Skip to content

Acclaimed Indiana authors shortlisted for biennial awards – Indianapolis Business Journal

Poet Adrian Matejka is in the running for an Indiana Authors Award for his 2021 book, “Somebody Else Sold the World.”

There’s no shortage of star power among the shortlist contenders for the 2022 Indiana Authors Awards.

Shortlist honorees in eight categories were announced Thursday, highlighted by Indianapolis resident Ashley C. Ford and her New York Times Best Seller memoir “Somebody’s Daughter.” In the running for an Indiana Authors Award in the category for debut works, Fort Wayne native Ford was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Trevor Noah and Terry Gross during her promotional cycle for her 2021 book.

The young adult category includes two books written by high-profile authors: Ben Davis High School alum Leah Johnson and Gary native Tamara Winfrey-Harris.

Johnson’s 2020 book, “You Should See Me in a Crown,” appeared on 2020 best-of lists published by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Amazon and Marie Claire.

Winfrey-Harris, the Central Indiana Community Foundation vice president of people, culture & brand, is the author of the 2021 book “Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power.” The Washington Post described Winfrey-Harris as “half myth-buster, half crusader and all the way fed up.”

And the poetry category features five authors who qualify as literary rock stars: Kaveh Akbar, Marianne Boruch, Ross Gay, Adrian Matejka and Mark Neely.

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Awards are administered by Indiana Humanities every other year. Books published in 2020 and 2021 are eligible for this year’s awards, with winners in eight categories scheduled to be announced on Aug. 24.

The shortlisted books:

poetry

  • “Pilgrim Bell” (2021), by Kaveh Akbar, a Butler University alum who teaches at Purdue University. Akbar founded the poetry-focused website divedapper.com.
  • “Bestiary Dark” (2021), by Marianne Boruch, a West Lafayette resident who established Purdue University’s master of fine arts degree in 1987. Boruch, a 2015 Indiana Authors Award winner, has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • “Be Holding: A Poem” (2020), by Ross Gay, an Indiana University faculty member who won the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for “Be Holding”—a tribute to iconic basketball player Julius Erving.
  • “Somebody Else Sold the World” (2021), by Adrian Matejka, a Pike High School alum who teaches at Indiana University. A 2015 Indiana Authors Award winner, Matejka is the editor of Poetry magazine who served as the poet laureate of Indiana in 2018 and 2019.
  • “Ticker” (2021), by Mark Neely, a Muncie resident who teaches at Ball State University. In 2015, Neely was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship.

nonfiction

  • “We Will Rise: A True Story of Tragedy and Resurrection in the American Heartland” (2020), by Steve Beaven, who grew up in Evansville and wrote this book about the aftermath of the 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of University of Evansville men’s basketball players, coaches and staff. Beaven, who attended Indiana University, worked as an IBJ reporter in the 1990s.
  • “Richard Tregaskis: Reporting Under Fire from Guadalcanal to Vietnam” (2021), by Ray Boomhower, a Mishawaka native who serves as the senior editor at Indiana Historical Society Press.
  • “Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote” (2020), by Craig Fehrman, a University of Southern Indiana alum who grew up in Dillsboro and lives in Bloomington.
  • “The Ku Klux Klan in the Heartland” (2020), by James H. Madison, a Bloomington resident and former chair of Indiana University’s history department.
  • “Roller Derby: The History of an American Sport” (2021), by Michella M. Marino, a Hanover College alum who lives in Indianapolis.
  • “Blood and Steel: Ryan White, the AIDS Crisis and Deindustrialization in Kokomo, Indiana” (2021), by Ruth D. Reichard, a historian and attorney who lives in Indianapolis.

fiction

  • “Zorrie” (2021), by Laird Hunt, an alum of Clinton Central High School and Indiana University who was named a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award in fiction for this book.
  • “When Stars Rain Down” (2021) by Angela Jackson-Brown, a Ball State University alum who is a new faculty member in IU’s creative writing program.
  • “Breaking Right” (2021), by DA Lockhart, a former Indianapolis resident who attended Indiana University.
  • “The Complete Writings of Art Smith, the Bird Boy of Fort Wayne” (2020), by Michael Martone, a Fort Wayne native who attended Butler University and graduated from IU. Martone won an Indiana Authors Award in 2013.
  • “The Town of Whispering Dolls” (2020), by Susan Neville, an Indianapolis native who attended DePauw University and teaches at Butler University.

Debut

  • “The Neighbor” (2021), by Caleb Caudell, an Indianapolis resident who grew up in Springville.
  • “Before the Dream: Martin Luther King’s 1963 Speech, and Civil Rights Struggles in Fort Wayne, Indiana” (2021), by Christopher Elliott, who grew up in Fort Wayne and teaches history at Bishop Luers High School.
  • “Somebody’s Daughter” (2021), by Ashley C. Ford, who grew up in Fort Wayne. Ford will teach the creative nonfiction workshop at Butler University in 2023.
  • “Madam CJ Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow” (2020), by Tyrone McKinley Freeman, an alum of Ball State University and IUPUI who serves as director of undergraduate programs at IU’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
  • “Hillbilly Queer: A Memoir” (2021), by JR Jamison, a Ball State University alum who lives in Muncie.

gender

  • “Hollow Heart” (2021), by Paul Allor, an Indianapolis resident who grew up in Kokomo.
  • “Stella” (2020), by Josh Dygert, a Brownsburg resident who teaches English at Cathedral High School.
  • “False Starts & Artichoke Hearts” (2021), by Sofi Keren, an Indianapolis resident otherwise known as Summer Jewel Keown.
  • “Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of The Auschwitz Twin Experiments” (2021), by Joseph E. Lee, an author and illustrator who lives in Bloomington.
  • “Seashell Virgin: A Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe Novel” (2021), by Steve Schatz, a Bloomington resident who attended Indiana University.
  • “Winter Seeks Out the Lonely: A Sonny Burton Novel” (2021), by Larry D. Sweazy, a Noblesville resident who grew up in Anderson.

young adult

  • “You Should See Me in a Crown” (2020), by Leah Johnson.
  • “Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power” (2021), by Tamara Winfrey-Harris.

middle-grade

  • “One Last Shot” (2020), by John David Anderson, an Indianapolis native who attended Indiana University.
  • “Starfish” (2021), by Lisa Fipps, a Kokomo resident who’s the marketing director for the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.
  • “For All He Knew” (2020), by Helen Frost, an Indiana University alum who lives in Fort Wayne.
  • “Batpig: When Pigs Fly” (2021), by Rob Harrell, a DePauw University alum who lives in Zionsville.
  • “Glitch” (2020), by Laura Martin, a Butler University alum who lives in Zionsville.

Children’s

  • “Whose Bones? An Animal Guessing Game” (2020), by Gabrielle Balkan, who grew up in Indianapolis at attended Broad Ripple High School.
  • “Grace and Box” (2021), by Kim Howard, a Bloomington resident who grew up in LaPorte.
  • “This is a Book of Shapes” (2020), by Kenneth Kraegel, who grew up in Mishawaka.
  • “The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy” (2021), by Kekla Magoon, who grew up in Fort Wayne. Magoon won an Indiana Authors Award in 2017.
  • “One Tomato: A Garden Counting Book” (2021), by Rebecca Mullin, who grew up in Indianapolis.
  • “Hiding Baby Moses” (2021), by Judith L. Roth, who lives in Elkhart.

Correction: One shortlisted book, “Blood and Steel: Ryan White, the AIDS Crisis and Deindustrialization in Kokomo, Indiana” (2021), by Ruth D. Reichard, has been added to this story after being initially omitted. See all of our corrections here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.