The Ohioana Library has announced the winners of the 2017 Ohioana Awards, including seven book awards and the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant.
First given in 1942, the Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every major writer from Ohio in the past 75 years has been honored, from James Thurber to Toni Morrison. The 2017 winners are:
Fiction: Marisa Silver, Little Nothing
Nonfiction: Douglas Brinkley, Rightful Heritage – Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
Poetry: Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Haint
About Ohio/Ohioan: J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy – A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Sally Derby, Jump Back, Paul – The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar
Juvenile Literature: C.F. Payne, Miss Mary Reporting
Reader’s Choice: Tiffany McDaniel, The Summer That Melted Everything
Six of the awards were selected by juries, while the Readers’ Choice Award was chosen by voters in an online poll.
“It was tough for judges to make a decision,” said Ohioana Executive Director David Weaver. “This year’s thirty finalists included winners of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Newbery Medal, and the Pushcart Prize; a Guggenheim Fellow; two U.S. Children’s Poet Laureates; CNN’s Presidential Historian; and five authors whose titles made either the New York Times or Amazon 2016 year-end “best” list. It was truly an outstanding year for Ohio authors and books.”
In addition to the book awards, Ohioana announced Ashley Bethard as the 28th winner of the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize for Ohio writers age 30 or younger who have not yet published a book. The grant, named for Ohioana’s second director and endowed by his family, has helped launch a number of notable literary careers, including Anthony Doerr. Doerr won the grant in 2000 at age 26 and has gone on to become one of America’s leading contemporary authors, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2015 for All the Light We Cannot See.
The Ohioana Awards will be presented Friday, October 6, in the Atrium of Ohio’s historic Statehouse in Columbus. Tickets for event, which include a pre-awards reception, will go on sale August 25.