20th Annual NEMBA
Sunday, May 18, 2008
This year the UMD Library worked in collaboration with the Lake Superior Writers in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of NEMBA. This gala joint event began with a writing workshop on Saturday, May 17, and continued with a public celebration on Sunday, May 18. The workshop, conducted by Bill Holm, was coordinated by the Lake Superior Writers group.
The Sunday festivities began with an expanded book fair and dessert reception in the Tweed Museum of Art from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and continued with the awards presentation at 3:30 in the Weber Music Hall. The awards presentation was emceed by Duluth's first poet laureate, Barton Sutter, and included featured speaker Bill Holm. This event was free and open to the public.
Nominations were evaluated in one of four categories: (1) Nonfiction, Memoir, (2) Fiction, Poetry, Drama, (3) Art, Photography, or (4) Children's Literature. Reading Teams chose a winner and honorable mention in each category. The winner in each category received a $300 cash prize. The winning author and the honorable mention in each category received a beveled glass award.
Morgan Park: Duluth, U.S. Steel, and the Forging of a Company Town
written by Arnold R. Alanen, published by University of Minnesota Press
This engaging book details the history of both Duluth's U.S. Steel Plant and Morgan Park, which was built as a company town. Many photographs and diagrams illustrate the buildings and organization of the town, now a signature Duluth neighborhood. The reading committee wrote, "We found the book to be thoroughly researched and very well written." The author, a native of northeastern Minnesota who attended UMD, documents a fascinating chapter of Duluth's history.
Skiing the North Shore: A Guide to Cross Country Trails in Minnesota's Spectacular Lake Superior Region
by Andrew Slade, published by There and Back Books
Skiing the North Shore
An excellent guide to 35 groomed cross-country ski trails along the Lake Superior Shore, this volume stands out in its concise and vivid presentation. A wealth of information for the trails includes directions, maps, difficulty ratings, fees, lodging, and links to other resources. The format is highly portable, well illustrated, and easy to read, as the author shares his obvious delight in this quintessential northeastern Minnesota activity.
Thunder Bay: A Cork O'Connor Mystery
by William Kent Krueger, published by Atria Books
William Kent Krueger does it again! This well-crafted story proves the author's continuing growth as a writer of fiction. In the novel, an Anishinabe elder enlists the help of his friend, retired sheriff Cork O'Connor, to find a son he has never known. O'Connor's own life is full of complex conflict while he takes a risky journey across the border to help his friend.
The Fiction/Poetry/Drama reading team liked these characters. They wrote, "We appreciated their imperfect humanity and were fascinated by the calm telling of their history, which was later balanced with high-paced action."
The Mother Tongue
by Sheila Packa, published by Calyx Press
The Mother Tongue
This beautiful three-part collection of poems includes 28 erotic poems, which sweep the reader up by surprise. These are interspersed with Packa's reflections about growing up as the daughter of a Finnish mother while living in the economically stressed region of the Iron Range. While these are personal explorations of identity and mother/daughter relationships, the reader travels along easily and willingly for the bumpy ride.
Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art, and Craft of an Ancient Tree
by North House Folk School, published by Fox Chapel Publishing
This book is written with love and respect by the artists who collaborated on its creation. It is an informative and educational book on birch, including an accessible blend of diverse information. Uniformly well written, this winning title bestows a beautiful gift to the reader—an in-depth understanding of the birch tree and its uses.
Celebrating Birch is a book that presents itself to all levels: a manual for the craftsperson and for the novice, for the reader both locally and internationally. This book has variety and surprising scope.
We Are At Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People
by Bruce White, published by Minnesota Historical Society Press
We Are at Home
An important historic compilation of photographs of the Ojibwe people, We Are at Home gives the reader an immersion into the cultural interplay of white and Indian societies. This book also presents extremely valuable data about how the technology of photography was used to record the Ojibwe experience as it was carefully documented by participants in front of and behind the camera.
Agate: What Good is a Moose?
by Joy Morgan Dey, illustrated by Nikki Johnson, published by Lake Superior Port Cities
This is the story of Agate, a moose who feels like "a big, brown mistake" while he sees all of the other animals as fabulous colorful gems. Through the love and wisdom of his friends, Agate comes to realize the wonderful, beautiful treasure that is within everyone and—especially—he discovers his own inner beauty and how nature has created in him an incredible work of art...a true gem, as well.
This book presents a simple, positive message with beautiful, colorful watercolor illustrations. This book holds delightful information for the young and an insightful message for us all.
by Tracy Nelson Maurer, illustrated by Christina Rodriguez, published by Windward Publishing, an Imprint of Finney Company
During a fierce ice storm, Katy and her mother become anxious about the safety of Katy's father, who is captain of a ship crossing the Great Lakes, heading for his home port in Duluth.
The reading team was impressed that Storm Codes presents historically based and well-researched facts and information with vivid and correct illustrations. The book is based on the real-life sailing experiences of Captain Harvey C. Almstedt, who skippered the Edward B. Greene of the Cleveland Cliffs fleet.