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2016 CLIA Winners Announced

Three Alaskans with a passion for the spoken and written word are the winners of the 2016 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska (CLIA) Awards. Regan Brooks, Kathryn Ohle and Don Rearden will be recognized in a July 12 presentation at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Alaska Center for the Book, Alaska’s liaison with the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book, has presented the awards annually since 1993. More than 75 previous winners from across the state include librarians, teachers, writers, tutors, learning programs and others who foster literacy, the literary arts and preservation of language.

Regan Brooks is the founder of Story Works Alaska, an all-volunteer organization that provides storytelling workshops to several Anchorage-area high schools. Storytellers and coaches work with students on skills that transfer to reading, writing and public speaking. Story Works Alaska also encourages connections among students and their communities. A former high school science teacher, Brooks began the program in 2014 with support from Vik Patel of Arctic Entries and teachers Temperance Tinker and Rachel Kittoe of West Anchorage High School; more than 1,000 students have taken part since then.

Kathryn Ohle, PhD, is the recipient of CLIA’s Sue Sherif Literacy Award, named for a longtime Alaska librarian pivotal in supporting literacy efforts through the state library system. Ohle, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at UAA,  spearheaded “Supporting the Preservation of Native Languages and Encouraging Early Literacy with Children’s Books.” The collaborative project works with United for Literacy, students and families to provide free children’s books in Alaska Native languages via a free digital library with translated texts.

Don Rearden was raised in southwest Alaska, which is the setting for much of his writing. He is the author of the award-winning novel “The Raven’s Gift,” chosen as book of the year for the Anchorage Reads program in 2015. He describes himself as “a screenwriter, a novelist, and when the mood hits, a poet and tundra philosopher.” He is also a well-regarded associate professor at UAA and was founding board president of 49 Writers. A former Native Youth Olympics coach, he continues to work with rural Alaska youngsters in video and other writing and suicide prevention programs. His debut work of non-fiction, Never Quit, will be published by St. Martins in March 2017. 

The CLIA Awards will be presented Tuesday, July 12 in conjunction with UAA’s MFA program in Creative Writing. The event is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Room 150 in UAA’s Arts Building, followed by a brief award presentation at 8 p.m. The audience will then hear readings from two of the MFA program’s visiting faculty, Valerie Minor and Jan DeBlieu.

Minor, a novelist and essayist, is an artist-in-residence and professor at Stanford University and the award-winning author of 14 books. Her latest novel, Traveling with Spirits, was published by Livingston Press in 2013. Her international collaborative work includes books, museum exhibits, theater and radio.

DeBlieu is the author of four books and many articles and essays. Her third book, Wind: How the Flow of Air has Shaped Life, Myth, and the Land, received the John Burroughs Medal for Natural History Writing, the highest national honor in the genre. She is also known for her work in environmental conservation and social justice.

Creative Writing Contest Winners

Winners of the 34th annual creative writing contest sponsored by the University of Alaska and Alaska Dispatch News along with the Alaska Center for the Book have been announced.

 

 

 

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ALA Announces Book Awards

The American Library Association recently announced the Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by  Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, an division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., was the Caldecott Medal Winner.
 
Finding Winnie is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Blackall beautifully interprets this multi-dimensional family story through her distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art, capturing intimate and historical details perfect for a child’s eye. more…
 

Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, is the Newbery Medal Winner.

CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him.  CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom.  Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.” more…

 

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Federal Support for Creative Writing Fellowships Announced

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will award individual creative writing fellowships of $25,000 each to 37 fiction and creative nonfiction writers from 17 states as part of its first FY 2016 grant awards. Through its creative writing fellowships program, the NEA gives writers the time and space to create, revise, conduct research, and connect with readers. This year’s writers were selected from among 1,763 eligible applications by 23 readers and panelists.

“Since its inception, the creative writing fellowship program has awarded more than $45 million to a diverse group of more than 3,000 writers, many of them emerging writers at the start of their careers,” said NEA Director of Literature Programs, Amy Stolls. “These 37 extraordinary new fellows provide more evidence of the NEA’s track record of discovering and supporting excellent writers.” more…

 

PNBA

Pacific Northwest Book Awards Shortlist Announced

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has announced the 2016 Book Awards Shortlist, selected by a committee of independent booksellers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. From more than 250 nominations, the committee chose 12 finalists, written by Northwest authors and published in 2015.

For more author and title information on the finalists, visit PNBA's 2016 Shortlist page. Shortlist titles will be honored with original Book Awards Committee features on NWBookLovers.org over the next several weeks.

PNBA will announce the six winners of the 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Awards in early January.

 

 

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Graphic Novelist is New Ambassador for Young People's Literature

The Library of Congress has named Gene Luen Yang the national ambassador for young people’s literature, the first graphic novelist to be so honored since the post was created in 2008.

Gene Luen Yang often mines his life for his graphic novels. He has explored being a first-generation American, and harnessed his love of computer programming. Starting this week, he will have a whole new experience to draw on. more…

Librarian of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington recently announced the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the Library’s 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, for 2015-2016. Herrera will take up his duties in the fall, participating in the Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, September 5 and opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of his work at the Coolidge Auditorium on Tuesday, September 15.

"I see in Herrera’s poems the work of an American original—work that takes the sublimity and largesse of "Leaves of Grass" and expands upon it," Billington said. "His poems engage in a serious sense of play—in language and in image—that I feel gives them enduring power. I see how they champion voices, traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity." more...

 

 

PickClick

Pick.Click.Give.

The Alaska Center for the Book is included in the Permanent Fund Dividend’s Pick.Click.Give. charitable contributions program.
It’s a secure and easy way to make a donation to an organization that stimulates public interest in literacy through the spoken and written word.

When you file for your PFD online, you will be given a chance to donate money from your PFD. When you do, please remember The Alaska Center for the Book.

Just check the box that authorizes the State to send your name, contact information and the amount you give when it sends contributions to an organization so we can recognize your support.

Alaska's 2015 Pick.Click.Give program raised $800 from 13 donors.

Thanks to all who contributed. Your help allows the Alaska Center for the Book to continue its programs, events and unique projects to support and build literacy in Alaska.

For more information click here:  Pick. Click. Give.

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