The 26th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA), featuring author Cathy Wurzer, will be held on Thurs., May 22, in the Kirby Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.
Festivities begin at 5 pm with a book fair and refreshments. At 6:30 pm, Cathy Wurzer will give the keynote address followed by the award presentations, hosted by Barton Sutter, Duluth's first poet laureate. Following the awards, the book fair continues from 8–9 pm.
Awards are given in five categories: (1) fiction, (2) poetry, (3) memoir/creative nonfiction, (4) general nonfiction, and (5) children's literature. The winner of each category receives a cash prize of $200, and the winning author and the honorable mention in each category receives a glass plaque. NEMBA is a free community event sponsored by the Kathryn A. Martin Library at UMD with financial support from Friends of the Duluth Public Library and Lake Superior Writers. For more information, visit the UMD Library/NEMBA website.
This year's speaker, Cathy Wurzer, is the host of "Morning Edition" on Minnesota Public Radio. She is also the co-host of "Almanac," a weekly public affairs program, produced by Twin Cities Public Television for Minnesota's statewide public television network.
Wurzer wrote the regional best seller Tales of the Road-Highway 61 in 2008, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. She was the executive producer and host of the public television documentary by the same name that had its premiere in March 2009. The book won an award from the Midwest Independent Publisher's Association, and the documentary won two Emmy Awards and a national Golden Eagle CINE award. She is currently working on a sequel to the documentary, “Tales of the Road-Highway 61: Another Journey.”
Wurzer has won several Emmy Awards for her work on "Almanac.” In addition to earning Emmy Awards for her television work, she has received the Sigenthaler Award for broadcast reporting, an Associated Press award for investigative reporting, and was voted Best FM Radio Personality by City Pages.
Wurzer has been an anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. She has also been a talk show host for WCCO-AM radio, a producer for KMSP-TV, and political reporter for KSTP-AM radio. She holds degrees in broadcast journalism and urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Each year, NEMBA recognizes books that best represent northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle. This year 36 books, published in 2013, have been nominated.
Bound Together: Like the Grasses, Deborah Cooper, Candace Ginsberg, Ann Floreen Niedringhaus, Ellie Schoenfeld, and Anne Simpson, Clover Valley Press
Farm Girls: Reflections and Impressions, Candace Simar and Angela F. Foster, RiverPlace Press
Memoirs from Down in the Boondocks, Kate Ingrid Paul, CreateSpace
Slip, Cullen Bailey Burns, New Issues Poetry and Prose
Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems, Louis Jenkins, Will o’ the Wisp Books
Beneath the Palisade: Courage, Joel Skelton, Dreamspinner Press
Fugitives from Northwoods, Chris Bostic, Krill Press
Jackpine Savages: A Carter Brown Novel, T. K. O’Neill, Bluestone Press
The Land of Dreams, Vidar Sundstol, translated by Tiina Nunnally, University of Minnesota Press
The Last Dance, A. L. Sanderson, Haven Publishing
Seven Graves, Two Harbors, Dennis Herschbach, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
The Sons of Marella Windsong, Pat McGauley, PJM Publishing
Tamarack County, William Kent Krueger, Atria Books
Timber: Fire in the Pines, A. L. Sanderson, Haven Publishing
Walking the Rez Road, Jim Northrup, Fulcrum Publishing
Whistling Sousa: A Whistling Pines Mystery, Dean L Hovey, CreateSpace
Wolves, Cary J. Griffith, Adventure Publications
Champions of Minnesota’s Arrowhead: Boys Basketball State Tournament Teams, Melody Swenson, W. A. Fisher Printing and Advertising
Cornets & Pickaxes: Finnish Brass on the Iron Range, Paul Niemisto, Amerikan Poijat, Finnish American Music Publishing
Driven Snow, Andy Mattern, self-published
Esko’s Corner: An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township, Esko Historical Society, X-presso Books
Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest, Heid E. Erdrich, Minnesota Historical Society Press
Paddling to Winter, Julie Buckles, photography by Charly Ray, Raven Productions, Inc.
The Pie Place Café Cookbook: Food & Stories Seasoned by the North Shore, Kathy Rice, Lake Superior Port Cities Inc.
Tall Ships in the Zenith City, Tony Dierckins, photography by Dennis O’Hara, Zenith City Press
Memoir and Creative Nonfiction
Following the Voyageurs: A First Boundary Waters Expedition, Gerald Strom, CreateSpace
The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky, Kent Nerburn, New World Library
Threads of Hope: Caring for Babies Across Three Continents, Martha Andrea Aas, M.D., Lakeberry Press
The Whole Forest for a Backyard, Timothy McDonnell, North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
The Best Part of a Sauna, Sheryl Peterson, illustrated by Kelly Dupre, Raven Productions, Inc.
Finding Hope, Michelle Myers Lackner, Adventure Publications
Game Face, Andy Kantar, illustrated by Fran Keleher, Whiskey Creek Press
One-Dog Sleigh, Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
The Story of Manoomin, Fond du Lac Head Start Program, photography by Diane Robinson, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Tina Christina Sestina: A Northwoods Adventure, Susan Hawkinson, illustrated by Anna Cain, Bluewaters Press
Vent, Gina Marie Bernard, Vulpes Press
Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, May 2014