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Meet the 2023 Vermont Book Award finalists

A selection of the books from the 2023 list of Vermont Book Awards finalists.
Nathaniel Wilson
Vermont Public
A selection of the books from the 2023 list of Vermont Book Awards finalists.

Calling all bibliophiles! It’s that special time of year when the Vermont Book Awards finalists are announced.

Created in 2014 by the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the award celebrates works of outstanding literary merit by Vermont writers. This year’s award honors books published in 2023.

Past winners include former Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Alison Bechdel, poet Major Jackson and visual artist and author Shanta Lee Gander, to name just a few.

Miciah Bay Gault, MFA in Writing Coordinator for the Vermont Book Award, joined Vermont Public’s Jenn Jarecki to announce the finalists.

The nominees fall within four categories: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and children’s literature.

The 2023 Vermont Book Award finalists are:

Creative nonfiction

· Brad Kessler for Deep North: Stories of Somali Resettlement in Vermont

· Mary Ruefle for The Book

· Jeff Sharlet for The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War

More from Vermont Public: Vermont journalist Jeff Sharlet warns of America’s current 'slow civil war'

A woman stands against a brown brick wall and faces the camera, smiling and holding a large stack of books.
Nathaniel Wilson
Vermont Public
Miciah Bay Gault announces the 2023 Vermont Book Award finalists.


· J. Vanessa Lyon for Lush Lives

· Genevieve Plunkett for In the Lobby of the Dream Hotel

· Sandra Simonds for Assia

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· Michael Dumanis for Creature

· Vievee Francis for The Shared World

· Leslie Sainz for Have You Been Long Enough at Table

· Ellen Bryant Voigt for Collected Poems

More from Vermont Public: Vermont author M.T. Anderson garners Newbery Honor for middle grade novel about magical dog

Children’s literature

· Kekla Magoon for The Minus-One Club (young adult novel)

· M.T. Anderson for Elf Dog and Owl Head (middle grade novel)

· Kenneth M. Cadow for Gather (young adult novel)

· Dan Nott for Hidden Systems (graphic literature)

The winners will be announced at the Vermont Book Awards celebration, held on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 7 p.m. in College Hall at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) in Montpelier. This dessert and cocktail event is hosted by Vermont Humanities.

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