Yesterday was Ohioana Day, and we celebrated the occasion with a wonderful reception and awards ceremony. I was glad to share the event with some of my friends from the firm as well as a hundred of my fellow book-lovers.
This year the Ohioana Award for Fiction went to Anthony Doerr, for Memory Wall: Stories; the Ohioana Award for Non-Fiction was given to Ted Gup for A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness — and a Trove of Letters — Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression; the Ohioana Award for Poetry was conferred upon David Young for Field of Light and Shadow: Selected and New Poems; The Ohioana Award for Juvenile Literature went to Tricia Springstubb for What Happened on Fox Street; and the Ohioana Award for Books About Ohio and an Ohioan was presented to Arnold Adoff and Kacy Cook for Virginia Hamilton: Speeches, Essays, and Conversations. In addition, Laura Maylene Walter was awarded the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant that is given to a writer under the age of 30.
The evening included some fine food prepared by Metro Cuisine, some fine wine from Valley Vineyards in Morrow, Ohio, and some excellent music by a jazz combo. The highlight, as always, was listening to the authors as they accepted their awards and then as they spoke candidly, humorously and often movingly about what it is like to live the life of a writer during a panel discussion afterward. When David Young, in response to a question about a place that was meaningful to him, read a poem about a visit to a family member’s gravestone, I think everyone in the audience and on the stage was deeply touched by the moment.
If you are a book lover who enjoys listening to authors and celebrating their accomplishments, it’s time for you to discover the Ohioana Library Association.