The Ohioana Library recently announced its 2022 Ohioana Book Awards winnersand three of the seven recipients are from Cincinnati.
Felicia Zamora won an award for her book “I Always Carry My Bones,” and Jasmine Warga received honors for “The Shape of Thunder.” The library recognized also Manuel Iris for “The Parting Present / Lo Que Se irá.”
Established in 1942, the Ohioana Book Awards are the second-oldest and among the most prestigious state literary prizes in the country. According to the library’s websitenearly every iconic writer from Ohio has been honored, including James Thurber and Toni Morrison.
Each year, juried awards are given to books in six categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, about Ohio or an Ohioan, middle grade/young adult literature, and juvenile literature. Fans can also select the Readers’ Choice Book Award from the pool of finalists in an online poll. And there’s the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a special prize for emerging writers.
This year, with three of the seven award recipients hailing from the Queen City, Cincinnati has more winners than any other city in the state.
The 81st annual Ohioana Awards ceremony will be held at the Ohio Statehouse on Oct. 26. For more information, visit the Ohioana Library website.
Here’s a look at Cincinnati’s winners.
Felicia Zamora, an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati, won the poetry book award for “I Always Carry My Bones.”
In her recent work, Zamora tackles the complex topic of home for marginalized and migrant people. She explores the concept of familial history and lineage by drawing upon her estranged relationship with Mexican culture and the absence of her father growing up. She also looks at the socio-historical context of racism and poverty in the US and the effects of abuse.
Zamora is the author of six books of poetry, including: “Quotient,” “I Always Carry My Bones,” “Body of Render,” “Instrument of Gaps,” & in Open, Marvel and “Of Form & Gather.” “
She has authored two chapbooks and was the 2017 Poet Laureate of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Jasmine Wargaa Cincinnati native and resident of Chicago, Illinois, won the award in middle grade and young adult literature for her novel “The Shape of Thunder.”
In this novel, Cora, the main character, goes on an interdimensional quest with her best friend, Quinn, to save their siblings. “The Shape of Thunder” explores loss, healing and the “magic” of friendship.
Warga is a New York Times-bestselling author of two middle grade novels, “Other Words For Home” and “The Shape of Thunder.” She is the author of two young adult books, “My Heart and Other Black Holes” and “Here We Are Now.”
Her next novel, “A Rover’s Story,” will be released on Oct. 4.
Warga currently teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Manuel Iris won the Readers’ Choice Award for “The Parting Present / Lo Que Se irá.”
According to a review by Tara Skurtu, author of “The Amoeba Game,” “The Parting Present” explores the topic of paternal love and tenderness.
Iris is a Mexican-born poet and the former Poet Laureate of Cincinnati.
Iris is the author of two bilingual poetry books titled “The Parting Present / Lo Que Se Irá” and “Translating Science / Traducir El Silencio,” and five Spanish language poetry books titled “Quaderno De Los Sueños,” “Los Disfraces Del Fuego.” ,” “Overnight Medley,” “La Luz Desnuda” and “Frente Al Misterio.”
Iris graduated with a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of Cincinnati.
He teaches English and serves as the coordinator for Spanish outreach at DePaul Cristo Rey High School.
The complete list of 2022 Ohioana Book Award winners
Fiction: Anthony Doerr, “Cloud Cuckoo Land”
Nonfiction: Hanif Abdurraqib, “A Little Devil in America: Notes In Praise of Black Performance”
About Ohio or an Ohioan: Brian Alexander, “The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town”
Poetry: Felicia Zamora, “I Always Carry My Bones”
Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Jasmine Warga, “The Shape of Thunder”
Juvenile Literature: Andrea Wang, “Waterpress”
Readers’ Choice: Manuel Iris, “The Parting Present / Lo Que Se irá”