This was my first time attending the ceremony. And, what a wonderful and inspiring evening it was!
They had a free verse slam poet start the show- and he would come back later to do another poem.
Mitchell S. Jackson, whose book The Residue Years was Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads selection this year, was the emcee and he was great. He shared some “Do’s and Don’t’s” of the writing profession and, at one point, stepped out from behind the podium to let the audience see his outfit which would have some of the winners doing the same.
I loved that they read an excerpt from the winner’s work to announce them. In my book, though, everyone nominated was a winner. A couple of my favorite winners were Big Little Man‘s Alex Tizon who had everyone laughing with his Game of Thrones inspired speech and Readers Choice Willy Vlautin (The Fall) who seemed genuinely friendly as usual.
But the absolute standouts were the Legacy award winners from Jann Tankersley who started the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award (BCCCA) to poet and writer Ralph Salisbury who having a bit of a difficulty getting to the stage due to his walker quipped, “Sometimes my entrances are more dramatic than anything I have to say.”
And the highlight of all highlights started with Lidia Yuknavitch’s introduction to Tom Spanbauer which got most everyone on their feet giving the literary legend a standing ovation. I hope that the Oregon Book Awards will be broadcasted or transcribed because while I can’t remember what exactly he said, I remember being moved by his words. And,he ended his speech with a marriage proposal to his long time partner!
What I loved about the awards was that it was such a celebration of local literary talents. Everyone seemed to be supportive and encouraging of one another. It made me want to be part of their community.
Bravo to Literary Arts for an amazing night!
My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech which was recently published as book. I’ll review the book soon. Enjoy the video!
What are you celebrating this week?