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January 11, 2013

Best Indiana poetry books named

INDIANAPOLIS — Winners and finalists were named for the 2012 Best Books of Indiana Competition for poetry – the final of four categories to be announced.

The Indiana Center for the Books in the Indiana State Library made the announcement Thursday.

The winner is “And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana,” edited by Jenny Kander (Bloomington) and C. E. Greer (Bloomington). Indiana Historical Society Press, Indianapolis

The Best Books Finalists are:

“Airmail from the Airpoets” by Joyce Brinkman (Indianapolis), Ruthelen Burns (Carmel), Joe Heithaus (Greencastle), Norbert Krapf (Indianapolis). San Francisco Bay Press, Norfolk, Va.

“The Moon from Every Window” by Rob Griffith (Evansville). WordTech Communications, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio

“And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana” is a collection of the best works from Hoosier poets historical and contemporary.

Kander and Greer are first-time winners and finalists in the Best Books of Indiana contest. The poetry category judges called the book “an encapsulation of an essential part our state’s literary history … and deserving of a place of honor in the personal library of any lover of things either poetic or Hoosier.”

“Airmail from the Airpoets” is the second publication by the Airpoets, which includes former Indiana Poet Laureates Joyce Brinkman and Norbert Krapf, as well as Ruthelen Burns and Joe Heithaus. The Airpoets are also known for composing the poems incorporated into stained-glass murals in the Indianapolis International Airport.

University of Evansville Professor Rob Griffith was named a finalist for the second time. He won the Best Book of Indiana contest in 2009 for “A Matinee in Plato’s Cave.”

“And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana” and the editors’ names will be engraved on a plaque in the Indiana Authors Room. One copy of each respective finalist entry will remain housed in the Authors Room indefinitely.

Two copies of all 2012 Best Books entries have been added to the State Library’s collection.  Indiana residents can borrow any Best Books of Indiana title from the State Library or request a copy via interlibrary loan at their local public library.

The Indiana Center for the Books administers the Best Books of Indiana contest annually and accepts entries from Hoosier authors or books that have an Indiana theme or setting.  The competition accepts books published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of the previous year and consists of four categories — children’s/young adult, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

A panel of judges in each category considered all entries and chose finalists at their discretion.

Entries were judged on the quality of writing, with organization and interpretation also considered. A complete listing of this year’s finalists and judges’ comments, as well as past years’ winners and finalists, can be found on the Indiana Center for the Book’s website.

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