Books became even more a part of our lives last year. Reading at home was one of the few dependable activities still available to us — and then there was the escapism factor. So the Colorado Book Awards, issued in association with Colorado Humanities, are more important than ever as they honor the best in local literature.
Winners of the 2021 Colorado Book Awards were announced on Saturday, June 26, at an online celebration that included brief readings. Sixty-two finalists filled three Zoom rooms to entertain over 100 live viewers, and a watch party was held at BookBar to accommodate a limited live audience. The awards ceremony is still available for viewing online.
The 2021 Colorado Book Awards recognized Colorado authors, editors, photographers and illustrators in seventeen categories, and is sponsored by Outskirts Press and the Colorado Sun. In addition to the winners listed below, the Colorado Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Charles F. Wilkinson, Moses Lasky Professor of Law Emeritus at CU Boulder, who’s written fourteen books — for both legal and general-public audiences — on the West and its people.
The winners are:
Anthology Monsters, Movies & Mayhem, edited by Kevin J. Anderson (WordFire Press)
Biography The Scholar and the Struggle: Lawrence Reddick’s Crusade for Black History and Black Power, David Varel (University of North Carolina Press)
Children’s Literature Cow Boy Is NOT a Cowboy, written and illustrated by Gregory Barrington (HarperCollins)
Creative Nonfiction No Option But North: The Migrant World and the Perilous Path Across the Border, Kesley Freeman, with photography by Tess Freeman (I.G. Publishing)
General Fiction Other People’s Pets, R.L. Maizes (Celadon Books)
General Nonfiction Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary, Sasha Geffen (The University of Texas Press)
Historical Fiction Creatures of Charm and Hunger, Molly Tanzer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
History Yanks Behind the Lines: How the Commission for Relief in Belgium Saved Millions From Starvation During World War I, Jeffrey B. Miller (Rowman & Littlefield)
Juvenile Literature Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, Fleur Bradley, with illustrations by Xavier Bonet (Viking/Penguin Random House)
Literary Fiction The Loneliest Band in France: A Novella, Dylan Fisher (Texas Review Press)
Mystery Shadow Ridge: A Jo Wyatt Mystery, M.E. Browning (Crooked Lane Books (The Quick Brown Fox & Company))
Pictorial The American West in Art, edited by Thomas Brent Smith and Jennifer “J.R.” Henneman (5 Continents Edition)
Poetry A History of Kindness, Linda Hogan (Torrey House Press)
Romance Custodian of the Spirits, Bronwyn Long Borne (The Wild Rose Press)
Thriller The Burn Patient: A Vega and Middleton Novel, Sue Hinkin (Literary Wanderlust)
Young Adult Literature 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, Sandhya Menon (Simon & Schuster)
Colorado Humanities is the only Colorado organization exclusively dedicated to supporting humanities education for adults and children statewide. Learn more at its website.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.