Vermont Book Award Nominees  Hail From the Upper Valley

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Three of the seven finalists for the 2018 Vermont Book Award, a literary prize administered by the Vermont College of Fine Arts, come from authors with Upper Valley ties.

The nominated titles are Event Boundaries, a poetry collection by April Ossmann, of Brownsville; the cookbook-meets-memoir Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip, of White River Junction; and Grand Canyon, a children’s book written and illustrated by Jason Chin, who grew up in East Thetford and now lives in South Burlington.

The other finalists are The Bear and the Nightingale, a novel by Katherine Arden; Selected Delanty, a poetry collection by Greg Delanty; Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray, a biography by Adam Federman; and Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time, young adult nonfiction by Tanya Lee Stone.

Since 2014, the Vermont Book Award has recognized work of “outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors and celebrates the long tradition of literature in the state,” the award website says. To be eligible, books must fall into one of four genres — children’s literature, creative nonfiction, fiction or poetry — and have been published from a press (not self-published) in 2017.

This year’s was the first award cycle that allowed the public to submit nominations. In the past, this has been done by a committee of independent Vermont booksellers and publishers.

A judging panel will ultimately determine the winning author, who will be announced Sept. 22 at a gala at the Vermont College of Fine Arts campus in Montpelier. The prize is $5,000 and an award statue specially designed by a local artist.

—EmmaJean Holley