While it's always interesting to see the titles listed in national and international books awards (The Booker, Nobel Prize for Literature, PEN/Faulkner), I find it much more meaningful and rewarding to pay special attention to regional recognition. These are the writers and creatives who live and work among us and find aspects of the American West and its people central to their themes. A few weeks ago, we highlighted the Reading the West Awards which were selected by the public and booksellers. Now let's turn attention to the Colorado Book Awards, sponsored by Colorado Humanities and others, for which the selectors and judges come from a variety of professions. Most are academics, librarians, or writers, and Colorado Humanities works hard to ensure diversity on the committees in both race and gender.
A few highlights from this year's list of award winners:
How To Dress a Fish by Abigail Chabitnoy - In How to Dress a Fish, poet Chabitnoy, of Aleut descent, addresses the lives disrupted by US Indian boarding school policy. To our delight, Chabitnoy is recording her poem "Shebutnoy" which will be available on Denver Public Library's LitLine July 17-23 - press option 2 for a poem in English.
Zapata, Book 1: The Border Series by Harper McDavid - Based on her real life experiences working in Texas as a geologist, McDavid launches readers into a ruthless world on the Mexican border and with each new revelation takes us deeper into the cartels, regulatory authorities, and lives of innocent civilians. And of course, there's some sizzle between these pages!
Scholars of Mayhem: My Father’s Secret War in Nazi-Occupied France by Daniel C. Guiet and Timothy K. Smith - Guiet (from Durango) teamed up with former Fortune senior features editor Smith to tell the remarkable World War II story of Guiet’s father, Jean Claude Guiet, an American spy within the French Resistance.
The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson - Denverite Wilson gives readers a page-turner of a thriller which goes on a wild ride through the outskirts of horror territory to tell a gripping tale of loss and redemption. Before she departs the plane, the passenger in 2A tells 2B she plans to commit suicide, then disappears. Wilson will be reading from his book for LitLine as well, available August 28-September 3.
Rise: An Anthology of Change edited by Northern Colorado Writers - This is a collection of prose and poetry exploring positive change. The mix of formats lets readers explore the book’s themes both in depth, and in the abstract.