Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Issues Authors Kevin Fenton and Rachel Eliza Griffiths Read Their Work: Spring 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

We welcome you to join us for our second reading of the Spring 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. We're honored to have poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths and fiction writer Kevin Fenton read their work this Thursday, February 2nd. The reading will take place at the WMU Bernhard Center, in room 157-158, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there. This reading is co-sponsored by New Issues Poetry & Prose.

2012 Creative Writing Awards Call for Submissions

The deadline for this year's Frostic Creative Writing Awards is Friday, February 3rd. The awards are open to current students at WMU. We very much hope you'll consider submitting your work.

Here are the details. Be sure to follow all guidelines:

• Submissions will be accepted in four genres: Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction, and Drama.

• You may submit to as many genres as you would like; you may submit up to three poems, one story, one essay, and/or one play.

• Your submission should include a cover sheet with your name, the title(s) of the submission, your contact information, and whether you are a GRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE student. Also put this cover sheet information into the body of the email.

• The manuscript of the submitted work must not include any identifying information.

• Email submissions to Steve Feffer (steve dot feffer at wmich dot edu), and copy to Dustin M. Hoffman (dustin dot m dot hoffman at wmich dot edu).

• Please note the genre and whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student in the subject line.

• If you have any questions, please direct them to Dustin.

Creative writing faculty will determine the finalists in each genre and classification (GRAD and UNDERGRAD), which will then be passed on to outside judges. Those judges will pick a SINGLE overall winner in each genre and classification. Fiction submissions will also be considered for the annual Gordon Prize in Fiction.

All the best,

Steve Feffer
Spring Coordinator, Creative Writing

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gender, Sexuality & Language @ UM

Gender and Sexuality: What's Language Got to Do With It?
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Hatcher Graduate Library, Room 100, Gallery


Anne Curzan
University of Michigan, English, Linguistics and Education
Scott Kiesling
University of Pittsburgh, Linguistics
Robin Queen
University of Michigan, Linguistics
Shelley Swearingen
University of Michigan, Linguistics

In this panel, four scholars of language consider how language has been used to construct and perform gender and sexuality. They will examine a history of approaches to language, gender and sexuality; the connection between language, sexuality and masculinities; the erasure of lesbians from queer linguistics; the encoding of gender and sexuality in the grammar and lexicon and efforts to change the language.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Witschi's American West a Choice Outstanding Title

A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West (Wiley-Blackwell 2011), edited by Nicolas S. Witschi, has been named by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2011. According to the official notice posted online, "Every year, Choice subject editors single out for recognition the most significant print and electronic works reviewed in Choice during the previous calendar year. Appearing annually in Choice’s January issue, this prestigious list of publications reflects the best in scholarly titles and attracts extraordinary attention from the academic library community. The 2011 feature includes 629 titles in 54 disciplines and subsections." The full list of awardees may be found at this link.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Russo on the Once and Future (Medieval) Classroom

One of our WMU Ph.D. students in Medieval Studies, Keith Russo, just published his first essay, based on his experience as a classroom teacher at the IMG Pendleton School in Bradenton, FL. Please find his essay, "21st Century Inferno: Exploring Dante's Digital Legacy with Your Students," HERE. Two years ago, Keith co-edited (with Richard Utz and Christine Havens) an essay cluster on Culture and the Medieval King, in UNIversitas: The University of Northern Iowa Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

Bérubé on Open Access to Scholarship

Please find Michael Bérubé's recent open letter regarding Open Access to scholarship at the Modern Language Association's WEBSITE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Third Coast 2011 Fiction Contest Winner Chosen for Anthology

Third Coast is pleased to announce that Sarah Elizabeth Schantz's story "The Sound of Crying Sheep" (winner of the 2011 Fiction Contest) has been selected for inclusion in New Stories from the Midwest 2012!

WMU Poet Nancy Eimers reads on Thursday.

Nancy Eimers will be reading at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, at the Olmsted Room in Mandelle Hall at Kalamazoo College.

Bill Zorn in 'Never The Sinner'

KALAMAZOO — They were still in their teens, of high-intelligence and wealthy families, and should have had a bright future ahead of them.

“They were charming, witty, engaging, good-looking, and had a summer with nothing to do, so they decide to kill somebody just to see if they can get away with it,” D. Terry Williams said of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

The Leopold and Loeb kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks was the original “crime of the century,” sparking a media frenzy in 1924. It inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 film “Rope” and Richard Fleischer’s 1959 film “Compulsion.”

The movies didn’t cover all the details that are in “Never the Sinner,” however. Western Michigan University theater department emeritus Williams will direct it at the York Arena Theatre running Jan. 26 through Feb. 5.

