It’s that time again! The Oklahoma Center for the Book will be honoring the best of 2011 Oklahoma books and authors on Saturday, April 14 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum.
We’ll be honoring Young Adult author Anna Myers with the Center’s Arrell Gibson Award for Lifetime Achievement, and we’ll also present an award to Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma for their Oklahoma Literary Landmarks project. And, of course, we’ll have the medalists in our five book categories. Gonna be a fun night!
Here’s the official press release…
Finalists Announced for 2012
Oklahoma Book Awards
Chandler Author Anna Myers is Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Thirty-five books have been chosen as finalists in the 23rd 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 14, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum in Oklahoma City. Author Jay Wilkinson, son of the University of Oklahoma’s legendary football coach, Bud Wilkinson, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the awards recognize books written the previous year by Oklahomans or about Oklahoma. Of the 35 book finalists, 25 are by authors, designers or illustrators who reside in Oklahoma. This year some 121 books were submitted in the competition.
In addition to the literary awards, Chandler resident and children’s book author Anna Myers 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.
Myers is the author of 19 novels for young people, all published by Walker Books of New York. Most of her books are historical fiction. The recipient of countless honors over the years, Myers’ awards include four Oklahoma Book Awards, New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teenaged, New York Public Library’s Best 100 Books to Read and Share, Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books, Parent Choice Awards, the Crown Award by Christian Schools, the American Library Association’s Quick Pick List, Independent Book Sellers Pick of the List and being included more than 20 times on children’s choice lists for various states.
Born in White Face, Texas, Myers was the sixth child of an Oklahoma oilfield-worker father who had been temporarily transferred to west Texas. When Myers was only a few months old, the family moved back to Oklahoma.
Myers attended what is now the University of Central Oklahoma and became an English teacher, but always dreamed of being a writer. In 1969, she married Paul Myers, a poet whom she credits with having a great influence on her writing. The couple had three children, all born within four years, which Myers acknowledges somewhat slowed her journey to becoming a published author.
It took Myers seven years to sell her first book, which was published in 1992. Since then, she has produced a book a year.
In 1999, after 30 years of marriage, her husband Paul died of cancer.
But with the encouragement of her family, which now includes seven grandchildren, the resilient Myers has continued her writing. In 2002, she married John Calvin, a man with whom she had gone to high school. The couple now lives in a house, built in 1925, in Chandler.
The following books are finalists for the 2012 awards:
“Stealing Kevin’s Heart,” by M. Scott Carter of Oklahoma City, and published by The RoadRunner Press, Oklahoma City.
“Chikasha Stories, Volume 1: Shared Spirit,” by Glenda Galvan of Sulphur, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“The Revenant,” by Sonia Gensler of Norman, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York City.
“Hereafter,” by Tara Hudson of Choctaw, and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, New York, N.Y.
“The Grave Robber’s Secret,” by Anna Myers of Chandler, and published by Walker & Co., New York, N.Y.
“The Snow Blew Inn,” by Dian Curtis Regan of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and published by Holiday House, New York, N.Y
“Mr. Duck Means Business,” by Tammi Sauer of Edmond, and published by Simon & Schuster, New York City.
“The Eugene B. Adkins Collection,” designed by Eric Anderson of Norman, and published by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
“Shooting from the Hip: Photographs and Essays by J. Don Cook,” designed by Julie Rushing and Tony Roberts, both of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Route 66 Sightings,” photographed and designed by Shellee Graham, Jerry McClanahan, and Jim Ross, all of Arcadia; and published by Ghost Town Press, Arcadia.
“Forging a Nation: The American History Collection of Gilcrease Museum,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., photography by Robert S. Cross of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama,” designed by Carol Haralson of Sedona, Ariz., photography by Robert S. Cross of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“Ilimpa’chi’ (We’re Gonna Eat!): A Chickasaw Cookbook,” with photography by Sanford Mauldin of Norman; designed by Aaron Long of Sulphur and Skip McKinstry of Oklahoma City, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“Cold Glory,” by B. Kent Anderson of Oklahoma City, and published by Forge Books, New York, N.Y.
“Crying Blood,” by Donis Casey of Tempe, Ariz., and published by Poisoned Pen Press, Scottsdale, Ariz..
