The 2023 Oregon Book Awards Finalists Have Been Announced

While many people were waiting for the morning announcement of the 2023 Oscar contenders, fans of the written word – especially those who live in Oregon – were happy to know who will be chosen in a different competition: the Oregon Book Awards.

Today, Portland Literary Arts shared the list of finalists honored this year. Thirty-four Oregonians in seven categories were selected by a panel of judges from across the country, out of a total of 202 submitted nominations.

Nominees include Portlander Emme Lund, whose debut novel, A boy with a bird on his chest, it is about the Ken Kesey Prize for Fiction. The book is described as a contemporary story of love, grief and queerness. Another finalist in that category, Jon Raymond, also from Portland, may be better known for his screenwriting for such films. First Cow, Meek’s Cutoff and HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. His chosen work, Refusalit’s a future story about climate change.

Theater fans will recognize the names of many finalists in the Drama category, including Sara Jean Accuardi, who is up for grabs. Storytellera 95-minute play inspired by Shakespeare A storm about a young man who has lived off the grid all his life, and EM Lewis, who has two characters in the game. Dorothy’s Dictionaryabout a high school student and an ailing librarian, he was identified.

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Winners will be announced live at the 2023 Oregon Book Awards Ceremony, hosted by Luke Burbank, on Monday, April 3, at the Portland Center Stage at the Armory.

Here is a complete list of graduates:

KEN KESEY AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT
Judges: Zinzi Clemmons, Jonathan Dee, Shruti Swamy
  • Sindya Bhanoo of Corvallis, Finding Fortune Elsewhere: A Story (Catapult)
  • Cai Emmons of Eugene, Sinking Islands (Red Hen Press)
  • Emme Lund of Portland, A Boy with a Bird in His Chest (Atria Books)
  • Jon Raymond of Portland, Refusal (Simon & Schuster)
  • Lidia Yuknavitch of Otis, To push (Riverhead Books)
STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY
Judges: Chen Chen, Lisa Olstein, Matthew Olzmann
  • Matthew Dickman of Portland, Husbandry (WW Norton & Co.)
  • Michele Glazer of Portland, fretwork (University of Iowa Press)
  • Janice Lee of Portland, Separation Anxiety (CASH Books)
  • Amy Miller of Ashland, Astrologers (Beloit Poetry Journal)
  • Eric Tran of Portland, Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke (Diode Editions)
FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
Judges: Richard Panek, Kim Todd, Neal Thompson
  • Anita Hannig of Portland, The Day I Die: The Untold Story of Assisted Dying in America (Books)
  • Lauren Kessler of Eugene, Free: Two Years, Six Lives, and the Longest Journey Home (Books)
  • Leah Sottile of Portland, When the Moon Turns to Blood (12 books)
  • Deb Vanasse of Warrenton, Thunder of the Sea: Deception, Observation, and Alaska’s Most Valuable Wildlife (West Margin Press)
  • David H. Wilson Jr. of Portland, The Southern Paiutes of Malheur: High Desert Reckoning in the Oregon Country (University of Nebraska Press)
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SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION
Judges: Sloane Crosley, Christa Parravani, Mychal Denzel Smith
  • Laurie Easter of William, All the Leavings (OSU Press)
  • Garrett Hongo of Eugene, The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo (Pantheon)
  • Laura Lafayette of Portland, Possums Run Amok: A True Tale Told Slant (Mercuria Press)
  • Casey Parks of Portland, Diary of a Misfit: Memoir and Mystery (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Ann Stinson of Portland, Under My Feet: Supporting Families and Forests (OSU Press)
LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR GRADUATE GRADE & SENIOR WRITING
Judges: Mary Cronk Farrell, TP Jagger, Alex Sanchez
  • Waka T. Brown of West Linn, Hot, Annie, Hot (HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books)
  • Jonathan Story of Silverton, Monarch children (Holiday House Publishing)
  • Susan Hill Long of Portland, Care and Care of Freddy (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
  • Jenn Reese of Portland, Every Bird is a Prince (Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co.)
  • Sonja Thomas of Portland, Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Endurance (Simon & Schuster / Aladdin)
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ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Judges: Erik Brooks, Carole Lindstrom, Cathryn Mercier
  • Zoey Abbott of Portland, The Pig and the Horse and Something Terrible (Abrams/Abrams Books for Young Readers)
  • Cathy Camper of Portland, Arab Arab All Year! (Candlewick Press)
  • Dane Liu of Portland, A Friend Is a FriendAt all (Henry Holt and Co.)
  • Trudy Ludwig of Portland, Be Brave Every Day (Alfred A. Knopf/Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Carrie Tillotson of Tigard, Reading to Bananas: A Mostly Rhyming Fruit Book (Flamingo Books/Penguin Young Readers)
ANGUS BOWMER AWARD FOR DRAMA
Judges: France-Luce Benson, Colette Freedman, Amina Henry
  • Sara Jean Accuardi of Portland, Storyteller
  • EM Lewis of the Monitor, Dorothy’s Dictionary
  • Rich Rubin of Portland, Russian Troll
  • CS Whitcomb of Wilsonville, Counselor
SPECIAL AWARDS

In addition to recognizing the achievements of Oregon writers in several genres, Literary Arts recognizes individual contributions with the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award, and the CES Wood Award.

The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award
The Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award
  • Dawn Babb Prochovnic of Portland



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