John Logan based his 1985 play on years of research, sealed family archives and court transcripts, Williams said.

“To say that Leopold and Loeb were ‘monsters’ is too easy. To say that they were ‘evil’ is too facile,” Logan wrote in the introduction to the play. He chose to portray them as human beings, who are “tormented” and “brutal.

It’s a courtroom drama plus an intense character study. “I’ve always been fascinated by this play ... because of their complex personalities,” Williams said.

They were from wealthy Chicago families. Leopold, 19 at the time of the crime, had a genius-level IQ, was multi-lingual, published ornithology articles and was already attending the University of Chicago law school. Loeb, 18, was at the time the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan.

Their relationship was complicated by a factor not covered in previous dramatizations. “They were lovers,” Williams said. “Leopold gets sex in return for collaborating in risky crimes dreamed up by Loeb.”

Enthralled by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the “superman” not ruled by society’s morals, they commit what they think is the perfect crime.

“They were very sophisticated — but not civilized,” Williams said.

Certain hanging awaited them at the end of their trial, but their lawyer, Clarence Darrow, turned the case into an argument against capital punishment.

The cast will sit among the audience until needed onstage. They are Max Rasmussen (Leopold), David Cooper (Loeb), Bill Zorn (Clarence Darrow), Ben Maters (Robert Crowe), Jenna Wyatt, Taylor Keenan and Sophie Scanlon.

It’s easy to be charmed by the characters of Leopold and Loeb, Williams said, “then you step back and say, my goodness, how can I like these two psychopaths?”

He brought in a consultant from the WMU psychology department, Lester Wright, “who has been very helpful to the cast in explaining these types of personalities.”

Wright helped the cast explore how such crimes can occur by comparing Leopold and Loeb’s to Jerry Sandusky’s alleged acts, Williams said.

What makes this compelling drama is its examination of criminals who commit heinous acts but feel justified “in their own world of rules and regulations,” Williams said.

If you go
‘Never the Sinner’

When: 8 p.m. Jan. 26-28, Feb. 2-4; 2 p.m. Feb. 5
Where: York Arena, Gilmore Theatre Complex, Western Michigan University
Cost: $20, $15 seniors and WMU faculty/staff, $5 students
Contact: 269-387-3227,

Tererai Trent visits WMU tomorrow !

Oprah's favorite guest Tererai Trent will speak at WMU

Dr. Tererai Trent, whose moving story of being "the woman who buried her dreams" earned her the designation last May as Oprah Winfrey's favorite guest of all times, will speak at Western Michigan University Wednesday, Jan. 25.

A WMU alumna, Trent is returning to Kalamazoo to speak at Southwest Michigan First's Catalyst University. Before her Catalyst University appearance, she will address a WMU campus audience to tell her inspirational story at 10 a.m. in the Kirsch Auditorium of the Fetzer Center. The WMU event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending the talk are asked to reserve a spot by sending email to

Trent is also scheduled to meet with a WMU Evaluation Center group for a noontime discussion on cross-cultural evaluation techniques, her academic area of specialty.

Trent, who grew up in poverty in Zimbabwe, realized one of her goals in December 2009 when she earned a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary evaluation from WMU. She started her adult life as an impoverished cattle-herder who defied a culture that places little value on the contributions of women. She educated herself, setting a path and an example for her own five children and for other women in similar circumstances.

Trent's story was retold on Winfrey's highly anticipated May 20 episode in which the host identified her favorite guest among those she has interviewed in 25 years of broadcasts. Winfrey called Trent the guest whose story "epitomizes everything I've been trying to say on this show for 25 years."

Trent's story was first chronicled on the pages of the New York Times, and in a book, "Half the Sky," by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. An October 2009 episode of "Oprah" placed Trent on the national stage, where she became known as the woman who "buried her dreams."

Both the book and the "Oprah" show detailed how Trent developed a list of goals for herself as a very young woman living in a rural village. Her list was buried in a tin piece behind her home in a field where she herded cattle. Over the next 20 years, she accomplished each goal, retrieving the list each time to cross off the achieved goal and move on to the next one.

Trent plans to return to her nation in the future. Her dreams of building a school there will become a reality, thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Winfrey. The school and an initiative with Save the Children are expected to impact 4,000 children in Zimbabwe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chaucer among the Danes

Richard Utz has accepted an invitation by the Department of Identity and Culture at Roskilde University, Denmark, to serve as external reader for Professor Ebbe Klitgaard's postdoctoral thesis, "Chaucer in Denmark: A Study of the Translation and Reception History 1782-2012." Later this year, Utz will travel to Denmark to participate in the public defense for this dissertation. This formal process corresponds to the German *Habilitation*and is usually a prerequisite for full professorship in the Danish academic system.

