Oregon Book Awards Deadline and More

The deadline to submit books for the 2013 Oregon Book Awards is Friday, August. Books must have an original publication date between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012.

Drama is also eligible this year for submission; this includes full-length and one-act plays, radio, television and screenplays, and one-person productions that are published, or have had a staged reading or full production in a theatre or other official venue. A script must have been published or had its first public performance between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2012.

Four of this year’s Oregon Book Awards finalists will be in Eastern Oregon this week, as part of the Oregon Book Awards author tour: Emily Kendal Frey, Jennifer Lauck, Roger Porter and Daniel Skach-Mills.

Roger Porter, Jennifer Lauck and Daniel Skach Mills will be appearing at the Athena Public Library (418 East Main Street) on Thursday, July 12th at 7:00 p.m.

In addition, Jennifer Lauck will be offering a free writing workshop, Writing the Scene, on Thursday from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Athena library.

The tour will continue to Baker City on Friday, July 13th. At 7:00 p.m., Emily Kendal Frey will join Lauck, Porter and Skach-Mills for an evening of readings and conversation at Crossroads Art Center (2020 Auburn Avenue). The workshop Writing the Scene will be also offered at the Baker County Library from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Emily Kendal Frey is the author of The Grief Performance. The poet Carl Phillips was the judge in poetry and had this to say about her work: ” “Death, my best and most/insincere opponent,/I’m ready for you this time/with fists of sand,” says Frey – she might as easily be addressing love, and the failure of it, or life, with its heady mix of joy and disappointment. The speakers of these poems take on such opponents with an awareness of their own mistakes, even as they refuse to regret them. The result is a tough, deadpan, comic wisdom that I very much admire.”

Jennifer Lauck‘s book Found was selected by Madeleine Blais as a finalist in Creative Nonfiction. In her judge’s comments, Blais said: “In a prose style that is both unflinching and forgiving, the author is on a tightrope throughout, balancing conflicting loyalties and emotions. Given up at birth by her teenaged mother, it takes the birth of the Lauck’s son to unlock the amnesia and the denial that surrounds her own beginnings, causing Lauck to go on a journey as interior and mysterious as gestation itself, back in time and deep inside her being. The author understands that the price of being found is that first you must be lost and she addresses deficits in her psyche that are no less real for being invisible.”

Roger Porter is the author of Bureau of Missing Persons, which was selected as a finalist in General Nonfiction by Jane Brox. Brox had this to say about the book: “In his compelling exploration and analysis of memoirs written by those whose parents’ secrets haunt their lives, Roger Porter examines both the nature of family mysteries and the desire to clarify them. Bureau of Missing Persons implicitly ranges farther than the particular circumstances of these writers by suggesting that our family stories, with all their inevitable mystery, are inextricably bound up with the way we see ourselves.”

Daniel Skach-Mill‘s book The Hut Beneath The Pines was selected as a finalist in poetry by Carl Phillips. Phillips said: “I admire here how simplicity doesn’t have to compromise authority, how in fact the spare directness of attention can often be more persuasive. Reminiscent of the T’ang poets – I think of Wang Wei, especially, a similar painterly quality – these poems allow us to “shake off the dust of the world,” meanwhile quietly illuminating the tea ceremony’s role as a possible way toward the Tao, toward “letting whatever unfolds be enough.”

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