On April 8th, Portland’s Literary Arts will be announcing the winners of the 26th Annual Oregon Book Awards. This award recognizes the works and accomplishments of Oregon writers in several categories: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, General Nonfiction, Literary Nonfiction, Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature.
Looking over the list of finalists, I felt disheartened at how many of these names were unfamiliar to me … so many fine books yet unread. Then I went back to review lists of past winners and was suddenly taken on a nostalgic journey of my glamorous life as a book seller/author event coordinator. From the list of past winners and current finalists, the UO Duck Store has either hosted, or been involved in some way with readings featuring the following writers: Ingrid Wendt, Steven W. Bender, Barry Lopez, Robin Cody, Ehud Havazelet, Willy Vlautin, Scott Nadelson, Gina Ochsner, Cai Emmons, Marc Acito, Molly Gloss, Ursula K. Le Guin, Diana Abu-Jaber, Chuck Palahniuk, Craig Lesley, Maxine Scates, Linda Crew, Floyd Skloot, Laton Carter, Dorianne Laux, Karen Karbo, Lauren Kessler, John Daniel, John Kroger, Ellen Morris Bishop, James C. Mohr, Garrett Epps, Brian Doyle, and Cheryl Strayed.
Even though authors and books are what I spend most of my working day thinking about (after and before work, as well, of course) I still am suddenly struck at the amazing talent, dedication, risk taking, research and good old fashioned creative story telling happening in this state of Oregon, in this city of Eugene, on [...]
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