Yep! It’s that time of year again. Read the press release below for all the scoop, and then book your reservations for the 2011 Oklahoma Book Awards on Saturday, April 9. The Oklahoma Center for the Book promises to show you a good time!
Thirty-two books have been chosen as finalists in the 22nd annual Oklahoma Book Award competition. Winners in the categories of fiction, poetry, design/illustration, children/young adult and non-fiction will be announced at the Oklahoma Book Awards banquet on Saturday, April 9, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Master of ceremonies for the event will be former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Friends of the Center, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. This year some 122 books were entered in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, Oklahoma-born author Rilla Askew will be presented with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, who served as the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.
A fifth generation descendant of southerners who settled in the Choctaw Nation in the late 1800s, Rilla Askew was born in the Sans Bois Mountains in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. The middle of three sisters, Askew grew up in the oil company town of Bartlesville, where she first encountered the complex forces of race and class that she continues to explore in her fiction.
Askew lived for several years in the Cherokee capital of Tahlequah before relocating to Tulsa, where she graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in theatre performance. In 1980 she moved to New York to pursue an acting career, but soon turned to writing fiction.
To date, all of Rilla Askew’s books have been set in Oklahoma. Her collection of stories, “Strange Business,” received the Oklahoma Book Award in 1993. Her first novel, “The Mercy Seat,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and received the Western Heritage Award and the Oklahoma Book Award in 1998. “Fire in Beulah,” her 2001 novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award, the Myers Book Award and was the 2007 selection for Oklahoma’s statewide centennial reading program. Her most recent novel, “Harpsong” (2007), received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the Willa Cather Award from Women Writing the West and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas.
The recipient of a 2009 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Askew received her master’s degree in fiction in 1989 from Brooklyn College. She is married to actor Paul Austin, and they divide their time between Oklahoma, where she now serves as artist-in-residence at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, and their home in upstate New York.
The following books are finalists for the 2011 awards:
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City, and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“‘Cholhkanat Lowak Ishminti’ (Spider Brings Fire),” by Linda Hogan of Tishomingo, and published by Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, Ada.
“Salvaged,” by Stefne Miller of Edmond, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Mostly Monsterly,” by Tammi Sauer of Edmond, published by Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y.
“Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light,” by Tim Tingle of Canyon Lake, Texas, and published by Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas.
“Building One Fire,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., and published by the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah.
“Proud to be Chickasaw,” designed by Skip McKinstry of Oklahoma City, illustrated by Mike Larsen of Perkins and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Oklahoma National Stockyards,” designed by Doug Miller of Tulsa, and published by Mullerhaus Publishing Arts Inc., Tulsa.
“Portrait of a Generation: The Children of Oklahoma, Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth,” designed by Scott O’Daniel of Oklahoma City, photography by M.J. Alexander of Oklahoma City and published by Southwestern Publishing, Oklahoma City.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” designed by Tony Roberts and Julie Rushing, both of Norman, collection photography by Ed Muno of Oklahoma City, and published by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
“Stations West,” by Allison Amend of Pittsburgh, Pa., and published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, La.
“With No Steps to Follow,” by David Allen Barton of Union City, and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, Mustang.
“Cheyenne Madonna,” by Eddie Chuculate of Iowa City, Iowa, and published by David R. Godine Publisher Inc., Jaffrey, N.H.
“God’s Acres,” by David Gerard of Muskogee, and published by PenUltimate Press Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
“The Insane Train,” by Sheldon Russell of Waynoka, and published by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books, New York, N.Y.
“Chasing Lilacs,” by Carla Stewart of Tulsa, and published by FaithWords, Hachete Book Group, New York, N.Y.
“Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe,” by Kate Buford of Yonkers, N.Y., and published by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York, N.Y.
“Chickasaw Removal,” by Amanda L. Paige, Fuller L. Bumpers, and Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., all of Arkansas; and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture,” edited by Dianna Everett of Edmond; Larry O’Dell of Newcastle; Jon May and Linda Wilson, both of Oklahoma City; and published by Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
“Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals,” by Gordon Grice of Somerset, Wis., and published by Random House, New York, N.Y.
“Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History,” by S.C. Gwynne of Austin, Texas, and published by Scribner, New York City.
“Race and the University: A Memoir,” by George Henderson of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Arena Legacy: The Heritage of American Rodeo,” by Richard C. Rattenbury of Oklahoma City, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California Tradition,” by Don Reeves of Edmond and Chuck Stormes of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch,” by Bobby D. Weaver of Edmond, and published by Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas.
“Spare Parts,” by Ken Hada of Ada, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Umberto Eco Lost His Gun,” by Carol Hamilton of Midwest City, and published by Pudding House Publications, Columbus, Ohio.
“Elegy for Trains,” by Benjamin Myers of Chandler, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Seeing Rightly with the Heart,” by Howard Stein of Oklahoma City, and published by Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Ky.
“Bird Days,” by Sheila Tiarks of Oklahoma City, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Oklahoma Baroque,” by Renata Treitel of Tulsa, and published by Out On A Limb Publishing, Tulsa.
“Oklahoma Cantos,” by Ron Wallace of Durant, and published by TJMF Publishing, Clarksville, Ind.