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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/22/2005

Washington Center for the Book announces 2005 Washington State Book Award winners

News Release Feature

The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library announced that ten books written by local authors are winners of the 2005 Washington State Book Awards.

These recipients will be honored at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at a public ceremony at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., in the Microsoft Auditorium on Level 1. This program is free and everyone is welcome.

Parking in the Central Library garage will be available for the $5 special event rate.

The event will feature remarks and readings by the award recipients. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

Rebecca Brown, award-winning author, playwright, and librettist, will be the host for the evening. Brown is a two-time recipient of the Washington State Book Award, for "Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary" (2003) and "The Gifts of the Body" (1995).

Brown's numerous awards include a Boston Book Review Award for Fiction, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and a Lambda Literary Foundation Award. Her work ha been adapted for theater and is widely anthologized, and her books have been translated into Japanese, German, Danish, Norwegian, and more. She is currently a member of the M.F.A. in writing faculty at Goddard College, Vermont, and is creative director of literature at Centrum arts center, Port Townsend.

This is the 39th year of the program, formerly called the Governor's Writers Awards.

A book award is given based on the strength of the publication's literary merit, lasting importance and overall quality.

The 2005 Washington State Book Award winners are:


  • "Orphans," a collection of essays by Charles D'Ambrosio (Clear Cut Press), now of Portland, Ore.
  • "Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother" by Lesley Hazleton, Seattle houseboat resident (Bloomsbury)
  • "Light's Ladder: Poems" by Christopher Howell, of Spokane, Wash. (University of Washington Press)
  • "Breaking Ground," a poetry collection by by Paul Hunter, of Seattle's Fremont neighborhood (Silverfish Review Press)
  • "Broken for You," a novel by Stephanie Kallos, of Seattle's Haller Lake neighborhood (Grove/Atlantic)
  • "The Children's Blizzard" by David Laskin, of Shoreline, Wash. (HarperCollins)
  • "Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy" by Nikhil Pal Singh, of Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood (Harvard University Press)
  • "Gorgon: The Monsters That Ruled the Planet Before Dinosaurs and How They Died in the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History" by Peter Ward, of Seattle (Penguin)


New this year to the Washington State Book Awards program is the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award. Every year, one children's picture book and one book targeted to 10-to 18-year-old readers will be recognized.

This year's winning titles are:


  • "Honey, Baby, Sweetheart," a novel for teens by Deb Caletti, of Issaquah (Simon & Schuster)
  • "Ella the Elegant Elephant," a picture book by Carmela D'Amico (author) and Steven D'Amico (illustrator), of West Seattle (Arthur A. Levine Books)


"The panel discussions were, as usual, lively and passionate," said Chris Higashi, associate director of the Washington Center for the Book. "We're all looking forward to meeting the award recipients. This event is always a highlight of our year. Listening to the authors read from their award-winning books, it's easy to see why they were chosen out of all the books published last year by Washington authors."

The jury for the adult awards included Karen Maeda Allman, writer and bookseller, The Elliott Bay Book Company; Michael Coy, owner and bookseller, M. Coy Books; Tod Marshall, assistant professor of English, Gonzaga University; and Venta Silins, reference/education librarian, University of Washington, Bothell; and Edwin Weihe, chair, associate professor of English, Seattle University.

A separate panel selected the winners of the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award. The judges include Thom Barthelmess, youth services coordinator, Spokane County Library District; Mary Harris, co-owner, Parkplace Books, Kirkland; and Dianna LaBate, school librarian, Stillwater Elementary, Duvall.

The authors of all 10 award-winning books, as well as the illustrator of the picture book, will receive a $1,000 honorarium, thanks to the generous support of The Seattle Public Library Foundation and Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi.

Books will be available for purchase and signing, courtesy of The Elliott Bay Book Company.

For more information contact:


Linda Johns, Coordinator for Washington Center for the Book

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