On Monday, March 7, Literary Arts announced the finalists for the 2022 Oregon Book AwardsOut-of-state judges highlighted 35 titles (two by Portland YA author April Henry), including books by former Portland Monthly contributors Omar El Akkad, Sarah Mirk and Jessica (Tyner) Mehta. Subject matters range from magical trans short stories and the history of Mahjong to Guantanamo Bay and (well) beyond, in categories spanning fiction, poetry, general and creative nonfiction, young adult, children's lit, and graphic lit.

For the first time since 2019, this year's winners will be announced at an in-person ceremony. On April 25, Kesha Ajose Fisher (who won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction back in 2020) will host the 2022 Oregon Book Awards at Portland Center Stage's the Armory; tickets run $12–24 for GA and $65 a pop for reserved VIP seating. 

Check out the full list of nominees below.

KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION  

Callum Angus of Portland, A Natural History of Transition
Omar El Akkad of West Linn, What Strange Paradise: A Novel
Tracey Lange of Bend, We Are the Brennans: A Novel 
A. E. Osworth of Portland, We Are Watching Eliza Bright: A Novel 
Chris Stuck of Portland, Give My Love to the Savages: Stories 

STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY

Irene Cooper of Bend, spare change
Emily Kendal Frey of Portland, LOVABILITY 
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta of Hillsboro, When We Talk of Stolen Sisters: New and Revised Poems
Zachary Schomburg of Portland, Fjords vol. 2 
Dao Strom of Portland, Instrument

FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION

Bryna Goodman of Eugene, The Suicide of Miss Xi: Democracy and Disenchantment in the Chinese Republic
Jacob Darwin Hamblin of Corvallis, The Wretched Atom: America’s Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology
Annelise Heinz of Portland, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture 
Kenneth I. Helphand of Eugene, Hops: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape
Kathleen Dean Moore of Corvallis, Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION 

David Biespiel of Portland, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas
Allison Cobb of Portland, Plastic: An Autobiography 
Mary Emerick of Joseph, The Last Layer of the Ocean: Kayaking through Love and Loss on Alaska’s Wild Coast
Aaron Gilbreath of Portland, The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley
Tina Ontiveros of Hood River, rough house: a memoir

LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE 

J. C. Geiger of Eugene, The Great Big One 
Courtney Gould of Salem, The Dead and the Dark 
April Henry of Portland, Eyes of the Forest 
April Henry of Portland, Playing with Fire 
Deborah Hopkinson of West Linn, We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance

ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Waka T. Brown of West Linn, While I Was Away
Cathy Camper of Portland, Ten Ways to Hear Snow
Jennie Englund of Ashland, Taylor Before and After
Gabi Snyder of Corvallis, Listen 
Tracy Subisak of Portland, Jenny Mei Is Sad 

AWARD FOR GRAPHIC LITERATURE

Breena Bard of Portland, Trespassers: A Graphic Novel
Cat Farris of Portland, The Ghoul Next Door
Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber of Portland, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen?
Sarah Mirk of Portland, Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison
Aron Nels Steinke of Portland, Field Trip: A Graphic Novel (Mr. Wolf’s Class #4) 

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