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The Oklahoma
Center for the Book

Oklahoma Dept. of
200 NE 18th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3298

(405) 521-2502
(405) 525-7804—FAX

Connie Armstrong,
OCB director

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2000 Oklahoma Book Award Finalists


Oklahoma Book Award Award Winners are marked with an Oklahoma Book Award graphic.


Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition
Designed by Carl Brune
This book is a catalog of an exhibition organized and curated by the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa. The exhibition examined American landscape painting in the second half of the 20th century, presenting the works of 89 artists. A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Brune has worked at the Philbrook for 17 years, where he is currently Graphics and Publications Manager.

Buffalo Dreams—Illustrated by Kim Doner
As an artist Doner is acclaimed for her warmth and richly authentic detail. Doner, who also wrote the text for this volume, is a finalist in the Children/Young Adult category. Doner received the Oklahoma Book Award for Design/Illustration in 1996 for Green Snake Ceremony.

Award symbol

Glory Days of Summer: The History of Baseball in Oklahoma
Designed by Carol Haralson
This comprehensive volume has hundreds of photos and articles about the great ball players who passed through Oklahoma. According to the book’s writers Burke, Franks, and Parr, designer Haralson “took stacks of printed word and hundreds of photos and created a masterpiece.” A former Tulsa resident (who now lives in Sedona, Arizona), Haralson has now won the Oklahoma Book Award for Design/Illustration a record five times.

Summertime, from Porgy and Bess
Illustrated by Mike Wimmer
Nothing seems to capture the feelings of summer better than the much-loved song “Summertime.” Acclaimed illustrator Wimmer’s lush oil paintings depicting a family’s routine one summer day earlier in this century, this American classic takes on a whole new meaning. Wimmer won the Oklahoma Book Award for Design/Illustration in 1995. He lives in Norman.


Native American Style
Elmo Baca and M.J. Van Deventer
A view of Native American art and philosophy, this volume includes information about many tribes, from South America to the Pueblo dwellers. Many photographs and stories of utilitarian and religious objects are included. This book explores the significance of Bacone, the University of Oklahoma, and Philbrook art programs. Baca is director of New Mexico’s Main Street Program, a writer and historic preservationist. Van Deventer is editor of Persimmon Hill and director of publications for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Agrarian Socialism in America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside 1904-1920Jim Bissett
This provocative book is a chronicle of the rise and fall of Marxian Socialism in Oklahoma. From 1900 to 1920, Oklahoma “supported the most vigorous, ambitious, and fascinating socialist movement of all ... a remarkable movement ... that successfully elected its candidates to a myriad of state and local offices.” The rapid demise of the party came with the hysteria and repression of the war years. Bissett is associate professor of history at Elon College, North Carolina.

Glory Days of Summer: The History of Baseball in Oklahoma
Bob Burke, Kenny A. Franks, and Royse Parr
In nearly 500 pages, the authors present some of the legendary baseball players with connections to Oklahoma: Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn, Carl Hubbell, Lloyd and Paul Waner, and Dizzy and Daffy Dean. One in ten of the 14,000 men who have played major league baseball since 1876 have come through Oklahoma, and the details of their careers are included. Burke is an Oklahoma City lawyer and writer who received the 1999 Oklahoma Book Award for Nonfiction. Kenny Franks is one of Oklahoma’s most published historians. He is Director of Education and Publications for the Oklahoma Heritage Association. A retired oil company attorney, Parr lives in Tulsa, and is an active member of the Society of American Baseball Research.

The National Congress of American Indians: The Founding Years
Thomas W. Cowger
The first full-length history of the NCAI, Cowger presents the story of the founding of the organization in 1944 and its first two decades. The NCAI had a leading role in stimulating Native political awareness and activism. The NCAI provided a forum for debates about vital issues affecting reservations and tribes, including litigation efforts, and lobbying activities. The organization fought against governmental efforts to end the reservation system. The NCAI continues today to steer a moderate course bringing together many tribal peoples. Cowger is assistant professor of history at East Central University in Ada.

Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near SouthwestDan Flores
Flores explores the human and natural history of the area that includes New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Horizontal Yellow is a Navajo term for the yellowed grass landscape of the region. Flores suggests that the region shares a common watershed, a common history, and a common sensory impression—a characteristic topography he describes as “one of the grandest, most windswept landscapes of plains, tablelands, and deserts on the planet.” Flores is the A.B. Hammond professor of history at the University of Montana in Missoula.

The Cherokees and their Chiefs: In the Wake of EmpireStanley Hoig
Hoig traces the demise of the Cherokees’ historic homeland in the American South, their removal to present-day Oklahoma, the final destruction of their tribal autonomy, and then rise in political and social stature during the 20th Century. Hoig is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. In 1991, he won the Oklahoma Book Award for children’s literature, for A Capitol for the Nation.

