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National Book Awards Finalists, 2013

Academics are making a comeback—at least as finalists in the National Book Awards’ Nonfiction list. In 2012, there was nary a university-based scholar in that slot, although other categories had several.

Of the five finalists in Nonfiction announced on Wednesday, three have academic affiliations.

Jill Lepore, a professor of American history at Harvard University, is a finalist for Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Alfred A. Knopf).

Wendy Lower, up for Hitler’s Furies: German …


Pulitzer Prizes 2013

Academics were among the winners of Pulitzer Prizes in History, Letters, and Music announced this afternoon.

In History, Fredrik Logevall won for Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (Random House), cited as “a balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road to full-blown war.” Logevall is a professor of international studies and of history at Cornell University, wher…


$1.35 Million Awarded in New Global Prize for Writers

A generous new writers’ award has made its debut. Today, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University announced the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Prizes, a global award for writers endowed by a gift from the late novelist Donald Windham and his partner, Sandy M. Campbell. Windham, who died in 2010, left his papers to the Beinecke.

Nine writers, ages 33 to 87, none of whom knew they were nominated, won $150,000 prizes for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfictio…


Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award 2013


Marianne Boruch

Claremont Graduate University has announced that Marianne Boruch has won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for 2013. The prize, $100,000, is given annually to a mid-career poet and is one of the largest monetary awards for poetry in the United States. Boruch, who teaches at Purdue University and Warren Wilson College, won for The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press).

In addition, the poet Heidy Steidlmayer will receive $10,000 as winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her coll…


2012 PROSE Awards

Peter Brown’s Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD (Princeton University Press) took the highest honor, the R.R. Hawkins Award, at the PROSE awards handed out yesterday at the annual conference of the Association of American Publishers’ Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division.

Among other winners, a second Princeton book, The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy, by …


New Director Named at U. of Pittsburgh Press

Peter Kracht has been named the new director of the University of Pittsburgh Press, effective February 1.

Kracht, currently UPP’s editorial director and director of electronic publishing, succeeds Cynthia Miller, who last year announced plans to retire this winter after leading the press since 1995.

Reached by e-mail, he says he doesn’t anticipate any major changes given that he’s been working closely with Miller since he left Praeger to join UPP  in 2005. He says the press will continue expand…


A Snipe at U. Presses—and a Response

Major changes are afoot with the National Book Awards, but did that require a jab at university publishing?

As detailed in an AP story, the National Book Foundation will alter the rules for the awards to include a “long list” of 10 nominees for each of the four competitive categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature). This extended list will be released on September 12, before narrowing to a “short list” of five finalists in each slot on October 15, with the awards ann…


Academics Among Winners of 2012 National Book Awards

Academics were the winners in two National Book Awards categories, poetry and young adult literature, at last night’s ceremony in New York.

David Ferry won for Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (University of Chicago Press). The poet is a professor emeritus of English at Wellesley College who also teaches at Suffolk University. Two of Ferry’s poems are available at Poetry Daily.

Also, William Alexander won for Goblin Secrets (Margaret K. McElderry). Alexander is an adjunct faculty member …


Words Fail Us

Sorry, but we would like to quibble. Today the dictionary division of Oxford University Press announced two words for the year 2012, one from the U.S. branch of the press, and one from the British, and let’s face it, America has been slighted.

GIF? Are you serious? GIF? Let’s put aside for a moment that it isn’t a word per se and instead an acronym for graphics interchange format. We refuse to be mollified by OUP’s celebrating it as a new verb, “to gif,” not a decades’ old noun: “The recent deve…