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2021 Vermont Book Award Finalists Announced

A photo of a building with illuminated Grecian columns, against a night sky with the moon shining.
Miciah Gault, Courtesy
The Vermont Book Award celebration will be held at Alumnx Hall at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

If you're a fan of reading books by Vermont authors, this is an exciting time of year. That’s because the finalists for the Vermont Book Award are being announced, and this year there is a new partnership to oversee the award that honors Vermont wordsmiths in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry.

The new partnership links three organizations: Vermont College of Fine Arts, the Vermont Department of Libraries and Vermont Humanities.

Miciah Bay Gault, MFA in Writing Coordinator for the Vermont Book Award, joined VPR to announce the finalists yet again.

The nominees, announced Wednesday, fall within three categories — fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry.

The 2021 Vermont Book Award finalists are:


  • The Hare, by Melanie Finn
  • North, by Brad Kessler
  • The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven, by Nathaniel Ian Miller
  • An Apparent Horizon and Other Stories, by Ricardo Wilson

Creative nonfiction:

  • The Secret to Superhuman Strength, by Alison Bechdel
  • But You Seemed So Happy: A Marriage, in Pieces and Bits, by Kimberly Harrington
  • Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People, by Kekla Magoon
  • Endpapers: A Family Story of Books, War, Escape, and Home, by Alexander Wolff


  • Disintegration Loops, by Stephen Cramer
  • GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, by Shanta Lee Gander
  • American Wake, by Kerrin McCadden

The 2021 winners will be announced at the Vermont Book Award celebration, Saturday, April 30th, at 7 p.m. at the VCFA campus in Montpelier. The event is hosted by Vermont Humanities, who will also reveal their choice for Vermont Reads 2022, their one-book community reading program, during the evening.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb @mwertlieb.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Karen is Vermont Public's Director of Radio Programming, serving Vermonters by overseeing the sound of Vermont Public's radio broadcast service. Karen has a long history with public radio, beginning in the early 2000's with the launch of the weekly classical music program, Sunday Bach. Karen's undergraduate degree is in Broadcast Journalism, and she has worked for public radio in Vermont and St. Louis, MO, in areas of production, programming, traffic, operations and news. She has produced many projects for broadcast over the years, including the Vermont Public Choral Hour, with host Linda Radtke, and interviews with local newsmakers with Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb. In 2021 Karen worked with co-producer Betty Smith on a national collaboration with StoryCorps One Small Step, connecting Vermonters one conversation at a time.
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