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2010 Oklahoma Book Award Winners

photograph of bookChildren/Young Adult

Children Winner—Chicken DanceTammi Sauer—Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

Sauer puts forth a delightful story about Marge and Lola, two chickens on a mission. Their quest is to win the barnyard talent contest and two tickets to see Elvis Poultry in concert. Both Marge and Lola must choose a talent that will surpass the other barnyard animals entered in the competition. These are no ordinary animals as children are introduced to moon-jumping cows and water-surfing ducks. Sauer, who claims to have danced with a few chickens during her youth, resides in Edmond, Oklahoma.

photograph of bookYoung Adult Winner—Night FiresGeorge Edward Stanley—Aladdin Imprint

In 1923 after the sudden death of his father, Woodrow Harper moves with his mother to Lawton, Oklahoma, to begin a new life. With the assistance of Senator Crawford, his next-door neighbor, Woodrow begins to move forward and develops a close relationship with the senator. However, he soon discovers that Lawton has many dark secrets and the senator is heavily involved in them. Woodrow must decide whether to fight for what his real father believed in, or remain quiet to the horrible events taking place. Stanley’s story covers a painful truth in America’s history. He lives in Lawton, Oklahoma.

photograph of bookDesign and Illustration

Design Winner—Willard Stone—designed by Carol Haralson—University of Tulsa/Gilcrease Museum

With loving attention to detail, Harralson employs sophisticated layouts, provocative photo crops, and breathtaking double-page spreads to celebrate the work of Cherokee carver Willard Stone. The result is a work that transcends the traditional art book. This is the second title in the Artists of Gilcrease series. Oklahoma native Haralson serves as this series’ editor, as well. She is a master book designer, with seven Oklahoma Book Awards to her credit.

photograph of bookIllustration WinnerWhere to Sleep—Illustrations by Kandy Radzinski—Sleeping Bear Press

Radzinski’s vibrant illustrations have been honored with four Oklahoma Book Awards, for The Twelve Cats of Christmas, S is for Sooner, What Cats Want for Christmas, and What Dogs Want for Christmas. In her latest children’s book, also authored by her, a tired little kitten hunts for the perfect place to catch some Z’s. The artist lives in Tulsa, with her husband Mark and son Ian, and two dogs, Kirby and Beanie.

Photograph of bookFiction

Confessions of a Former Rock QueenKirk Bjornsgaard—4RV Publishing

Baby boomers will rejoice in the talented writing of Kirk Bjornsgaard as he tells the story of an Oklahoma small town girl finding her way to Rock Star fame. It’s the sixties, the beginning of a new breed of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and music isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Sally Moore’s life follows the ups and downs of fame and fortune as she jumps on board a fast moving musical and cultural journey. The late Kirk Bjornsgaard was Acquisitions Editor for the University of Oklahoma Press and a musician. He and his wife, Noma Krasney, made their home in Norman, Oklahoma.

photograph of book


Thomas GilcreaseRandy Ramer, Carole Klein, Kimberly Roblin, Eric Singleton, Anne Morand, Gary Moore, and April Miller—University of Tulsa/Gilcrease Museum

The authors chronicle the life and legacy of Thomas Gilcrease. The book addresses Gilcrease’s business and travel adventures as well as his family life. However, the book focuses primarily on his vision of developing a world class museum. His dream culminated in the creation of the Gilcrease Museum, home to some of the finest art work in the world. Moreover, the largest collection of art and artwork regarding the American West is housed at the museum. Ramer, Klein, Roblin, and Singleton work at the Gilcrease Museum. Morand works at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Moore works at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Miller works at the Denver Botanical Gardens in Denver, Colorado.

photograph of bookPoetry

Work is Love Made Visible: Poetry and Family PhotographsJeanetta Calhoun Mish—West End Press

Influenced by cherished photographs and treasured memories, Mish’s poetry captures the heart of a family and era. Her verses are true to the language of a time, place and people, yet add a poetic dimension to a quintessentially Plains family story. Mish is a native Oklahoman who returned home after twenty years to study for her PhD in American Literature and to grow tomatoes. She is a 2010 Western Heritage Award winner in literature for Work Is Love Made Visible.


Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award

photograph by David FitzgeraldDavid Fitzgerald—The spectacular photography of lifelong Oklahoma resident David G. Fitzgerald has thrilled booklovers for more than three decades. Fitzgerald’s published work began receiving national attention immediately when the coffee-table book Oklahoma arrived in bookstores in 1979. This would be the first of many books featuring his stunning photographic work. Books that followed include Ozarks, Israel: Land of Promise, Mansion Fare, Oklahoma II, Portrait of the Ozarks, Oklahoma Crossroads, Bison: Monarch of the Plains, Cherokee, Chickasaw: Unconquered and Unconquerable, Oklahoma 3, and Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Fitzgerald began his career as an artist and illustrator, and this background continues to inform his photography, prompting one critic to note, “the painter’s eye remains much in evidence.”

