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.
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.
This year, the folks with the National Book Awards are doing things a little differently. Rather than just announcing the finalists, this year they're releasing long lists this month, short lists next month, and the winners in November.
They're also drawing out the excitement by announcing one category per day. Today is young adult literature, and there are two Minneapolis authors on the list. Kate DiCamillo made the long list for "Flora and Ulysses," her tale of a little girl and her buddy, a squirrel with superpowers. DiCamillo is a Newbery Award winner for her second book, "The Tale of Despereaux."
Also on the list is Anne Ursu, author of "The Real Boy," the story of a young shop assistant to a magician. Ursu's most recent book, "Breadcrumbs," was widely acclaimed and was named a Junior Literary Guild selection and this year she won a McKnight Artist Fellowship.
Both writers live in Minneapolis. (Keep in mind that the winner of last year's National Book Award for young adult literature was Minneapolis author Will Alexander. We have a reputation to uphold.)
DiCamillo will be in conversation with Minnesota Public Radio's Cathy Wurzer next Tuesday night at the Fitzgerald; Ursu will launch her book at Red Balloon later this month.
Here's the full list:
Kathi Appelt: "The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp."
Kate DiCamillo: "Flora and Ulysses."
Lisa Graff: "A Tangle of Knots."
Alaya Dawn Johnson: "The Summer Prince."
Cynthia Kadohata: "The Thing About Luck."
David Levithan: "Two Boys Kissing."
Tom McNeal: "Far, Far Away"
Meg Rosoff: "Picture Me Gone."
Anne Ursu: "The Real Boy."
Gene Luen Yang: "Boxers & Saints."
The short list will be announced Oct. 16.
Tomorrow: the long list for poetry.
Over the last 13 years, the Twin Cities Book Festival has become an energy-filled autumn tradition for many. Billed as Minnesota's largest book event, it attracts thousands of attendees (and hundreds of hopeful vendors, from publishers to publicists to authors) and moved last year to the State Fairgrounds, where there is plenty of room to grow.
And grow it has, from one building in 2012 to two this year. Can the cowbarns and horse pavilion be far behind?
The festival itself is free and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Progress Center and the Fine Arts Center, but there will also be a ticketed event on Friday night, where you can hang out with writers and others. (If you're lucky, editors!)
Here's the lineup of the more notable speakers for Oct. 12:
Nicholson Baker, fiction writer and essayist, back for a repeat performance (he was at the festival in 2009, as well).
Mircea Cartarescu, not a household name in the United States, perhaps, but a very notable name in his native Romania, where he has won the Romanian Writers' Prize and the Romanian Academy's Prize.
Rae Armantrout, winner of both a National Book Critics Circle award and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
David Wojahn, poet and essayist, originally from St. Paul, winner of a Guggenheim fellowship and a Natinoal Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
Howard Mohr, busily talking Minnesotan.
Ytasha L. Womack, filmmaker and author, director and producer, writer and editor.
David Wiesner, three-time Caldecott-winning illustrator (and writer) for "Tuesday," "The Three Pigs," and "Flotsam."
In addition to all of these notable national figures, there will be panel discussions, workshops, local and regional writers, various signings, and a children's play area.
For more information on this, as well as on how to get tickets to Friday's soiree, head over to www.raintaxi.com/bookfest.
The judge for the competition was Paisley Rekdal, who praised McCann's book for using language in "new and exciting ways." McCann will be awarded $3,000 and publication.
Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, and West Branch. She teaches at Northwestern College and has worked at Milkweed Editions.
Finalists for the competition include Juliet Patterson of Minneapolis, for her collection, "Threnody."
Here are the winners:
Fiction: "Ordinary Grace," by St. Paul writer William Kent Krueger
Nonfiction: "Visiting Tom," by Wisconsin writer Michael Perry.
Poetry: "A Thousand Mornings," by Ohio poet Mary Oliver.
YA fiction: "Keeping Safe the Stars," by Minneapolis writer Sheila O'Connor
Picture books: "Otis and the Puppy," written and illustrated by Ohio artist Loren Long.
The authors will be honored at the annual Heartland Fall Forum (formerly Midwest Booksellers Association conference) in October in Chicago.
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