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I'll break the book news down state-by-state in this week's Roundup: Colorado • The Colorado Center for the Book recently announced the finalists for the 19th Annual Colorado Book Awards. Helen Thorpe's Just Like Us, which I picked as one of my top five Western books of 2009, is a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction Category. General Nonfiction finalists include Corinne Platt & Meredith Ogilby's Voices of the American West and Laura Pritchett's Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers. (Pritchett also has her hand in a finalist for the Anthology category, A Dozen On Denver, which features one of her short stories.) Robert Greer's Spoon is in the running for the Literary Fiction award, and one of my favorite art books from last year, Colorado Abstract: Paintings and Sculpture by Michael Paglia and Mary Voelz Chandler, is a finalist in the Pictorial category. Finalists for Poetry include Marilyn Krysl's Swear the Burning Vow: Selected and New Poems and William Notter's Holding Everything Down. New West featured two of William Notter's fine poems last month. (Check the Colorado Humanities website for the complete list of finalists.) Also in the Roundup: More book news from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah.

Colorado Book Award Finalists Announced & Writers Celebrate Glacier National Park’s Centennial

I’ll break the book news down state-by-state in this week’s Roundup:

Colorado

• The Colorado Center for the Book recently announced the finalists for the 19th Annual Colorado Book Awards. Helen Thorpe‘s Just Like Us, which I picked as one of my top five Western books of 2009, is a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction Category. General Nonfiction finalists include Corinne Platt & Meredith Ogilby’s Voices of the American West and Laura Pritchett’s Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers. (Pritchett also has her hand in a finalist for the Anthology category, A Dozen On Denver, which features one of her short stories.) Robert Greer’s Spoon is in the running for the Literary Fiction award, and one of my favorite art books from last year, Colorado Abstract: Paintings and Sculpture by Michael Paglia and Mary Voelz Chandler, is a finalist in the Pictorial category. Finalists for Poetry include Marilyn Krysl’s Swear the Burning Vow: Selected and New Poems and William Notter’s Holding Everything Down. New West featured two of William Notter’s fine poems last month. (Check the Colorado Humanities website for the complete list of finalists.)

The finalists will read from their work in groups by genre at Baur’s Italian Ristorante in Denver beginning on May 27 with the Creative Nonfiction finalist reading (5 p.m.). Complete details are here.

The winners will be announced on June 25 at 2 p.m. during the Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival at the Doerr-Hosier Center in Aspen, Colorado.

• Denver’s Lighthouse Workshop recently announced that Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum, the editors of Electric Literature, will be in Denver during Lighthouse’s Fifth Annual Lit Fest, which runs from June 4 through 19. Electric Literature is a new literary journal that is shaking up expectations for what a journal should be, offering its content in six different formats and counting, including old-fashioned paperback and new-fangled iPhone app.

Litfest features short workshops on every writing topic you can think of, panel discussions, and opportunities to meet with editors and other bookish folks. Lindenbaum and Hunter will head up a discussion on the future of books.

Idaho

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall is shaping up to be one of the hottest novels of the spring. Publisher’s Weekly called it “a serious contender for Great American Novel status.” The Tattered Cover recently announced that they have selected the novel for their Very Impressive Book program, which a press release described in this way: “Chosen by a group of managers and buyers, from suggestions from the bookselling staff, the V.I.B. is a book the store feels is a true stand-out in a season of many great new books. A book that all kinds of readers will love, but may not get the flash and attention the Tattered Cover thinks it deserves.”

The Lonely Polygamist will be featured in all the Tattered Cover stores, and whenever a customer asks for a good novel recommendation, booksellers will point the way toward Udall’s book. Brady Udall’s book tour of the West continues, with upcoming stops in California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. (My review of The Lonely Polygamist ran last week in the Dallas Morning News.)

Montana

Whitefish Review and Camas: The Nature of the West will host a celebration in honor of Glacier National Park’s Centennial on May 22 at Crush Wine Bar in downtown Whitefish (7 to 11 p.m.). Festivities include readings by Alison Disque, Grace Brogan, Brian Schott, Beth Raboin, and Douglas H. Chadwick, and a slide show presentation. Chadwick will read from his new book, The Wolverine Way.

• Butte’s David Abrams, who has reviewed books for New West and published fiction and nonfiction in Esquire, Missouri Review, and the Barnes & Noble Review, has launched a new blog, The Quivering Pen. Abrams is an Army veteran and he’s working on a novel inspired by his time in Iraq. He reports that he just completed a first draft of the book, called Fobbit, after four years of effort. He plans to blog about his writing process and other literary-related topics, including a recent account of his pilgrimage to Milledgeville, Georgia, home to just about my favorite short story writer ever, Flannery O’Connor.

Utah

• Jon Ortner will discuss his photography book Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest (Welcome Books, $18.94) in Utah near some of the vistas that he depicts on May 19 at the Kanab Visitor Center (7 p.m.) and tomorrow, May 20 at the Escalante Visitor Center (7 p.m.).

Please follow me on Twitter and {encode=”jenny@newwest.net” title=”email me”} with any regional books news or events.

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