Portland novelist and literary linchpin Tom Spanbauer has won this year’s Steward H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, Literary Arts announced today. Spanbauer, the author of five novels and founder of the Dangerous Writing workshops, was honored with the award for his “outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary life.”

Spanbauer’s own works include The Man Who Fell In love With the Moon, and last year’s I Love You More, but he is best known for his writing workshops which have been attended over the years by dozens of Portland’s literary luminaries. More than 30 of his students have gone on to publish their work, among them Chuck Palahniuk, Monica Drake, and Joanna Rose.

He has been hailed by author Cheryl Strayed as “ both gentle and fierce in person and on the page,” while Chelsea Cain has said she owes her career to Spanbauer. Read more about what Strayed, Cain and other local authors had to say about why Spanbauer is at the heart of this city’s literary world here.  

The Stewart Holbrook award is named after an American logger, writer, and historian, who published 35 books before his death in 1964. Last year’s winners were poets and poetry editors Vince and Patty Wixon of Ashland.

Literary Arts also announced today that poet Ralph Salisbury is being honored with the C.E.S. Wood Retrospective Award, and that this year’s Walt Morey Special Award goes to library teacher Jann Tankersley.

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