by Jim Nintzel
The UA Press brought home a half-dozen awards from the Arizona Book Awards.
Here's the press release from UA Press:
(May 13, 2009. Tucson, AZ) From poetry collections to outdoor recreation titles, University of Arizona Press books were a big hit with judges at the eighth annual Arizona Book Awards, sponsored by the Arizona Book Publishing Association. The Press left the ceremony with a total of six awards, including two honors in the poetry category. Neil Miller’s Kartchner Caverns won first place in the regional category, as well as the Judges’ Choice for Best Book Award—chosen for its excellence among more than a hundred titles submitted in this year’s competition.
Best Book and Best Regional Book - Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World, Neil Miller
Go beyond the guidebooks with Miller’s delightful and revealing look at this unspoiled natural wonder and the science of cave conservation. With as much depth and colorful detail as the caverns themselves, this account will captivate anyone interested
in caves and the preservation of natural wonders. Called a “page-turner” by the Tucson Weekly and praised for its “fascinating detail” by the Arizona Republic, Kartchner Caverns also won a 2008 Southwest Book Award, sponsored by the Border Regional Library Association.
Best Recreation/Sports Book - Jim Burns’ Arizona Birds: From the Backyard to the Backwoods, Jim Burns
Whether you have spent years in search of the Flammulated Owl or are just curious about the wildlife in your desert backyard, Jim Burns’ Arizona Birds will make readers laugh, learn, and reach for the binoculars. Illustrated in full color by seventy-five of the author’s own outstanding photographs, this book also features a five-level rating system, beginning with birds you can see in your own backyard and ending with those requiring either pure dumb luck or years of study and perseverance to spot. The Tucson Citizen calls this “delightful blend of field guide, site locator and scientific survey” an “absolute joy.”
Best Popular Fiction - If I Die in Juárez, Stella Pope Duarte
Duarte’s haunting novel examines the lives of three women who meet by chance in Juárez, Mexico, where women are frequently abducted, tortured, and murdered. Based on the author’s first-person interviews with kidnapped women and relatives of victims, If I Die in Juárez vividly brings to life “the maquiladora murders.” According to author Richard Yañez, Duarte’s novel is a “story that must be told. And read!” The Multicultural Review called it “brilliantly and powerfully told by a superb storyteller,” while MS Magazine praised Duarte’s “keen eye for detail.” From one of the darkest tales in human history, Duarte has created a story of hope and an artistic memorial.
Best Poetry Book - A Radiant Curve, Luci Tapahonso
In this sixth collection of stories and verse, Tapahonso finds sacredness in everyday life. Whether viewing a desert sunset, listening to her granddaughter recount how she spent her day, or visiting her mother after her father has died, she finds traces of her own memories, along with echoes of the voices of her Navajo ancestors. Speak Like Singing author Kenneth Lincoln calls Tapahonso “the lyric matriarch of the American Southwest,” and Library Journal praises her for “[drawing] people together across the years and across the distances of cultural dispersion.”
In addition to earning a first place prize in poetry for A Radiant Curve, the Press also took the poetry category’s finalist spot for Ofelia Zepeda’s Where Clouds Are Formed.
Tohono O’odham literary treasure Ofelia Zepeda sees the contemporary world through her own highly observant eyes and simultaneously through the eyes of her Tohono O’odham ancestors. Her unique vision infuses her poetry with a resonance and depth that make it a delight to read—and re-read. American Poet magazine hailed Zepeda’s collecction as a book of “careful and caring observation” that is “powerfully new and powerfully familiar.” Author Richard Shelton observes that “with this book . . . Zepeda blasts herself into the realm of major American poetry.”
Check out these and other titles at www.uapress.arizona.edu