“The American Café,” by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and published by the University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Ariz.
“Along The Watchtower,” by Constance Squires of Edmond, and published by Penguin Group, New York N.Y.
“Broken Wings,” by Carla Stewart of Tulsa, and published by Faith Words, Nashville, Tenn.
“Strangers & Exiles,” by Marlene Reed Wetzel of Tulsa, and published by Out on a Limb Publishing, Tulsa.
“Dandelion Summer,” by Lisa Wingate of Clifton, Texas, and published by Penguin Group, New York, N.Y.
“The Oklahoma State Capitol: A History of Our Seat of Government,” by Bob Burke of Oklahoma City and Charles Ford of Tulsa, and published by Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund Inc. and Oklahoma Heritage Association, Oklahoma City.
“The Cherokee Syllabary: Writing the People’s Perseverance,” by Ellen Cushman of Okemos, Mich., and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma,” by David Dary of Norman, and published by OU Press, Norman.
“Forging a Nation: The American History Collection at Gilcrease Museum,” by Amanda Lett, Randy Ramer, Kimberly Roblin, and Eric Singleton, all of Tulsa, and published by the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.
“Dynamic Chickasaw Women,” by Judy Goforth Parker and Phillip Carroll Morgan, both of Sulphur, and published by Chickasaw Press, Ada.
“An American Betrayal: Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears,” by Daniel Blake Smith of St. Louis, Mo., and published by Henry Holt & Co., New York City.
“David Crockett: The Lion of the West,” by Michael Wallis of Tulsa, and published by W.W. Norton & Co., New York City.
“The Wild West 365,” by Michael Wallis of Tulsa, and published by Abrams Books, New York, N.Y.
“Will Rogers: A Political Life,” by Richard D. White Jr. of Baton Rouge, La., and published by Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas
“The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill,” by Ken Hada of Ada, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Depending on the Weather,” by Abigail Keegan of Oklahoma City, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings,” by Joe Dale Tate Nevaquaya of Norman, and published by Mongrel Empire Press, Norman.
“Hail Mary, On Two,” by Jim Spurr of Shawnee, and published by Village Books Press, Cheyenne.
“Dreaming Sam Peckinpah,” by W.K. Stratton of Round Rock, Texas, and published by Ink Brush Press, Temple, Texas.
“In the Shadow of Asclepius: Poems from American Medicine,” by Howard F. Stein of Oklahoma City, and published by Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, Ind.
Lunch with Tim was very nice. What do I know about him you might not after our lunch…. He worked in a university library Special Collection, working with sheet music and magic. He attended a writing program at Brown University. Grew up in Midwest City, teaches at Rose State. Found out about being a finalist for the National Book Awards from a Tulsa World reporter (his agent left a voice mail but the reporter beat her to the news). Journalism is still alive. Can Rap but should probably not give up his day job for a music career. Changed to writing young adult novels because he was inspired by the immediate emotion of the younger readers to his first novel Falling Dark, which was written for an adult audience . He writes to explore characterization, language and themes. And brings literary fiction to the young adult reader in a way that doesn’t talk down or dumb down.
Then later in the afternoon I went to the panel discussion with the authors I mentioned in the previous post. Tim Tharp, Bob Burke, Nathan Brown, Anna Myers and illustrator, Mike Wimmer.
Tidbits from them… Burke has written 88 nonfiction books and is working on five more for next year! Myers has won FOUR Oklahoma Book Awards in the Children/ Young Adult category. She’s got a new one coming out in the fall called Time of the Witches, about the Salem witch trials.
And a new first adult novel that sounds like a lot of fun with some serious on the side. Tharp likes revising. Wimmer is happiest with his first pencil drawing, because the beginning is the best and the ending will always disappoint. And Nathan Brown wants us to escape all the previous scarring of bad poetry teaching and find out it can be understandable and enjoyable. He’s got a new one in the works called My Sideways Heart.
My final comment is something Mike Wimmer said when talking about wanting to inspire and in the course of meeting and talking with people, he discovered two important concepts from successful people. They are the choices they made about what they want to do with their lives and that they picked something they love to do. Something to think about this spring afternoon, choice and passion, and I’m glad I got to visit with people who’s choice and passion bring us art and literature.