and Ruth Ozeki's fine novel, "A Tale for the Time Being."

But also--tiny little Two Dollar Radio press! And Minnesota's Joyce Sidman, and UM MFA grad (and occasional Star Tribune book critic) Ethan Rutherford, and Graywolf Press, and Coffee House Press. Also (I have just learned), Anders Nilsen, a finalist in graphic novels, is back in Minneapolis after about 20 years away, and the publisher of yet another graphic novel finalist--Uncivilized Books--is also in the Twin Cities. Whew. So much to love about this long list. The winners will be announced on April 11.

Here's the full list, with links to Star Tribune reviews:

The 2013 L.A. Times Book Prize finalists:

Biography
Marie Arana, “Bolivar: American Liberator,” Simon & Schuster
A. Scott Berg, “Wilson,” G.P. Putnam's Sons
Benita Eisler, “The Red Man's Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman,” W. W. Norton & Co.
Edna O'Brien , “Country Girl: A Memoir,” Little, Brown & Co.
Deborah Solomon, “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell,” Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Current Interest 
Sheri Fink, “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital,” Crown
David Finkel, “Thank You for Your Service,” Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Charlie LeDuff, “Detroit: An American Autopsy,” The Penguin Press
Barry Siegel, “Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom,” Henry Holt & Co.
Lawrence Wright, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief,” Knopf

Ethan Rutherford

Ethan Rutherford

Fiction 
Percival Everett, “Percival Everett by Virgil Russell,” Graywolf Press
Claire Messud, “The Woman Upstairs,” Knopf
Ruth Ozeki, “A Tale for the Time Being,” Viking
Susan Steinberg, “Spectacle: Stories,” Graywolf Press
Daniel Woodrell, “The Maid's Version: A Novel,” Little, Brown & Co.

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction 
NoViolet Bulawayo, “We Need New Names,” Reagan Arthur Books
Jeff Jackson, “Mira Corpora,” Two Dollar Radio
Fiona McFarlane, “The Night Guest,” Faber & Faber
Jamie Quatro, “I Want to Show You More,” Grove Press
Ethan Rutherford, “The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories,” Ecco / HarperCollins

Graphic Novel/Comics
David B., “Incidents in the Night: Volume 1,” Uncivilized Books
Ben Katchor, “Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories,” Pantheon
Ulli Lust, “Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Fantagraphics
Anders Nilsen, “The End,” Fantagraphics
Joe Sacco, “The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme,” W. W. Norton & Co.

History
Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, “FDR and the Jews,” Belknap Press of Harvard University
Christopher Clark, “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914,” HarperCollins
Glenn Frankel, “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend,” Bloomsbury USA
Doris Kearns Goodwin, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” Simon & Schuster
Alan Taylor, “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832,” W. W. Norton & Co.

Mystery/Thriller
Richard Crompton, “Hour of the Red God,” Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Robert Galbraith, “The Cuckoo's Calling,” Mulholland Books/Little, Brown & Co.
John Grisham, “Sycamore Row,” Doubleday Books
Gene Kerrigan, “The Rage,” Europa Editions
Ferdinand von Schirach, “The Collini Case,” Viking

Poetry
Joshua Beckman, “The Inside of an Apple,” Wave Books
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, “Hello, the Roses,” New Directions
Ron Padgett, “Collected Poems,” Coffee House Press
Elizabeth Robinson, “On Ghosts,” Solid Objects
Lynn Xu, “Debts & Lessons,” Omnidawn

Science & Technology
Matthew D. Lieberman, “Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect,” Crown
Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld, “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience,” Basic Books
Virginia Morell, “Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures,” Crown
Annalee Newitz, “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction,” Doubleday Books
Alan Weisman, “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” Little, Brown & Co.

Young Adult Literature
Elizabeth Knox, “Mortal Fire,” Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Rainbow Rowell, “Fangirl,” St. Martin's Griffin 
Joyce Sidman, “What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Jonathan Stroud, “Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase,” Disney-Hyperion
Gene Luen Yang, “Boxers & Saints,” First Second/Macmillan



 

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.
 

 

Word games, poetry, music and -- wrestling?

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: January 17, 2014 - 9:13 AM

Twelve experiments involving words and risk, each lasting ten minutes. What does it all mean? Who can say? Revolver Magazine's "Revolver at the Ritz" is promising a night that explores the intersection of words and risk, and they're bringing together local writers, publishers, musicians and other wordy folks to play.

Writers Sarah Stonich and Marty Kihn will attempt to pitch a novel (a famous, already-published one) to folks from Coffee House and Graywolf without using any words that give away which novel it is. Poet Heid Erdrich will "do something amazing" (it might involve a salad shooter). Dylan Hicks (musician, author of "Boarded Windows," and occasional Star Tribune book critic) will write a song, right there on the spot, with help from the audience. Andy Sturdevant will create essays before your very eyes. Poets apparently will wrestle. (Poets! Gentle poets! This you gotta see.)

Also taking part in the madness: poets Matt Rasmussen and Lightsey Darst, Coffee House Press publisher Chris Fischbach (always one to experiment with form), and many others.

The evening will be "all the crazy fun / dark weirdness you've come to expect and love from our crew," the Revolver folks said on their Web page.

The event costs $15 and is sponsord by Coffee House Press, the Playwrights Center, and Revolver, an online magazine which is still new but is quickly growing in its influence. Tickets are available here. It begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE, Mpls.

You can check out the full list of 12 experiments on the Revolver Facebook page.

More Minnesota love from the National Book Awards

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 17, 2013 - 9:35 AM

Matt Rasmussen.

Here comes round two of the National Book Award long lists, and here come more books with Minnesota connections. The long list for poetry was announced this morning, and here is Matt Rasmussen, winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award from the American Academy of Poets, nominated for "Black Aperture."  You can't get more Minnesota than Rasmussen, who was born in International Falls, lives in Robbinsdale, and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus. His book was published by Louisiana State University Press.

(Here is the Strib review of "Black Aperture.")

Other Minnesota connections on the list: "So Recently Rent a World," by Andrei Codrescu and published by Coffee House Press.  And "Incarnadine," by Mary Szybist, and published by Graywolf Press.

Yesterday's long list for young adult books included Minneapolis writers Kate DiCamillo and Anne Ursu. Tomorrow's list is nonfiction.

Here's the full long list for poetry:

"Metaphysical Dog," by Frank Bidart.

"Bury My Clothes," by Roger Bonair-Agard

"Stay, Illusion," by Lucie Brock-Broido.

"So Recently Rent a World," by Andrei Codrescu.

"Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire," by Brenda Hillman.

"The Big Smoke," by Adrian Matejka.

"American Amnesiac," by Diane Raptosh.

"Black Aperture," by Matt Rasmussen.

"Transfer of Qualities," by Martha Ronk.

"Incardine," by Mary Szybist.

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