Sunday, September 12, 2010
Lantern Award Winners
Last night at the Palace Theater, The Lit hosted their first-ever biennial Lantern Awards ceremony. Since Billy Crystal wasn't available, Cleveland's own Michael Heaton [left] emceed.
My favorite underappreciated cartoonist, Derf, proved appreciated after all, receiving a lifetime achievement award. Thankfully, he's not yet ready to retire.
The far-too-soon retired Harvey Pekar and Sheila Schwartz also received well deserved lifetime achievement awards.
As for the fab northeast Ohio writers who competed for the rest of the awards, there was no way every deserving candidate was going to win a uniquely sculpted Mark Yasenchack lantern. If that had happened, I imagine the artist might not have had time to create anything else this year. But ten writers both got lucky and very much earned their awards in ten highly competitive genres. Here they are:
Poetry Collection: George Bilgere of Cleveland Heights, for The White Museum.
Single Poem: Eric Anderson of Elyria, for "A Couple of Scars on My Back."
Fiction/Novel: Dan Chaon of Cleveland Heights, for Await Your Reply.
Short Fiction: Tricia Springstubb of Cleveland Heights, for "In the Dark."
Memoir - Book Length: Thrity Umrigar of Cleveland Heights, for First Darling of the Morning.
Non-Fiction - Book Length: Michael Rulman of Cleveland Heights, for The Elements of Cooking.
Non-Fiction - Essay: Kristin Ohlson of Cleveland Heights, for Watching TV in Kabul.
Journalism: Joanna Connors of Shaker Heights, for "Beyond Rape."
Performance: Michael Oatman of Shaker Heights, for Eclipse.
Blog: Erin O'Brien of Broadview Heights, for The Erin O'Brien Owner's Manual for Human Beings.
And appearances to the contrary, I assure you there has been no vast eastside conspiracy.
Thanks to The Lit's director Judith Mansour for spearheading this memorable event, and to everyone else who had a hand in making it happen. Hearty congratulations to the Lantern Award winners! For more about each of them, I encourage you to check out this morning's Plain Dealer article or click on their names above.
P.S. I videoed the awards ceremony and took some photos at the after party. So stay tuned for a sequel to this blog entry when I have more time.
The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau