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Three locals earn nominations

February 4, 2018 GMT

Three Eugene-Springfield authors are among the nominees for the Literary Arts’ 2018 Oregon Book Awards, which were announced Tuesday.

The awards — which honor the finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of poetry, fiction, graphic literature, literary nonfiction and literature for young readers — will be announced at the 31st annual Oregon Book Awards ceremony April 30 in Portland with Renée Watson, author of “Piecing Me Together,” hosting.

Springfield’s Wayne Harrison’s “Wrench and Other Stories” (New American Press) is nominated for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. A writing instructor at Oregon State University and the author of the 2014 novel “The Spark and the Drive,” Harrison’s book of short stories captures a particular time in his life, he told Local Shelf columnist Brian Juenemann in July after the book’s release. After attending vocational high school, Harrison was a working mechanic for six years in the crumpled industrial town of Waterbury, Conn.

Harrison’s collection captures those days in a manner that is unscripted, happening in hard and messy real time, in shop bays, dive bars and low-income apartments — unremarkable settings for the exceptional and revelatory stories of “Wrench.”

Michael Copperman of Eugene is nominated for “Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta” (University Press of Mississippi) in the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction category. In the book, he recounts his experiences realizing the realities of teaching in one of the country’s poorest and most troubled public schools. The memoir considers the distance between the idealism of “One day, all children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education” and what it actually means to teach in America’s most challenged regions.

Kenn Amdahl of Eugene is nominated in the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature category for “Jumper and the Apple Crate” (Clearwater Publishing Co.). Amdahl’s book is the continuing story of Jumper, who debuted in “Jumper and the Bones,” an amateur detective with the odd hobby of jumping off garage roofs and trees. In this story, he investigates a bizarre burglary in Denver.

Here are all the 2018 Oregon Book Awards finalists:

Ken Kesey Award for Fiction

Judges: Eowyn Ivey, Shanthi Sekaran, Justin Tussing

Omar El Akkad of Portland, “American War” (Knopf)

Wayne Harrison of Springfield, “Wrench and Other Stories” (New American Press)

Victor Lodato of Ashland, “Edgar and Lucy” (St. Martin’s Press)

Matthew Robinson of Portland, “The Horse Latitudes” (Propeller Books)

Lidia Yuknavitch of Milwaukie, “The Book of Joan” (HarperCollins)

Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction

Judges: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Peter Cozzens, Bridget Quinn

G.A. Bradshaw of Jacksonville, “Carnivore Minds: Who These Fearsome Animals Really Are” (Yale University Press)

Peter Ames Carlin of Portland, “Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon” (Henry Holt and Co.)

Edward Hershey of Portland, “The Scorekeeper” (Joy Media LLC)

Gary Leiser of Sisters, “Prostitution in the Eastern Mediterranean World: The Economics of Sex in the Late Antique and Medieval Middle East” (I.B. Tauris)

Lee van der Voo of Portland, “The Fish Market” (St. Martin’s Press)

Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry

Judges: Chris Abani, Laura Kasischke, D.A. Powell

Manuel Arturo Abreu of Portland, “transtrender” (Quimérica Books)

Samiya Bashir of Portland, “Field Theories” (Nightboat Books)

Allison Cobb of Portland, “After We All Died” (Ahasahta Press)

Stephen Lackaye of Beaverton, “Self-Portrait in Dystopian Landscape” (Unicorn Press)

Ed Skoog of Portland, “Run the Red Lights” (Copper Canyon Press)

Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction

Judges: Stephen Church, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Lia Purpua

Michael Copperman of Eugene, “Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta” (University Press of Mississippi)

Tracy Daugherty of Corvallis, “Let Us Build Us a City” (University of Georgia Press)

Aaron Gilbreath of Portland, “Everything We Don’t Know” (Curbside Splendor Publishing)

Mike Lankford of Bend, “Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo Da Vinci” (Melville House Publishing)

Elena Passarello of Corvallis, “Animals Strike Curious Poses” (Sarabande Books)

Eloise Jarvis Mcgraw Award for Children’s Literature

Judges: Jessixa Bagley, Bryan Collier, Marisa de Jesús Paolicelli

Patricia Bailey of Klamath Falls, “The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan” (Albert Whitman & Co.)

Kurt Cyrus of McMinnville, “Shake a Leg, Egg!” (Beach Lane Books)

Diane Rios of Portland, “Bridge of the Gods” (She Writes Press)

Elizabeth Rusch of Portland, “The Music of Life” (Atheneum Books)

Cynthia Rylant of Portland, “Life” (Beach Lane Books)

Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature

Judges: Rachel DeWoskin, Lamar Giles, Jennifer Longo

Kenn Amdahl of Eugene, “Jumper and the Apple Crate” (Clearwater Publishing Co.)

Kelly Garrett of Portland, “The Last to Die” (Poisoned Pen Press)

Fonda Lee of Portland, “Exo” (Scholastic)

Paula Stokes of Portland, “This Is How It Happened” (Harper Teen)

Laini Taylor of Portland, “Strange the Dreamer” (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Award for Graphic Literature

Judges: Hillary Chute, Amy Kurzweil, Kristen Radtke

Jonathan Case of Portland, “The New Deal” (Dark Horse Comics)

Colleen Conover and Paul Tobin of Portland, “Bandette Volume 3: The House of the Green Mask” (Dark Horse Comics)

Kelly Sue DeConnick of Portland, “Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch” (Image Comics)

Barry Deutsch of Portland, “Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish” (Amulet Books)

Nicole Georges of Portland, “Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Special awards

In addition to recognizing the finest achievements of Oregon authors in several genres, Literary Arts recognizes individual contributions with the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award and the Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award.

The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award: Tracey Daugherty and Marjorie Sandor of Corvallis

The Walt Morey Young Readers Literary Legacy Award: Carmen Bernier-Grand of Portland