Minneapolis writer Bao Phi is a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in two categories — poetry and children's literature — and novelist Louise Erdrich is up for her sixth award.
The finalists in nine categories, decided Saturday night by a group of 27 judges, also include poet Heid E. Erdrich, Kirkus Prize winner Lesley Nneka Arimah and Star Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack, and food writer and memoirist Amy Thielen.
Children's Literature, sponsored by Books for Africa:
"A Different Pond," by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui; "Mighty Moby," by Ed Young and Barbara DaCosta; "Round," by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, and "The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright," by K.L. Going, illustrated by Lauren Stringer.
General Nonfiction, sponsored by College of St. Benedict/St. John's University:
"Alice in France: The World War I Letters of Alice M. O'Brien," by Nancy O'Brien Wagner; "The First and Only Book of Sack: 36 Years of Cartoons for the Star Tribune," by Steve Sack; "Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy," by Elaine Tyler May, and "Mountain Ranch," by Michael Crouser.
Genre Fiction, sponsored by Macalester College:
Memoir & Creative Nonfiction, sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels:
"Give a Girl a Knife," by Amy Thielen; "It Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching," by Tom Rademacher; "Marcel's Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man's Fate," by Carolyn Porter, and "Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year," by Linda LeGarde Grover.
Middle Grade Literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota:
"A Crack in the Sea," by H.M. Bouwman; "The End of the Wild," by Nicole Helget; "Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd," by Mary Losure, and "Rooting for Rafael Rosales," by Kurtis Scaletta.
Minnesota Nonfiction, sponsored by St. Mary's University of Minnesota:
"A Bag Worth a Pony: The Art of the Ojibwe Bandolier Bag," by Marcia G. Anderson; "Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound," by Andrea Swensson; "Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice," by Roberta Walburn; and "Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis," by Davu Seru, photography by Charles Chamblis.
Novel & Short Story, sponsored by Fitzgerald in St. Paul:
"Future Home of the Living God," by Louise Erdrich; "Stories for a Lost Child," by Carter Meland; "The Through," by A. Rafael Johnson, and "What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky," by Lesley Nneka Arimah.
Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management Inc.:
"Autopsy," by Donte Collins, "Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Research," by Heid E. Erdrich; "Solve for Desire," by Caitlin Bailey, and "Thousand Star Hotel," by Bao Phi.
Young Adult Literature, sponsored by Brainfuse:
The winners will be announced April 21 at the 30th annual Minnesota Book Awards gala, to be held at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront in downtown St. Paul. Tickets are $40 to $60 and will be available at thefriends.org/mnba beginning Feb. 5.
The book artist of the year, Erika Spitzer Rasmussen, and the winner of the Kay Sexton Award (not yet named) will be honored at that time as well.
Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302 @StribBooks