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 Graywolf Press

Andrew Solomon, Adam Johnson win Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: September 25, 2013 - 9:53 AM

Two books that had already received high honors were honored again today when the winners of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize were announced.  "Far From the Tree," Andrew Solomon's book about children who are vastly different from their parents, and how that affects their upbringing, won the nonfiction award. And Adam Johnson's fascinating peek inside North Korea, "The Orphan Master's Son," won the prize for fiction.

Solomon had already won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Johnson's book had won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize carries an award of $10,000 and will be presented Nov. 3 in Dayton, Ohio.

This year's runners-up were "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," by Ben Fountain (also winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award) and "Devil in the Grove," by Gilbert King.

The list of nominees had included Louise Erdrich's novel, "The Round House," winner of a National Book Award and a Minnesota Book Award, and a memoir of Romania, "Burying the Typewriter," published by Graywolf Press.

The peace prize is awarded annually to books that use the power of literature to foster peace and understanding.

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.

Erdrich novel, Graywolf memoir are finalists for Dayton prize

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: August 20, 2013 - 10:53 AM


The shortlist for the annual Dayton Literary Peace Prize was announced today, studded with fine titles about life in North Korea, Ceausecu's Romania, American Indian reservations, and the Vietnam War.


The formidable fiction shortlist includes National Book Award-winning "The Round House," Pulitzer-winning "The Orphan Master's Son," and a couple of dark horses.

The nonfiction shortlist also includes a National Book Award winner, Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers," as well as a Graywolf Press memoir, "Burying the Typewriter," by Carmen Bugan about growing up in Romania.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Winners will receive $10,000 and runners-up will receive $1,000. Winners will be announced Sept. 24.

Here's the whole list, with hyperlinks to our reviews.


"The Round House," by Louise Erdrich

"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," by Ben Fountain

"The Orphan Master's Son," by Adam Johnson

"The Life of Objects," by Susanna Moore

"The Coldest Night," by Robert Olmstead

"The Yellow Birds," by Kevin Powers




"Behind the Beautiful Forevers," by Katherine Boo

"Pax Ethnica," by Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac

"Burying the Typewriter," by Carmen Bugan

"Escape from Camp 14," by Blaine Harden

"Devil in the Grove," by Gilbert King

"Far From the Tree," by Andrew Solomon.




Graywolf Press book wins PEN award

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: August 14, 2013 - 10:33 AM


Kevin Young.

Kevin Young.

The PEN awards were announced today, and Graywolf Press finds itself among the many winners. "The Grey Album," by Kevin Young, took one of two $5,000 Open Book Awards, which go to exceptional book-length works of literature by an author of color. (The other award went to Gina Apostol for "Gun Dealer's Daughter.")

 You can read the Strib review of "The Grey Album" here.

And Monika Bauerlein, former writer and editor at City Pages in Minneapolis, won the Nora Magid award for excellence along with Clara Jeffery, her co-editor at Mother Jones.

Here's a list of the winners:

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000) to an author whose debut work of fiction suggests distinguished achievement: Sergio De La Pava, for "A Naked Singularity." 

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Awzrd for Nonfiction ($10,000): Katherine Boo, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers."

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): Robert Hass, "What Light Can Do."

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): Leonard Mlodinow, "Subliminal."
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an American Playwright in Mid-Career ($7,500): Kirsten Greenidge, and for a Master American Dramatist ($7,500), Larry Kramer.
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): Frank Deford.
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing: Mark Kram, Jr., "Like Any Normal Day."
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): "Gun Dealers' Daughter," Gina Apostol, and "The Grey Album," Kevin Young. 
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000) Tom Reiss, "The Black Count."
Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein

Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry ($5,000): Rowan Ricardo Phillips
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000) Amy Goldman Koss, "The Intake Office"
PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000), Michelle Markel, "The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau"
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000) Molly Weigel, "The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems," by Jorge Santiago Perednik
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): Donald O. White, "The Island of Second Sight," by Albert Bigoleis Thelen
PEN/Nora Magid Award ($2,500), to a magazine editor whose high literary taste has, throughtout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication: Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, co-editors of Mother Jones.


Good Thunder reading series to host Tracy Kidder, Jesmyn Ward, Tracy K. Smith

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel Updated: July 24, 2013 - 9:33 AM


Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder

A drive to Mankato is nothing if it means you'll find riches at the end. And the 32nd season of the Mankato State University Good Thunder Reading Series sees a wealth of writers coming through town to teach and speak.

Pulitzer Prize winners Tracy Kidder (nonfiction), Tracy K. Smith (poetry) and Jesmyn Ward (fiction) will bookend the series, which will also see poets Alex Lemon, Matt Rasmussen and Tracy K Smith, as well as a host of other writers both national and regional.

All events are open to the public and will be held in the Centennial Student Union at MSU. Most of the writers will also be interviewed for radio programs, which will be aired on KMSU-FM 89.7 as part of the Authors in Transit series.

Here's the whole schedule. Now go gas up your car.

Sept. 12: Tracy Kidder. Author of "Soul of a New Machine" (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), "Mountains Beyond Mountains," and other works of nonfiction.

Oct 3-4: Swati Avasthi, young-adult fiction, and Rachael Hanel, memoir.

Oct. 24: Alicia Catt, creative nonfiction, and Alan Davis, fiction.

Nov. 14-15: Angela Duryee, creative nonfiction, and Luis Alberto Urrea, fiction and nonfiction.

Jan. 30: Sarah McKinstry-Brown and Christopher Howell, poetry.


Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward

Feb. 18-21: Pete Hautman, young adult fiction, and Alex Lemon, poetry and creative nonfiction.


March 20: Matt Rasmussen and Tracy K. Smith, poetry. Rasmussen won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award, and Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for "Life on Mars," published by Graywolf Press.

April 10: Jesmyn Ward, fiction (and winner of the Pultizer Prize for "Salvage the Bones"), and Niky Finney, poetry.

April 24: Candace Black, poetry and creative nonfiction, and Roger Sheffer, fiction.




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