A Passion for Equality: The Life of Jimmy Stewart
Vicki Miles-LaGrange and Bob Burke
For more than 50 years, one of the undisputed leaders of integration efforts in Oklahoma, Jimmy Stewart started his professional career as a janitor at Oklahoma Natural Gas in 1937. He retired from the company as assistant to the vice president. He worked to produce a better life for those afflicted with poverty as a national leader of the NAACP during the times of school desegregation and integration. The book provides a wealth of information about the man and his times. Miles-LaGrange is U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. Burke is a lawyer and historian. Bob Burke received the 1999 Book Award for Nonfiction.

Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and BeliefDaniel C. Swan
The peyotists, controversial and misunderstood, have been the targets of discrimination from missionaries, government officials, and politicians. A religion based on the ritual consumption of the peyote cactus emerged in the 1870s on the Southern Plains. Its elaborate ceremony gained converts on the reservations of the southwestern Indian Territory, modern-day Oklahoma, and quickly spread to other tribes in Oklahoma and the surrounding region. An explanation of the origins, beliefs, and practices of the Native American Church and the peyote sacrament is given. Swan is senior curator at the Gilcrease Museum and has published numerous articles on the peyote religion.

Award symbolThe Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American WestMichael Wallis
“The enthralling history of one of the wildest ranch empires of the American frontier and the birth of the western motion picture industry,” Wallis’ work was 10 years in the making. It is “nothing less than a sweeping history of the West of myth and reality.” This work chronicles the life of Col. George Washington Miller, founder of the 101 Ranch. The book follows Miller’s migration from Kentucky through Missouri and Kansas, and into the Cherokee Outlet, where he located the world-famous ranch on the banks of the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, near Ponca City. Wallis, who lives in Tulsa, is an award-winning historian of the West, and recipient of the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

George Washington Grayson and the Creek Nation 1843-1920
Mary Jane Warde
Grayson served as leader of the Creek Nation for sixty years. He was a Confederate soldier, pioneer merchant, rancher, newspaper publisher, and town builder. Warde’s work is the first extended study of Creek history since Debo’s classic The Road to Disappearance, in 1941. Warde is Indian historian at the Oklahoma Historical Society. She received her Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma State University.


(Ado) RationDiane Glancy
Glancy’s writing is familiar to Oklahomans as she has previously been a finalist in fiction, non-fiction and poetry categories of this competition. This year she is also a finalist in the fiction category. Glancy is associate professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches Native American Literature and Creative Writing. Glancy in (Ado) Ration writes about the human experience within the context of Native American and Spiritual themes.

Dowsing for LightKennette Harrison
“Harrison reminds us that loss and longing are intertwined with joy in the ivied garden of the Spirit,” says Sandra Soli, a fellow Oklahoma poet. “Through these poems, a gate opens where doubters can vanish darkness by ‘dowsing for light’.” Harrison received a master’s degree in English/Creative Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines.

Award logoIn the Bear’s HouseN. Scott Momaday
Momaday is known for his unique connection to the beauty and spirituality of the natural world. This book reflects his intensely personal quest to understand the spirit of the wilderness embodied in the animal image of Bear. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for House Made of Dawn, Momaday received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. He is a native of Lawton and currently lives in New Mexico.

First Light: An Anthology of Paraguayan Women Writers
edited by Susan Smith Nash
This anthology of Paraguayan women writers is the culmination of more than two years of research and investigation of history, art, and literature of this culture. The poetry was edited, translated and accompanied by a critical introduction by Norman author and poet Susan Smith Nash. Nash is currently director of engineering and geosciences programs for the University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education.

“Harlem Gallery” and Other Poems of Melvin B. Tolson
edited by Raymond Nelson
Melvin B. Tolson (1898-1966) is recognized as one of America’s finest poets. He won numerous poetry awards and was named Poet Laureate of Liberia in 1947. In 1966 he stated: “I as a black poet, have absorbed the Great Ideas of the Great White World and interpreted them in the melting pot idiom of my people. My roots are in Africa, Europe and America.“ This complete collection of his works was edited by Raymond Nelson, arts and science Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Tolson received the Ralph Ellison Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book in 1998.

Every Other OneFrancine Ringold-Johnson and Manly Johnson
The editors of Nimrod International Journal, this husband and wife team are both well known individually as writers, performers, editors, and poets. They have shared writing and life side-by-side with six children, five grandchildren and many friends and relations. In this collaborative writing they look forward and back and take a close look at each moment. Ringold-Johnson won the 1996 Oklahoma Book Award for poetry.


Buffalo DreamsKim Doner
Doner, an author and illustrator of numerous books for children, is a native Oklahoman who lives in Tulsa. Buffalo Dreams is a story about the legend of the white buffalo, and a spontaneous pilgrimage of the Bearpaw family to take gifts to a white buffalo calf.

