Recent Award-Winners

Congratulations to the following MSU Press contributors for their recent award recognitions!

2021 International Book Awards Finalist, Poetry

Poems by Daniel Lassell

The first-ever poetry book set on a llama farm, Daniel Lassell’s debut collection, Spit, examines the roles we play within the act of belonging. It is a portrait of a boy living on a farm populated with chickens sung to sleep by lullaby, captive wolves next door that attack a child, and a herd of llamas learning to survive despite coyotes and a chaotic family. The collection in part explores the role of the body in health and illness, and one’s treatment of the earth and others. A theme of spirituality also weaves throughout the collection as the speaker treks into adulthood, yearning for peace amid the decline of his parents’ marriage. Unflinching at every turn, the collection pushes the boundaries of “home” to arrive upon new meaning, definition, and purpose. 

2021 Michigan Notable Book Award
2021 WCSA Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing

R E S P E C T: The Poetry of Detroit Music 
Edited by Jim Daniels and M.L. Liebler

While there have been countless books written about Detroit, none have captured its incredible musical history like this one. Detroit artists have forged the paths in many music genres, producing waves of creative energy that continue to reverberate across the country and around the world. This anthology both documents and celebrates this part of Detroit’s history, capturing the emotions that the music inspired in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene—Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology. 

2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Nature/Environment

Waterfront Porch: Reclaiming Detroit’s Industrial Waterfront as a Gathering Place for All
By John H. Hartig

This unique history depicts Detroit as a city of innovation, resilience, and leadership in responding to change, and examines the current sustainability paradigm shift to which Detroit is responding, pivoting as the city has done in the past to redefine itself and lead the nation and world down a more sustainable path. This book details the building of a new waterfront porch alongside the Detroit River called the Detroit RiverWalk to help revitalize the city and region and promote sustainability practices.

2020 Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine Book Award

The Origins of Bioethics: Remembering When Medicine Went Wrong
By John A. Lynch

The Origins of Bioethics argues that what we remember from the history of medicine and how we remember are consequential for the identities of doctors, researchers, and patients in the present day. Remembering when medicine went wrong calls people to account for the injustices inflicted on vulnerable communities across the twentieth century in the name of medicine, but sometimes these people bury this past and forget events in attempts to minimize their culpability. The call to bioethical memory then conflicts with a desire for “minimal remembrance” on the part of institutions and governments. The Origins of Bioethics charts this tension between bioethical memory and minimal remembrance across three cases that highlight the shift from robust bioethical memory to minimal remembrance to forgetting.

2020 Weatherford Award for Best Books about Appalachia, Finalist

Of This River
Poems by Noah Davis

In a stunning and visceral debut, Noah Davis ushers in a new era of poems from the Allegheny region of Appalachia. In chronicling the river valley’s human and more-than-human worlds through acts of modern myth making, Davis expands the scope of contemporary American poetry. This soulful meditation on a neglected region of America reveals a legacy of lingering violence to land and animal alike. In striking stories and scenes, Davis portrays the spiritual cost of deep poverty, the necessity to ask for forgiveness, and the joy in praising the beauty still found in the steep hollows. These poems will cling to you like water on the soles of your boots.

2020 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award, Great Lakes —Best Regional Nonfiction, Bronze Medal
2019 Michigan Notable Book Award
2019 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title

2018 Historical Society of Michigan State History Award

Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan
By Barbara J. Barton

This is the first book of its kind to bring forward the rich tradition of wild rice in Michigan and its importance to the Anishinaabek people who live there. Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan focuses on the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. The story travels through time from the days before European colonization and winds its way forward in and out of the logging and industrialization eras. It weaves between the worlds of the Anishinaabek and the colonizers, contrasting their different perspectives and divergent relationships with Manoomin. Barton discusses historic wild rice beds that once existed in Michigan, why many disappeared, and the efforts of tribal and nontribal people with a common goal of restoring and protecting Manoomin across the landscape.