2018 Michigan Notable Book Award Won by SAILING INTO HISTORY, by Frank Boles

sailing-into-historymnb_notable-books-logoThe Library of Michigan 2018 Michigan Notable Books: Michigan’s 20 best books include Frank Boles’ Sailing into History: Great Lakes Bulk Carriers of the Twentieth Century and the Crews Who Sailed Them.
Sailing into History
describes the fascinating history of a century of achievements and setbacks, unimagined change mixed with surprising stability.  The Great Lakes create a vast transportation network that supports a massive shipping industry. In this volume, seamanship, cargo, competition, cooperation, technology, engineering, business, unions, government decisions, and international agreements all come together to create a story of unrivaled interest about the Great Lakes ships and the crews that sailed them in the 20th Century.


frank-bolesFrank Boles has been the director of Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library since 1991. Previously, he worked at the University of Michigan, Chicago Historical Museum, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Boles received his archival training at Wayne State University, and was awarded a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan.

Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize Open for Submissions; Judge Announced

FG20'1 cover.inddThe 2018 Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize submission period opened January 1, 2018.
The judge will be Robin Hemley. He is an award winning writer, founder of NonfictioNOW, former director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and current director of the Writing Program and Writers’ Centre at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. His books include Do-Over! and Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness.

Find more info on the Fourth Genre  Prize page.

“Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle” Art Exhibition Debuts at Grand Rapids Art Museum

50-1d0-44a1-50-9781611862911Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle Art Exhibition Debuts in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on January 27, 2018.
The exhibition runs from January 27, 2018 – April 29, 2018.
This multifaceted project was initiated in 2013 when artist Alexis Rockman embarked on a research tour of the Great Lakes region. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a suite of five mural-sized paintings which explore separate themes that emerged during Rockman’s travels. These are accompanied by several large-scale watercolors and field drawings–monochromatic animal and plant studies made from site-sourced organic material such as mud, sand, coal, and leaves.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 136 page color catalogue, Alexis Rockman-The Great Lakes Cycle, featuring essays by Dana Friis Hansen, Jeff Alexander, and Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, relating the series to historical and contemporary landscape art and addressing the significance of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Kaitlyn Adler - Data and Research Analyst - August 2015On February 22, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Award-winning environmentalist and author, Jeff Alexander, will speak on “The Great Lakes in the 21st Century: Unprecedented Change, Uncertain Future, in conjunction with the “Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle” painting exhibit.
Exhibition Touring Schedule: Following its debut in Grand Rapids, Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle will travel to the following venues:
Chicago Cultural Center – June 2 through October 1, 2018
Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland – October 19, 2018 through January 27, 2019
Haggerty Museum of Art of Marquette University, Milwaukee – February 8 to May 19, 2019
Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis – October 5, 2019 through January 5, 2020
Flint Institute of Arts – May 9 to August 16, 2020

Eugene Wanger’s “Fighting the Death Penalty” Named CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Title

wanger-400Choice Reviews Outstanding Academic Title honors Eugene G. Wanger’s Fighting the Death Penalty: A Fifty-Year Journey of Argument and Persuasion, published by MSU Press.
Choice Reviews, the American Library Association publishing division, publishes the complete list of winners in the January 2018 issue of CHOICE magazine, Volume 55 No. 5.

Choice Reviews selects its Outstanding Academic Titles each year, chosen from choice-2the many titles reviewed during the year. The books are selected for their “excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important — and often first — treatment of their subject.”

Brian D. McInnes Wins American Book Award for “Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow”

Congratu50-210-c5-68-mcinnes_head_shot_resizedlations to Brian D. McInnes9781611862256, a 38th Annual American Book Awards winner. McInnes is being honored for his book Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabowa unique synthesis of Ojibwe oral history, historical record, and Pegahmagabow family stories.

Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Edward Said, Isabel Allende, bell hooks, Don DeLillo, Robin D.G. Kelley, Joy Harjo, Miles Davis, Daniel Ellsberg, David Halberstam, Richard Holmes OBE, Laila Lalami, Helen Thomas, and Cornel West.

