Luis Alberto Urrea was this year’s judge in General Nonfiction. Here are his comments:
The crop of books I was lucky enough to judge was extraordinary. I know judges often say “They were all winners,” but if I had my druthers, all five of these excellent finalists would have won. I made a selection of a worthy and brilliant book; however, if I could, I would also give the award to its peers.
Hiding Man by Tracy Daugherty: An astoundingly well researched and considered study of a sadly neglected master of American letters. This book is important on many levels–I had writers from all over the country mention it in causal conversation, asking if I had read it yet. It shows a broad scope of scholarship and a sure, steady hand in its narration. And it places Oregon’s literature on an international stage where it represents the writing and thought in the state with great honor. I am grateful for this book.
Strand by Bonnie Henderson:Beach combers, unite. Lovers of solitude, of the cool coasts, of fog and waves, lovers of fine science/nature reporting, this is the book for you. I would like to say to the author that her section about glass floats changed my life. I started to daydream about getting a float. I started looking on eBay. And then, suddenly, my father-in-law gave me a green Japanese glass float! I think of her whenever I see it.
Wild Beauty by John Laursen and Terry Toedtemeier: Exquisite. One of the most stunning books I have seen in years. Masterful and haunting. For anyone who loves the great Columbia River, this book is a perfect gift. The photography in it is priceless.
Wild Things by Donna Matrazzo: Simply lovely. The harbinger of a strong career to come. A personal encounter with the world, a woman’s eye, a fine prose voice. That she gave us this fine book via iUniverse shows the kind of strong spirit Oregon possesses.
Born Under a Bad Sky by Jeffrey St. Clair: This book has the mojo. As a fan of environmental/ nature writing, I often hunger for something new. Something…vital. This is it.
Wendy Chin Tanner, Jennifer Perrine and Pamela Santos
March 20, 2019
A reading featuring the poets Wendy Chin Tanner, Jennifer Perrine and Pamela…
Cave Canem Fellows Reading: Off-site AWP event
March 27, 2019
Experience Cave Canem’s annual Off-Site Reading at AWP Portland, hosted by Literary…
VONA’s 20th Birthday reading: Off-site AWP event
March 29, 2019
VONA is celebrating 20 years of supporting writers of color. VONA, The…
2019 Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
April 22, 2019
Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in…
April 25, 2019
Celebrate Portland’s youth poets during our eighth annual Verselandia! poetry slam. Students…