English prof’s “hat-trick”…three books at once!

Dr. Allen Webb, professor of English at WMU, just scored a book publishing “hat trick”—three books at once! All three books focus on contemporary topics in the teaching of English.

The first is “Teaching Literature in Virtual Worlds: Immersive Learning in English Studies.” This cutting-edge book is the result of the Presidential Innovation Grant that Dr. Webb received in 2006 that funded a team of scholars and graduate students in English developing on-line virtual worlds for literature study. The edited collection includes chapters by 13 Department of English faculty and graduate students.

The second book is “Teaching Literature of Today’s Middle East.” This book provides much-needed resources, ideas and strategies for secondary and college teachers who seek to address current issues from the Middle East in their classes, including the Arab Spring, women in the Middle East, the Iraq and Afghan Wars, Palestine-Israel conflict, teaching about Islam, and Muslim Americans. The book includes contributions from WMU faculty Blain Auer (Religion) and Vivan Steemers (Foreign Languages).

The third book is “Teaching to Exceed the English Language Arts Common Core Standards: A Literacy Practices Approach for 6-12 Classrooms.” Dr. Webb is a co-author (along with Richard Beach and Amanda Thein) of this book setting forth meaningful and exciting ways for teachers across the country to address the new curriculum standards (adopted by 44 states).

All are professional books that will be sold not only in the United States but also in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

After his B.A. in English at Swarthmore College (Honors Program), Allen studied for a secondary teacher certificate and taught high school English for six years. He earned an MAT in English and Education at Lewis and Clark College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. His doctoral studies focused on postcolonial literature in English, Spanish, and French and American minority literatures.

He has published 25 articles, presented at 100 conferences, including several keynote addresses, maintains 10 websites, and has won five grants totaling $1.5 million. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Conference on English Education, and is one of the authors of the State of Michigan 9-12 Language Arts Content Standards.

He designed the “Classroom of the Future” English Education Labs and his virtual world for teaching literature won the A+ Award by WebEnglish Teacher. Webb won the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching from the WMU College of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

A retired mountaineer, he made the first American assent of the highest peak in the Hindu Kush (Tirich Mir, 25,253′) in 1982.

Webb’s scholarship and teaching focus on English education, postcolonial and minority literature, and internet learning. Webb is the principal investigator on the WMU Literary Worlds project, and past president of the Michigan Conference on English Education (MCEE).


Dr. Webb’s profile

Teaching with Technology

“Virtual Worlds” in

Congratulations Dr. Witschi !

Professor Commissioned to Write for National Exhibit
by Helena Witzke

Dr. Nicolas Witschi, WMU professor of English, has been commissioned by the Bank of America’s Art in Our Communities program to write the official companion essay for an exhibition showcasing art, artifacts and images of the American West.

The Bank of America created the Art in Our Communities program in order to increase community stability through the support of museums and nonprofit galleries. It lends communities the use of special exhibitions in its expansive corporate collection at no cost. The exhibition, titled “Searching the Horizon: The Real American West 1830-1920,” will focus on both the common mythologies and the realities of the American West.

Ranging from works of art and photographs of people, places, and artifacts, the exhibition underscores the many different perceptions of the American West. Spanning a period of just under a century, the works available display a vast and teeming array of peoples, cultures, and a nation’s worth of ambition.

“It strikes a wonderful balance between showing the West of people’s imaginations and the West as it was lived historically,” Witschi says. “My hope is that it affects viewers positively by prompting them to rethink their ideas about the history of the American West.”

Western American history has always been convoluted, and at times brutal, as the companion essay discusses. However, it also holds an overpowering place in the popular imagination of what “America” is, and this reputation, Witschi believes, does not always follow.

“We use it [the American West] as a symbol of all quintessentially American ideas and ideals, but beyond the symbolic value lies a complex arrangement of cultures, only some of which may rightly be called ‘American,’” he says.

“Searching the Horizon” will allow communities across the nation the chance to explore and continue the discussion of the impact of this symbolism. The exhibition is currently on view at the New Britain Museum of American Art, in New Britain, Conn., until April, and will travel to different locations across the country over the next few years.

Call for Papers

Oxford/Cambridge International Chronicles Symposium
5-7 July 2012, University of Oxford
Call for Papers

The Oxford/Cambridge International Chronicles Symposium (OCICS) is a biennial conference devoted to the interdisciplinary study of historical and related texts in the medieval and Early Modern periods.
The theme for the 2012 conference is 'Bonds, Links, and Ties in Medieval and Renaissance Chronicles'.

