The Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Winners ceremony, held each year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is a casual, laid-back affair, with an attentive, bookish audience, lovely glass plaques, and PIE. Always lots of pie!

This year 39 titles competed for honors in six categories. The winners were nicely divided among several regional presses -- University of Minnesota Press, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Holy Cow! Press, and others. The keynote speaker was Duluth poet laureate Jim Johnson.

Here are the winners:

Memoir and creative nonfiction:

Winner: "Rooted in Iron and Ice: Innocent Years on the Mesabi," by Gary W Barfknecht.

Honorable mention: "Zenith City: Stories from Duluth," by Michael Fedo.


Winner: "Approaching the Gate," by Lynette Reini-Grandell

Honorable mention: "Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range," by Sheila Packa

Art and photography:

Winner: "Saved by Beauty: Sister Mary Charles McCough, OSB," by John Schifsky and others.

Honorable mention: "The Other Side of Wilderness," by Richard C Johnson

General nonfiction:

Winner: "Twin Ports by Trolley," by Aaron Isaacs

Honorable mention: "Sawdust in their Blood," by Jim Boyd

Children's literature:

Winner: "Rhoda's Rock Hunt," by Molly Beth Griffin

Honorable mention: "Wilder's Foe," by Diane Bradley


Winner: "Sins of Our Fathers," by Shawn Lawrence Otto

Honorable mention: "A River Through Two Harbors," by Dennis Herschbach

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. Now I want some pie!