Jerry Neren's "Once Upon a Time in Vietnam" has won the Pearl Poetry Prize, which affords him $1,000 and publication.
Neren, of Bloomington, has published his poetry widely, but this will be his first book. He has received a Loft Mentor Award and a Loft International Residency Award and later served on the Loft board of directors.
The Pearl Poetry Prize was established by Pearl magazine, a literary journal. Editor/publisher Marilyn Johnson called his manuscript "a cautionary tale for the 21st century," written in verse "as lyrical as it is unflinching."
The narrative follows Eugene from college to Vietnam, "where so much is lost to him -- not only his lifelong friend and brother-in-arms, but his sense of reality and purpose and, ultimately, his mind." His book will be published this month by Pearl Editions.
• "Death of a Rebel: The Charlie Fenton Story," by former Minneapolis Star reporter Scott Donaldson, has been published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Fenton was an author and controversial Duke University Professor. Donaldson, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the author of many other biographies.
• "Rancho Nostalgia," a collection of poetry by James Cihlar of St. Paul, will be published next year by Dream Horse Press of Aptos, Calif. Cihlar's first collection, "Undoing," was published in 2008 by Little Pear Press.
• "The Spoonriver Cookbook," by Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart, will be published in April by the University of Minnesota Press. Langton owns the Spoonriver restaurant in Minneapolis. She is also the author, with Stuart, of "The Cafe Brenda Cookbook."
• "Eye of the Wolf," a novel by Marie Zhuikov and set on Isle Royale, has been published by North Star Press of St. Cloud. Zhuikov is a science writer and poet in Duluth.
• "My Little Red Balloon," an anthology of writing from the COMPAS artists-in-the-schools program, has been published. The stories, essays and poems were selected from thousands of pieces written by students across Minnesota.
• "The Golden Hour," a debut novel by Margaret Wurtele, will be published in February by New American Library. The book is set in Tuscany in 1944. She'll launch the book at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls., and will also read at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Wayzata Community Church, 125 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata, sponsored by the Bookcase. Wurtele is a longtime fixture in the Twin Cities literary community.