Keynote addresses will be given by Prof Pauline Stafford (Liverpool), Prof Elizabeth van Houts (Cambridge), and Dr James Howard-Johnston (Oxford). The conference will take place at Oxford’s Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 20 minutes must be submitted to the organizers via e-mail (at by 31 January 2012.
Topics may include, but are not limited to genealogies (real or imagined), family bonds, textual links, breaks and discontinuities, links between past, present, and future, ties of religion and faith, law, order, and disruption, oaths, promises, and betrayals, local, regional, and national identities.

A limited number of graduate student bursaries will be available.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nagle on L.E.L.

Chris Nagle's essay on Letitia Elizabeth Landon (known as ‘L.E.L.’ to her contemporaries) is part of the recently released Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature published by Wiley-Blackwell under the general editorship of Frederick Burwick. The three-volume project is described as “an authoritative resource that covers British artistic, literary, and intellectual movements between 1780 and 1830, within the context of European, transatlantic and colonial historical and cultural interaction.” One of the long essays devoted to major authors, Nagle’s contribution explores the productive tensions manifest in Landon’s life (and mythic death) and in her prolific and influential body of work that spanned all genres during the 1820s and 1830s. He argues that ultimately Landon’s exploitation of multiple (often loosely autobiographical) personae—and a newly commercialized aesthetic that she helped in large measure to create—require reading strategies that attend to the multi-layered and poly-vocal artifice animating her work, especially her poetry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Utz to serve as external reviewer

Richard Utz has accepted an invitation by Middle Tennessee State University to serve as external reviewer of its graduate programs in English this spring. MTSU's Department of English offers a Master of Arts degree with advanced studies in American and British literature; Popular Culture and Film; the English language; Rhetoric and Composition; and Linguistics. It also offers the Ph.D. with specializations in American Literature; Anglophone Literature; British Literature; Children’s and Young Adult Literature; Folklore; Linguistics; Literary Theory; Popular Culture and Film; and Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy.

Andrew Carroll visits WMU

Best-selling American author, editor and activist, Andrew Carroll, will share correspondence from U.S. soldiers from American Wars during a visit on Friday, Feb. 10, to the campus of Western Michigan University.

Sponsored by the Department of Military Science in the Haworth College of Business and the University Center for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, Carroll’s talk is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Brown Auditorium, in Schneider Hall. The event is free and open to the public. His talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a reception at 3 p.m. Reservations for the talk can be made by contacting 269.387.5050. Parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Carroll is the editor of several New York Times best sellers, including “War Letters” and “Behind the Lines.” He also edited, on a pro bono basis, “Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families.” The book inspired the film “Operation Homecoming,” which was nominated for an Oscar and won an Emmy for best documentary.

In 1998, Carroll founded the Legacy Project, an all-volunteer initiative that honors veterans and active-duty troops by preserving their wartime letters and e-mails. Carroll has traveled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, to seek out letters, and he has collected, to date, an estimated 85,000 previously unpublished correspondences from every war in U.S. history.

In 2001, Carroll revived the “Armed Services Editions” (ASEs), which are pocket-sized editions of bestselling books originally distributed to service members overseas during World War II. He worked with major publishers to reissue them, and he has distributed a quarter of a million free ASEs to U.S. troops around the world, including thousands of books he personally handed out in Baghdad and Kabul.

Carroll’s efforts have been profiled on “NBC’s Nightly News,” “FOX News,” CNN, PBS, The History Channel, NPR, “CBS Sunday Morning,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightline,” and he was featured as a “Person of the Week” on “ABC’s World News Tonight.” Carroll has also been a contributing editor and writer to numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, and National Geographic.

Carroll’s interest in letters began in 1989 after his home in Washington, D.C. burned down. Although no one was hurt in the fire, all of Carroll’s possessions, including his letters, were destroyed. The loss prompted Carroll to realize the value of letters and how important it is to preserve them for posterity.

More recently, Carroll founded the “Here Is Where” campaign in association with National Geographic Traveler. The project is an all-volunteer effort to photograph and document historic locations in the United States.

Carroll graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1993, and, among other accolades, he is the recipient of the DAR’s Medal of Honor; The Order of Saint Maurice, bestowed by the National Infantryman’s Association; and The Free Spirit Award, presented by the Freedom Forum.

Carroll lives in Washington, D.C. He edited “Operation Homecoming” on a pro bono basis.

