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Jim Johnson to Speak at 27th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards

Jim Johnson (Photo submitted)

The 27th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) will be presented at an evening celebration on Thursday, May 21, in the Kirby Ballroom at UMD, with Duluth Poet Laureate Jim Johnson as guest speaker.

This year's NEMBA awards will honor books published in 2014. Thirty-nine titles have been nominated, vying for prizes in six categories. The winning author in each category will receive a cash prize of $200. Poet Barton Sutter will emcee the program, and guests will be treated to pie from the Rustic Inn and harp music played by Georganne Hunter during the book fair and reception.

Jim Johnson, the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Duluth, will deliver the NEMBA address. He has published seven books of poetry. His most recent collection, The First Day of Spring in Northern Minnesota, was a Minnesota Book Award Finalist and winner in the poetry category of the 25th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.

Much of Johnson's poetry focuses on the lives of northern Minnesota's Finnish settlers, translating the experiences of these immigrants into universal themes of hard work, nature, and families.

UMD's Kathryn A. Martin Library, Friends of the Duluth Public Library, and Lake Superior Writers are collaborating to present the 27th annual NEMBAs.

Johnson will lead an afternoon writing workshop entitled "Feelings, Images & Poetry," offered through Lake Superior Writers (LSW), from 1 to 3 pm in the library's fourth-floor rotunda. Cost (payable at the workshop to Lake Superior Writers) is $25 for members, $40 for nonmembers, which includes membership in LSW. To register, email writers@lakesuperiorwriters.org, or call Marty Sozansky at (218) 341-4363.

The awards event and book fair are free and open to the public, with parking available in lots and at meters on campus. Call 218-726-7889 for more information.

Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Nominees

Fiction

Incident at the Bruce Mine Shaft, Stephen M. Ivancic, Monarch Tree Publishing, Inc.

The Last Moran, Pat McFauley, PJM Publishing

Only the Dead, Vidar Sundstol, translated by Tiina Nunnally, University of Minnesota Press

Plover Landing, Marie Zhuikov, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

A River Through Two Harbors, Dennis Herschbach, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. 

The Road Back to Sweetgrass, Linda LeGarde Grover, University of Minnesota Press

Sins of Our Fathers, Shawn Lawrence Otto, Milkweed Editions

Sukulaiset: The Kindred, Mark Munger, Cloquet River Press

Undeveloped: A Pine County Mystery, Dean L. Hovey, self-published

Voice Lessons: Tales of Breaking Free, Catherine Holm, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Waters Like the Sky: Book 1 – The Chronicles of an Unlikely Voyageur, Agnes Rajala and Nikki Rajala, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Poetry

Approaching the Gate, Lynette Reini-Grandell, Holy Cow! Press

Everyday Love, Peggy Trojan, self-published

Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range, Sheila Packa, Wildwood River Press

A Skim of Ice on Still Water, Ann Glumac, self-published

Some Measure of Existence, Marjorie Buettner, Red Dragonfly Press

Nonfiction

Backyard Almanac: 365 Days of Northern Natural History, Larry Weber, illustrated by Judy Gibbs, Stone Ridge Press

Minnesota’s Lost Towns: Northern Edition, Rhonda Fochs, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

More Than Just Ore: The Era That Really Made Ely, David Kess, Ely-Winton Historical Society

Sawdust in Their Blood: 100 Years of the Hedstrom Lumber Co., Jim Boyd, North Shore Press

Talking Sky: Ojibwe Constellations as a Reflection of Life on the Land, Carl Gawboy and Ron Morton, Rockflower Press

Twin Ports by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Duluth-Superior, Aaron Isaacs, University of Minnesota Press

Memoir, Creative Nonfiction

Annie Comes Home, Bonnie I. Malterer, Maltech Press

One Woman’s Place, Donna Schilling, Lakewalk Press

Rooted in Iron and Ice: Innocent Years on the Mesabi, Gary W. Barfknecht, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Travels and Tribulations: A Coach’s Journey, Bob McDonald and Melody Swenson, W. A. Fisher Printing and Advertising

Zenith City: Stories from Duluth, Michael Fedo, University of Minnesota Press

Children’s Literature

A Bird on My Hand, Mary Bevis, illustrated by Consie Powell, Raven Productions, Inc.

Breath of Wilderness: The Life of Sigurd Olson, Kristin Eggerling, Fulcrum Publishing

Full Wolf Moon: A Lunar Calendar of the Anishinabe, Cheryl Weibye Wilke, illustrated by Ernest Gillman, McDonald & Woodward Publishing Co.

Karner’s Quest for Blue Lupine, Sara Jo Dickens, illustrated by Nancy Scheibe, Beaver’s Pond Press

The Map Maker’s Quest, Matthew J. Krengel, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Otter Out of Water, Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello, Sleeping Bear Press

Rhoda’s Rock Hunt, Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell, Minnesota Historical Society Press

Searching for Raven, Jerry Hines, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Wilder’s Foe, Diane Bradley, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.

Art, Photography

Is That an Old Camera? 100 View Camera Photos of the North Country, Allen Anway and Ruth Anway, Gladglass Press

The Other Side of Wilderness, Richard C. Johnson, Will o’ the Wisp Books

Saved by Beauty: Sister Mary Charles McGough, OSB, John Schifsky, Sister Lois Eckes, Peter Spooner, Dustin Lyon, and Meridith Schifsky, Duluth Benedictine Books

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