The winners of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards have been announced. According to nomination criteria, the books must capture the spirit of the Northland, substantially representing northeastern Minnesota. Several local and regional authors were recognized for their outstanding efforts.

The winner in the poetry category was “Bound Together: Like the Grasses,” a book by Clover Valley Press, a Duluth Township-based publisher featured in the News- Chronicle last fall. The anthology features the poetry of Deborah Cooper, Candace Ginsberg, Ann Floreen Niedringhaus, Ellie Schoenfeld and Anne Simpson.

“These five women bonded together over many years, shared their lives, their observations, and critiqued each other’s style of sharing those diverse experiences,” the judges wrote. “Now they offer us the opportunity to engage with twelve of their separate poetic moments. Many aspects of all of our personal lives are touched in the intimacy of this collection, offering us a patch of ground to stand on in the wind.”

“Finding Hope” by Michelle Myers Lackner was awarded the honorable mention in the children’s literature category. The book tells the story of Lily and Hope, a pair of internet-famous black bears in Ely. The bears gained worldwide notoriety in 2010, after thousands witnessed Hope’s birth in Lily’s den via webcam. The pair became even more famous when twice they were temporarily separated while Hope was a young cub.

Lackner, who lives in Ely, had a ring-side seat to the drama. The story is relevant again as Lynn Rogers battles the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ decision to revoke his research permit, which allowed him to place the webcam in Lily and Hope’s den. Regardless of the ultimate outcome in the Rogers case, the story of Lily and Hope will live on through Lackner’s book.

“Solid research and striking photographs depict the true and heartwarming story of Lily and her cub, Hope,” the judges wrote. “As bear cubs are prone to do, Hope finds herself lost in the woods. People from the North American Bear Center step in and reunite Hope with her mother.”

There were 36 books nominated in the 26th annual NEMBAs. The winners in each of five categories took home a $200 cash prize and an engraved glass plaque. Each category had an honorable mention, as well.

For more information on the NEMBAs or the books mentioned, visit www.d.umn. edu/lib/nemba.



Winner: “Tamarack County” by William Kent Krueger, published by Atria Books.

Honorable mention: “Timber: Fire in the Pines” by A.L. Sanderson, published by Haven Publishing.


Winner: “Bound Together: Like the Grasses” by Deborah Cooper, Candace Ginsberg, Ann Floreen Niedringhaus, Ellie Schoenfeld, and Anne Simpson, published by Clover Valley Press.

Honorable mention: “Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems” by Louis Jenkins, published by Will o’ the Wisp Books.

General Nonfiction

Winner: “The Pie Place Café Cookbook: Food & Stories Seasoned by the North Shore,” by Kathy Rice, published by Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc.

Honorable mention: “Esko’s Corner: An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township” by Esko Historical Society, edited by Davis Helberg and published by X-presso Books.

Children’s Literature

Winner: “The Best Part of a Sauna” by Sheryl Peterson, illustrated by Kelly Dupre and published by Raven Productions, Inc.

Honorable mention: “Finding Hope” by Michelle Myers Lackner, published by Adventure Publications.

Memoir / Creative nonfiction

Winner: “Threads of Hope: Caring for Babies across Three Continents” by Martha Andrea Aas, M.D., published by Lakeberry Press.

Honorable mention: “The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky” by Kent Nerburn, published by New World Library.