Kimmerer, who lives in Fabius, N.Y., is a professor environmental biology and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She will receive a $1,000 parize and will visit Northland College in the fall for a reading an the awards ceremony.
"Braiding Sweetgrass" is about the interdependence of people and the natural world, primarily the plant world. "The gift of Kimmerer’s book is that she provides readers the ability to see a very common world in uncommon ways, or, rather, in ways that have been commonly held but have recently been largely discarded," the Star Tribune review notes.
The Sigurd F. Olson award was established in 1991 to recognize remarkable literature that promotes Olson's values and captures the spirit of the relationship of humans in the natural world.
The winner of the second annual Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is Wisconsin poet Rebecca Dunham, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
The prize for her unpublished manuscript, "Glass Armonica," is $10,000 and publication this December by Milkweed Editions.
Dunham, who lives in Bayside, Wis., is the author of "The Miniature Room" and "The Flight Cage." Her poetry has appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, AGNI, and other literary journals.
Finalists for this year's prize were Michael Bazzett of Minneapolis, Oliver Bendorf of Madison, Wis., Amy McCann of Minneapolis, and Angela Voras-Hills of Madison.
The Lindquist & Vennum Prize for poetry was established by Milkweed Editions and the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation. The finalists are selected by Milkweed editors, and the winner this year was chosen by G.C. Waldrep. Poets who live in the Upper Midwest are eligible to compete for the regional award. The inaugural award went to Twin Cities poet Patricia Kirkpatrick for "Odessa," now a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.
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