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Public Information and Communication

September 22, 2011

Tessa Terry

Award Winners to be Honored at October 22 Celebration of Nebraska Books

An awards presentation ceremony will highlight the Nebraska Center for the Book's Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 22 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 12th and R Streets, on the University of Nebraska campus in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2011 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors. And the winners are:

2011 Nebraska Book Award Winners

Young Adult Fiction: Christina Diaz Gonzalez. The Red Umbrella, Alfred A. Knopf

Young Adult Nonfiction: David L. Bristow. Sky Sailors: True Stories of the Balloon Era, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Fiction: Robert Vivian. Lamb Bright Saviors, University of Nebraska Press Fiction

Honor: Dan O'Brien. Stolen Horses, University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction: Peter Buffet. Life is What You Make It, Harmony Books

Nonfiction Honor: Stephen S. Witte and Marsha V. Gallagher, Editors. The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied: Volume 2, April-September 1833, University of Oklahoma Press 

Poetry: Sarah McKinstry-Brown. Cradling Monsoons, Blue Light Press 

Cover/Design/Illustration: N.L. Sharp. Illustrator: Tim Hantula. Book design by Lynn Gibney. The Flower Girl/The Ring Bear, Prairieland Press

Cover/Design/Illustration Honor: Anne Fuller. Book design by Gary James Withrow. Belle Boy, Fuller Minds LLC

The 2011 Jane Geske Award will be presented to Greg Kosmicki and The Backwaters Press. The Jane Geske Award recognizes a Nebraska association, organization, business, library, school, academic institution, or other group that has made an exceptional, long-term contribution to one or more of these fields in Nebraska: Literacy, Reading, Book Selling, Books, Libraries, and/or Writing in Nebraska.

Greg Kosmicki and the Backwaters Press have contributed a great deal to the Nebraska community of the book for many years. By founding The Backwaters Press, Kosmicki raised awareness of the Nebraska writing community, supporting local poets while also publishing a nationally-reaching selection of authors. In eleven years of the Nebraska Book Awards, Backwaters Press accounted for fourteen award winners and honor books. The literary landscape in Nebraska wouldn't be the same without Greg Kosmicki and Backwaters.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books will feature the 2011 One Book One Nebraska (Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser). In conjunction with the celebration, the Lied Center for Performing Arts will offer six performances of "Local Wonders: A Musical," October 19 - 23 at the Lied Center's Johnny Carson Theater, produced by the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. A 2:00 p.m. performance will precede the October 22 celebration and another performance will be presented after the celebration at 7:30 p.m. These performances are ticketed events. Tickets are available at The choice for the 2012 One Book One Nebraska will be announced at 5:30 p.m.

The 2011 Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Humanities Council, and Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Lied Center for Performing Arts, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and University of Nebraska Press.  For more information contact Mary Jo Ryan, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.  Confirmed presenters will be announced at and

The Nebraska Book Awards is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Humanities Council, and Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the following organizations: The Apollon, a collaborative arts venue; The Braided River Series of Wednesday Words, through a collaboration between the Nebraska Arts Council and The Backwaters Press; Great Plains Writers' Tour, Mount Marty College; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts; Northeast Community College English Department's Visiting Writers Series; and University of Nebraska-Kearney Reynolds Series.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state's readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.
As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website,

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.