In addition to his books, his work has been showcased in both state and national exhibits. His photographic documentary of the Benedictine Monks at St. Gregory’s Monastery in Shawnee, Oklahoma, is displayed there. “Oklahoma II” is a permanent exhibit in the Donna Nigh Gallery at the University of Central Oklahoma. His “Cherokee Nation: A Portrait of a People” exhibit has appeared at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Natives of North America Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, and the Oklahoma Historical Society. The “Cherokee Trail of Tears” exhibit includes fifty photographs from his book Cherokee Trail of Tears. Fitzgerald’s work also appears in the State Arts Collection and the University of Oklahoma Museum of Art.

In 1999 Fitzgerald received the Oklahoma Book Award in the Design/Illustration category for Bison: Monarch of the Plains. In 2003 his book Cherokee won the Benjamin Franklin Award and was a finalist for the Oklahoma Books Awards. In 2007 he won a gold and bronze IPPY award at the Independent Publishers Book Awards for Chickasaw: Unconquered and Unconquerable. Fitzgerald was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2005, and has been named Oklahoma Photographer of the Year three times. He is a lifetime member of the International Photography Hall of Fame.

Lovers of his work can rest assured there is more to come. Fitzgerald has two new books available in May 2010: Chickasaw Renaissance and Building One Fire. He is currently working on a book entitled Courthouse Legends that features all 77 county courthouses and four federal courthouses in Oklahoma.

Ralph Ellison Award

Stan Hoig—Author and historian Stan Hoig became one of the most prolific writers of the American West. A native Okie, Hoig was raised in Gage, Oklahoma, and joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, serving three years during World War II. Following his tenure in the military, he returned home and received a bachelor’s degree in English from Oklahoma State University, and later received a master’s degree as well as a doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma.

cover of one of Hoig's booksHoig began his career writing articles and books on the American West in the 1950s. His first book, The Humor of the American Cowboy was published in 1958 and remains in print today. Hoig published a wide variety of articles in magazines and professional journals such as the Chronicles of Oklahoma and Encyclopedia of the American West. Moreover, he had twenty-five books published and listed with the Library of Congress including The Sand Creek Massacre, The Battle of the Washita, Perilous Pursuit: The U.S. Calvary and the Northern Cheyennes, and The Chouteaus: First Family of the Fur Trade.

Hoig’s expertise on the American West led him to become advisor to several television productions including the Discovery Channel’s “The Way the West Was Lost,” Real West, A&E Channel’s “Southern Cheyennes,” and the British Broadcasting Company’s “Land Runs of Oklahoma.”

Hoig enjoyed a distinguished teaching career, serving as a professor of journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the Muriel H. Wright Award, the Edmond Historical Society Roll of Honor, Oklahoma State University Clement E. Trout Writing Award, and the American Association of University Professors Distinguished Scholar Award.

Hoig received the Oklahoma Book Award in the Children/Young Adult category in 1991 for A Capitol for the Nation. He was honored four additional times as a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award: three times in Non-fiction for The Cherokees and their Chiefs: In the Wake of Empire (2000), White Man’s Paper Trail: Grand Councils and Treaty-Making on the Central Plains (2007), and The Chouteaus (2009); and once again in the Children/Young Adult category for It’s the Fourth of July (1996).

Distinguished Service Award

Teresa Miller is author of the memoir, Means of Transit, and the novels, Remnants of Glory and Family Correspondence. PBS anchor Jim Lehrer describes her as “a novelist with superb skills.” In 1994 she founded the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, based at Oklahoma State University–Tulsa, where she teaches advanced fiction and regional literature. Through the Center, she maintains the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame and sponsors her signature event, the Celebration of Books. The Celebration has hosted many of the country’s leading authors, including Pat Conroy, N. Scott Momaday, Frank McCourt, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Dave Barry, Isabel Allende, and Amy Tan. Miller is also host and executive producer of the television series "Writing Out Loud," now entering its twelfth season on OETA, Oklahoma’s PBS affiliate. The show, which has featured over 15 Pulitzer winners, is known for its in-depth interviews with writers. But first and foremost, she is one of the leading advocates for Oklahoma authors. Recently, she and her memoir were featured on NPR ’s "The Diane Rehm Show."



To see complete list of 2010 Oklahoma Book Award Finalists go here.


The Oklahoma Center for the Book, sponsor of the Oklahoma Book Award competition, is 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. Additional sponsorship of the awards program is through the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, a nonprofit 501-c-3 organization.

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 further information about the Oklahoma Center for the Book or the Oklahoma Book Award program, contact Connie Armstrong, 200 NE 18th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105; or call 1-800-522-8116 toll free, statewide. In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, call 522-3383.


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