Library of Virginia Recognizes 2023 Recipients and Patron of Letters Degree Honorees David and Michelle Baldacci, Nikki Giovanni and Meg Medina
RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the winners of the 26th Annual Virginia Literary Awards, the commonwealth’s premier event honoring Virginia writers and their contributions to literature. Presented by Dominion Energy and supported by Carole and Marcus Weinstein, this year’s celebration was hosted on Oct. 14 by bestselling author and award-winning filmmaker Adriana Trigiani at the Library. The event is part of the Library of Virginia’s yearlong 200th anniversary celebration.
The Library Board also recognized bestselling author David Baldacci and Michelle Baldacci, a passionate literacy advocate; renowned poet and educator Nikki Giovanni; and award-winning children’s author Meg Medina with an honorary Patron of Letters degree. The Library’s highest honor, the degree is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of history, library science, the literary arts or archival science.
The Literary Award winners, who each received an award and monetary prize, are as follows:
- NONFICTION AWARD: Margaret Edds | What the Eyes Can’t See: Ralph Northam, Black Resolve, and a Racial Reckoning in Virginia
- FICTION AWARD: Bill Glose | All the Ruined Men: Stories
- POETRY AWARD: Gregory Orr | Selected Books of the Beloved
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR NONFICTION: Jonathan M. Katz | Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR FICTION: Barbara Kingsolver | Demon Copperhead
- ART IN LITERATURE: THE MARY LYNN KOTZ AWARD: Hans Luijten | Jo van Gogh-Bonger: The Woman Who Made Vincent Famous
The Library presented these awards in front of nearly 250 attendees at its annual dinner and gala. Additional award and event sponsors included Amazon, Atlantic Union Bank, Blue Edge Capital, Christian & Barton, MercerTrigiani, Troutman Pepper, Virginia Humanities, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and William and Mary Libraries. The annual gala also raised significant funds for the Library’s conservation, education and community outreach initiatives like the Transforming the Future of Libraries and Archives Internships and the statewide LVA On the Go program.
“This annual celebration allows us to recognize and elevate literary excellence while raising funds to support the work we do each day,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway, noting that the literary awards celebration is the Library of Virginia Foundation’s most important fundraising event. “We were thrilled to celebrate the outstanding work of this year’s honorees and thank them for their many contributions to libraries, literature and the betterment of our world.”
Margaret Edds — 2023 Literary Award for Nonfiction winner for What the Eyes Can’t See: Ralph Northam, Black Resolve, and a Racial Reckoning in Virginia — is a former reporter and editorial writer for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. She is the author of several books, including We Face the Dawn: Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, and the Legal Team That Dismantled Jim Crow; Finding Sara: A Daughter’s Journey; and An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington Jr.
Other nonfiction finalists were Jonathan M. Katz for his book Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire and Beth Macy for her book Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis.
Bill Glose — 2023 Literary Award for Fiction winner for All the Ruined Men: Stories — is a combat veteran and former paratrooper. He is the author of five books of poetry, one book of fiction and hundreds of stories, poems, essays and articles, which have appeared in numerous publications. His honors include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Award, the Robert Bausch Fiction Award and the Dateline Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Other fiction finalists were Bruce Holsinger for his book The Displacements and Barbara Kingsolver for her book Demon Copperhead.
Gregory Orr — 2023 Literary Award for Poetry winner for Selected Books of the Beloved — is the author of 13 collections of poetry, including the winning book mentioned above and The Last Love Poem I Will Ever Write. His prose books include A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry, Poetry as Survival and a memoir, The Blessing. Orr, a Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Virginia, has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Other poetry finalists were Laura Bylenok for her book Living Room and Melanie McCabe for her book The Night Divers.
Hans Luijten — 2023 Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award winner for Jo van Gogh-Bonger: The Woman Who Made Vincent Famous — is a senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The author of Van Gogh and Love (2007), Luijten edited Vincent van Gogh, Painted with Words: The Letters to Emile Bernard (2007) with Leo Jansen and Nienke Bakker, the web version of Van Gogh’s complete correspondence, www.vangoghletters.org (2009), and the six-volume Vincent van Gogh – The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition (2009). In 2019, Luijten published the biography of Jo van Gogh-Bonger, Alles voor Vincent (All for Vincent), based on previously unpublished diaries, documents and letters.
Presented by the Library and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Art in Literature award recognizes an outstanding book published in the previous year that is written primarily in response to a work (or works) of art while also showing the highest literary quality as a creative or scholarly work. Established in 2013, the award is named in honor of Mary Lynn Kotz, author of the award-winning biography Rauschenberg: Art and Life.
Photos of the winners and honorees can be found at this link.
Photos from the event can be found at this link.
ABOUT THE VIRGINIA LITERARY AWARDS
In 1997, the Library of Virginia established its annual Virginia Literary Awards program to honor Virginia writers and celebrate their contributions to the literary landscape of our state and nation. Given to Virginia authors in the categories of fiction and poetry — and to nonfiction authors for works about a Virginia subject as well — the awards are presented at an annual celebration that has become the Library’s signature event and an eagerly anticipated cultural tradition in Richmond. While the main award recipients are selected by independent panels of judges, the Library also invites book lovers and readers to vote for their favorite works for the People’s Choice Awards for Fiction and Nonfiction. In the past, the Library has also bestowed a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize the enduring influence of an outstanding Virginia writer, with past winners including Earl Hamner, Lee Smith, Jan Karon, Tom Robbins, Charles Wright, Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove, John Grisham, Tom Wolfe and David Baldacci.
ABOUT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA
The Library of Virginia is the state’s oldest institution dedicated to the preservation of Virginia’s history and culture. Our online offerings attract nearly 4 million website visits per year, and our resources, exhibitions and events bring in nearly 100,000 visitors each year. The Library’s collections, containing more than 130 million items, document and illustrate the lives of both famous Virginians and ordinary citizens. The Library is located in downtown Richmond near Capitol Square at 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Learn more at www.lva.virginia.gov.
ABOUT THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA FOUNDATION
Founded in 1984, the Library of Virginia Foundation supports the Library of Virginia and its mission by raising private financial support, managing its endowment and overseeing programming that brings Virginia’s history and culture to life. Learn more at www.lvafoundation.org.
SOURCE Library of Virginia