A couple of weeks ago, the Maine Literary Awards were announced and bestowed, and since one of this column’s fundamental purposes is to put onto your radar the names and works of writers you might not otherwise hear of, it seems appropriate to mention some of the honorees. One way or another, we are all in this together, even if we don’t attend ceremonies.

Some of the award recipients are:

In poetry and poetry-related categories: Julia Bouwsma, who works in Kingfield, received the Book Award for Poetry for “Work by Bloodlight” (Cider Press Review); Portland poet Lee Sharkey, is the winner of the Short Works Competition, Poetry, for her submissions “In an age of tyrants, old angers rise,” “Letter, Warszawa, 1946,” “New burnings atop old burnings” and “What Is Lost”; editor Valerie Lawson, of Robbinston, accepted the Book Award for Anthology for “3 Nations Anthology: Native, Canadian & New England Writers”. Other finalists in the Book Award for Poetry were former Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair, of Mercer, “The Unfastening” (Godine) and Jim Glenn Thatcher, of Yarmouth, “Lesser Eternities” (Deerbrook Editions). Finalists in the Short Works Competition, Poetry, category were Jefferson Navicky, of Freeport, and William Varner.

In fiction categories: Christina Baker Kline, of Cushing, Book Award for Fiction for “A Piece of the World” (HarperCollins); Richard J. Cass, of Cape Elizabeth, Book Award for Crime Fiction for “In Solo Time” (Encircle Publications); Presque Isle native John Crowley, Book Award for Speculative Fiction for “Ka” (Saga Press); Zach Brockhouse, of Portland, Short Works Competition for Fiction. Other finalists in the Book Award for Fiction were Jon Nappa, an all-purpose writer from Camden, for “What Longfellow Heard” (Nappa), and Bill Roorbach, of Farmington, for his short story collection “The Girl of the Lake” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill).

In nonfiction categories: Frances FitzGerald, of New York City, Book Award for Nonfiction for “The Evangelicals” (Simon and Schuster); Jim Krosschell, of Owls Head, received the John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed Nonfiction for “One Man’s Maine” (Green Writers Press); and artist and poet Leslie Moore, of Belfast, Short Works Competition, Nonfiction, for her essay “The Architecture of a Marriage” available online at her PenPets.com website.

Oxford County native and Portland resident Monica Wood received the MWPA Distinguished Achievement Award for 2018.

The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, based in Portland, sponsors and coordinates the annual awards program, which culminated this year in the event at the SPACE arts organization’s facilities on Congress Street. MWPA was founded by a group of writers and small press publishers in the mid-1970s, a process I was able to put my 2 cents into at the time. The Maine Literary Awards date from 2011, when some of the early award recipients were Lily King, Wesley McNair, Richard Foerster and Susan Hand Shetterly.

The complete lists of winners for 2018 and previous years are available on the MWPA website.

Off Radar takes note of poetry and books with Maine connections the first Thursday of each month. Contact Dana Wilde at [email protected].

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