Book Award Medal

Brief Garland: Ponytails, Basketball, and Nothing But NetHarold Keith
This is a story about a man, Coach Jim, forced to coach a girls’ athletic team in Oklahoma, only to find that “he loves it and never wants to coach boys’ athletics again.” Coach Jim is the nephew of the late Harold Keith. Keith, who won the 1958 Newbery Medal for Rifles for Watie, was recipient of the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.

Head Above WaterS. L. Rottman
A sensitive exploration about conflicting desires and responsibilities frame a teenager’s growth into adulthood. Rottman is a high school English teacher and a swim coach in Colorado Springs. She has taught in Oklahoma, and she dedicates this book to the Deer Creek Class of 2002. Rottman won the Oklahoma Book Award in 1998 for Hero.

Letters from VinnieMaureen Stack Sappèy
Sappèy, working from extensive research into the real life of Vinnie Ream, gives her a voice that is eloquent, impassioned, and deeply human. Ream, in her late teens, began sculpting the statue of Abraham Lincoln that stands today in the Rotunda of the Capitol. Sappèy says she has always admired those who courageously pursue their dreams with hands, heart, and soul. Vinnie Ream was such a person. Sappèy lives in Chestertown, Maryland. The Oklahoma town of Vinita was named for Ms. Ream.

The Buffalo Train RideDesiree Morrison Webber
At the plea of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker to President Theodore Roosevelt, a wildlife preserve was established in Oklahoma Territory in 1905. Fifteen buffalo from the New York Zoological Society were loaded onto a train for a “wild and woolly” 1,800-mile trip to Oklahoma in order to replenish the lost herds. Webber is a public library consultant for the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. She lives in Bethany.


Dark Justice—William Bernhardt
With the seventh book in the “Justice” Series, Bernhardt has drawn acclaim as “a master of the courtroom drama.” Bernhardt has received awards both as an attorney and as an author. In 1993, he was named one of the top twenty-five young lawyers in the nation. He has been an Oklahoma Book Award finalist seven times, winning in 1995 for Perfect Justice. Bernhardt, wife Kirsten, and their children Harry and Alice live in Tulsa.

Oklahoma RunAlberta Wilson Constant
First published in 1955, Alberta Wilson Constant’s book has assumed a place among the literary classics of Oklahoma. In celebration of Oklahoma’s Diamond Jubilee of Statehood in 1982 the book was reissued by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Out of print for many years, the book was reissued by the Children’s Historical Resource Center, a branch of the Lincoln County Historical Society.

SuccubusPaul F. Fernald
An emotional courtroom drama that allows the reader to examine one of today’s most compelling issues: Are years of mental and physical abuse a justifiable reason for murder? Succubus illustrates Oklahoma City author and attorney Fernald’s 28 years of trial experience. This is Fernald’s first novel.

The Voice That Was in TravelDiane Glancy
In twenty stories that range in length from one-page vignettes to novellas, Glancy expresses the sense of displacement American Indian travelers endure. She reveals striking insights into contemporary American Indian life. Glancy, who is Cherokee, formerly lived in Oklahoma and was an artist-in residence at the Oklahoma Arts Council.

A Prayer for the DyingStewart O’Nan
Dark, poetic, and chilling, this book asks if it’s possible to be a good man in a time of madness. Author Robert O’Connor describes it as “the rarest of books: a philosophical horror novel.” Considered one of America’s finest young authors, O’Nan has been a finalist for four Oklahoma Books Awards and won in 1997 for The Names of the Dead. A former University of Central Oklahoma professor, O’Nan lives in Connecticut.

The Bingo Queens of ParadiseJune Park
This first novel by Oklahoma City resident June Park is described as a tour de force that lyrically blends a powerful comic voice with a poignant tale of a woman who longs to escape her life and follow her dreams. Born and educated in London, this mother of three lives with her husband, her mother, and a dachshund named Sooner. The debut of her first book was bittersweet. Two days before the book arrived in Oklahoma City, her house was destroyed by the May 3rd tornado. She managed to save the disk containing the beginnings of her second book.

Falling DarkTim Tharp
Winner of the 1999 Milkweed National Fiction Prize, this novel takes place in a small Oklahoma town. Diminished expectations, teenage love, small-town blues, and neighborhood bullies flourish amid strip joints, honky-tonks, gas stations, and the Git-n-Go convenience store. Tharp teaches composition and speech at Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee.

To see complete list of 1999 Oklahoma Book Award Winners go here.


The Oklahoma Center for the Book, sponsor of the Oklahoma Book Award competition, is a non-profit, 501-c-3 organization located in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Established in 1986 as an outreach program of the Library of Congress, the Oklahoma Center was the fourth such state center formed. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors from across the state.

The mission of the Oklahoma Center for the Book is
to promote the work of Oklahoma authors,
to promote the literary heritage of the state, and
to encourage reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.

For more information about the Oklahoma Center for the Book or the Oklahoma Book Award program, contact Connie Armstrong, 200 N.E. 18th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105; 405-522-3383.


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