The Oregon Book Award winners were announced on Monday at a ceremony in front of a live audience for the first time in nearly three years.
Given out annually since 1987 and administered by nonprofit organization Literary Arts, the prizes recognize the work of the state’s finest authors and poets.
This year’s event was headlined by West Linn-based author Omar El Akkad, whose novel “What Strange Paradise” won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. Playwright and screenwriter Cynthia Whitcomb was also recognized with a Literary Legacy Award in recognition of her outstanding, long-term support of Oregon’s literary community.
The full list of winners:
KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION
Omar El Akkad (West Linn), “What Strange Paradise: A Novel”
STAFFORD/HALL AWARD FOR POETRY
Dao Strom (Portland), “Instrument”
AWARD FOR GRAPHIC LITERATURE
Breena Bard (Portland), “Trespassers: A Graphic Novel”
FRANCES FULLER VICTOR AWARD FOR GENERAL NONFICTION
Jacob Darwin Hamblin (Corvallis), “The Wretched Atom: America’s Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology”
SARAH WINNEMUCCA AWARD FOR CREATIVE NONFICTION
Allison Cobb (Portland), “Plastic: An Autobiography”
LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
Courtney Gould (Salem), “The Dead and the Dark”
ELOISE JARVIS MCGRAW AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Jennie Englund (Ashland), “Taylor Before and After”
THE STEWART H. HOLBROOK LITERARY LEGACY AWARD
Cynthia Whitcomb (Wilsonville), playwriter and screenwriter