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Society of Midland Authors Annual Awards Banquet

The Annual Awards Dinner of the Society of Midland Authors presents Author Awards in six categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography, Children's Fiction and Children's Nonfiction. The James C. Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism is also presented. Steve Edwards, acting program director of radio station WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, emcees.

WINNER: Kent Meyers, "Twisted Tree," Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Author lives in Spearfish, South Dakota.)
FINALISTS: Richard Powers, "Generosity: An Enhancement," Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Author lives in Urbana, Illinois.)
Achy Obejas, "Ruins," Akashic Books. (Author lives in Chicago.)

WINNER: James McManus, "Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker," Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Author lives in Kenilworth, Illinois.)
FINALISTS: Sean B. Carroll, "Remarkable Creations: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species," Mariner. (Author lives in Madison, Wisconsin.)
Lawrence Rothfield, "The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum," University of Chicago Press. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Leonard Zeskind, "Blood & Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream," Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Author lives in Kansas City, Missouri.)

WINNER: Richard C. Lindberg
, "The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine," Southern Illinois University Press. (Author lives in Chicago.)
FINALISTS: James Ballowe, "A Man of Salt and Trees: The Life of Joy Morton," Northern Illinois University Press. (Author lives in Ottawa, Illinois.)
Paul Taylor, "Orlando M. Poe: Civil War General and Great Lakes Engineer," Kent State University Press. (Author lives in Troy, Michigan.)
Jane S. Smith, "The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants," Penguin Press. (Author lives in Chicago.)

WINNER: Saundra Mitchell, "Shadowed Summer," Delacorte Books for Young Readers. (Author lives in Indianapolis.)
FINALIST: Gloria Whelan, "Waiting for the Owl's Call," Sleeping Bear Press. (Author lives in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan.)

WINNER: Christine Taylor-Butler
, "Sacred Mountain: Everest," Lee & Low. (Author lives in Kansas City, Missouri.)
FINALIST: Candace Fleming, "The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum," Schwartz & Wade. (Author lives in Oak Park, Illinois.)

WINNER: Jim Harrison
, "In Search of Small Gods," Copper Canyon Press. (Author is a native of Grayling, Michigan. Currently lives in Livingston, Montana,)
FINALIST: Marc J. Sheehan, "Vengeful Hymns," Ashland Poetry Press. (Author lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.)

WINNER: Tom Williams
(originator of

The Society, founded in 1915 by a group of authors including Hamlin Garland, Harriet Monroe and Vachel Lindsay, has given out annual awards since 1957. The juried competition is open to authors who live in, were born in, or have strong ties to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin. Notable winners in past years have included Saul Bellow, Studs Terkel, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mike Royko, Jane Smiley and Scott Turow. Prizes include a cash award and recognition plaque. Since 2002, the Society has also presented the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary and Dramatic Criticism at its banquet.


Recorded Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at InterContinental Hotel.

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