The Before Columbus Foundation sponsors the annual American Book Awards and views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers. The awards will be formally recognized on October 22, 2017, in San Francisco, California. This event is open to the public.

John Smolens’ WOLF’S MOUTH Named 2017 “One Book, One Community” Selection

John Smolens’ smolens-400novel Wolf’s Mouth, Winner of a 2017 Michigan Notable Book Award, has been chosen as the book selection for 2017 by the NMU/Marquette County “One Book, One Community” committee. The “One Book, One Community” program encourages the Marquette County and Northern Michigan University community to read the same book and to come together to discuss it in a variety of settings. Although dozens of similar programs have been sponsored nationwide, this is one that brings together a county and a university.

John Smolens has published ten works of fiction, most recently Wolf’s Mouth. His work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review, The Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Columbia Journal of Literature and Art, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He has taught at Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, and is professor emeritus, Northern Michigan University. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Michigan Author of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association.

Todd Davis’ WINTERKILL Wins Silver Foreword INDIES 2016 Book of the Year Award


Winterkill, by Todd Davis, Named 2016 INDIES Book of the Year Silver Winner, Poetry
Foreword Reviews announced the winners of its INDIES Book of the Year Awards at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago. The awards recognize the best books published in 2016 from small, indie, and university presses, as well as self-published authors. Founded in 1998, Foreword Reviews is the only independent media company completely devoted to independent publishing.


2017 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction won by Greg Marinovich’s MURDER AT SMALL KOPPIE

50-1d0-3ff4-50-97816118627682017 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction has been won by Greg Marinovich for Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of South Africa’s Marikana MassacreIn his speech at the June 24 award presentation, Marinovich stressed the importance of remembering that the Marikana massacre miners are at core of the story he told in the book. The award is in honor of Alan Paton, author of Cry, The Beloved Country.

The Alan Paton Award is a South African literary award for non-fiction, sponsored by the Johannesburg weekly the Sunday Times.  The award is given in conjunction with The Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Together the two prizes are jointly called The Sunday Times Literary Awards.

Photo: Marinovich’s award speech on Twitter

“Choice Reviews” Outstanding Academic Titles Honors Paul Dumouchel’s THE BARREN SACRIFICE

 Layout 1Choice Reviewschoice-2 OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC TITLE for 2016 honors Paul Dumouchel’s The Barren Sacrifice: An Essay on Political Violence, published by MSU Press.

Choice Reviews, the American Library Association publishing division, publishes the complete list of winners in the January 2017 issue.
Choice Reviews selects its Outstanding Academic Titles each year, chosen from the many titles reviewed during the year. The books are selected for their “excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important — and often first — treatment of their subject.”


2 Michigan Notable Book Awards to MSU Press. Notable Author Tours April-June!

mnb_notable-books-logoHundreds of books may be contenders, but only 20 titles made the 2017 Library of Michigan Notable Books list.

KeefeCompF.inddMSU Smolens2aPress is proud to have two books on the 2017 Notable Books Awards list: Twelve Twenty-Five: The Life and Times of a Steam Locomotive by Kevin Keefe and Wolf’s Mouth: A Novel by John Smolens. For lovers of lists in Michigan, one of the most rewarding annual arrivals is also the state’s best-known literary honor. Congratulations to authors Kevin Keefe and John Smolens!

    Johnsmolens wolf Smolens
    April 5: Big Rapids Community Library, 426 S. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, (231)-796-5234.
    May 3: Engadine Library, W 13920 Melville Street, Engadine, MI [Upper Peninsula] 49827. (906) 477-631.
    June 27: Mason County Library, 217 E. Ludington Ave. Ludington, MI. (231) 843-8465.keefe-jpg
    Kevin Keefe

    June 15: Niles District Library, 620 East Main, Niles, MI. (269) 683-8545
    June 17: Mason County District Library, 217 East Ludington Ave. Ludington, MI. (231) 843-8465

Each year the Michigan Notable Book list features 20 books, published the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. Selections include nonfiction and fiction books. This is a statewide program that began as part of the 1991 Michigan Week celebration, designed to pay tribute and draw attention to the many people, places and things that make Michigan life unique.