Related Links

Legacy Project

“Here Is Where”

National Geographic Traveler

T. Geronimo Johnson Reads His Work: Spring 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series

We welcome you to join us for our first reading of the Spring 2012 Gwen Frostic Reading Series. We’re honored to have this year's WMU Creative Writing Program Visiting Fiction Writer T. Geronimo Johnson read his work this Thursday, January 19th. The reading will take place at the WMU Bernhard Center, in room 157-158, starting at 8:00 PM. We look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Frostic Reading, Thursday February 2nd

New Issues Poetry & Prose
January 2012
About Us
New Issues

New Issues Poetry & Prose was established in 1996 by poet Herbert S. Scott.

Find us on Facebook  Visit our blog

Khaled Mattawa!
winner of

The Poetry Center
Book Award

The Arab American Book Award

Academy of American Poets

Spring 2012

the body | of space| in the shape of the human
Andrew Allport

The Radio Tree
Corey Marks

Two-Headed Nightingale
Shara Lessley

Fall 2012

The Right Place to Jump
Peter Covino

The Frame Called Ruin
Hadara Bar-Nadav

A Penance
CJ Evans

We would be honored if you would join us for the Gwen Frostic Reading Series. The first reading of the series features novelist Kevin Fenton and poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths. It will be held Thursday, February 2nd at 8:00 p.m. in WMU's Bernhard Center, rooms 157 & 159.

This reading series usually draws a large crowd, so we encourage you to arrive early. The reading is free, and last approximately 45 minutes. Books will be available to purchase, and the authors will be happy to sign their works.

Hope you can join us!

Kimberly Kolbe
Managing Editor
Merit Badges
Kevin Fenton's first novel, Merit Badges (New Issues), won the AWP Prize for the Novel. Publishers Weekly writes,  "An impressive vitality, droll wit, and affecting nostalgia lift Fenton's first novel." His fiction has appeared in the Northwest Review, the Laurel Review, and the Emprise Review. His writing on graphic design has been anthologized in Looking Closer 2 and Emigre No. 70: The Look Back Issue. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota and works as an advertising writer and creative director.  

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is the author of Mule & Pear (New Issues), Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books) and The Requited Distance (Sheep Meadow Press). 

Reviewer Roxane Gay (The Rumpus) writes, "Griffiths tackled sex(uality), slavery, the strength of women, the mark of history, and the power of language, in fierce poems that were so memorable I return to them over and over."

A Cave Canem Fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships from Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, New York State Summer Writers Institute, the Cave Canem Foundation and others. A photographer and painter, her visual work has been published widely in both national and international magazines and journals. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York.

February Art Hop at Fire, featuring
Rachel Eliza Griffiths 
Mule & Pear
Mule & Pear
Griffiths will also read her poetry on Friday, February 3rd at Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, 1249 Portage Rd., where her artwork will be on display as part of Kalamazoo's February Art Hop.
Our titles are available online through

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Natalie Giarratano published in Hayden's Ferry Review.

Congratulations to Natalie Giarratano, poetry Ph.D. candidate, one of her poems has been selected for publication in Hadyden's Ferry Review, Fall/Winter 2011-2012, Issue 49.

"Asena, the Gray Wolf, to Tu Kueh after Many Years"

by Natalie Giarratano


I’ve dented the side of an iron
mountain with my head. What can

I say: out of frustration. Tried to
hide it with tree bark but honey

nothing hides itself well enough
once a whole empire has walked

out of a woman, this woman who
doesn’t mind doing all the work

and respects that you are all torso
and pretty face and the father

of legions of limbs, but sometimes
I do wish I’d found you before they

removed your arms and legs,
so I’d have something with which

to pin you down. These lupine muscles.
This longing for reciprocated touch.

I’m sure the flesh of your belly is some
divine window that I have yet to learn

to look into at the people after us—
children with their hearts licked clean.


I sense this is all dissolving. The smell
of your skin on my fur is almost extinct.

Our bodies have stopped communicating.
No guts to spill, not even to spew.

Sometimes I think of the coldness of these
metal Altais. Mine and yours. So cold

with our lack of want for what gravity
owns. In this sedentary life you have no

choice but to claim, even storms that fly
down to us from the mountains

into these valleys of wasting away
are miraculous. The lightening awakens

instincts that have been forgotten
in this dale with no memory that tries to erase

us with its silence, its slow, deep breaths,
its green sighs. But instinct eventually

comes back to me, like misunderstanding.
Say: Loyal dog. Where else could I be at home?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alum Peter Geye to be published this fall.

PhD (2008) alum Peter Geye's second novel to be published this fall by Unbridled Books. The Lighthouse Road tells the story of a young Norwegian immigrant woman and her misbegotten son at the turn of the twentieth century. Set against the northern Minnesota wilderness and on the waters of Lake Superior, it explores the themes of love and family and what it means to make an honest living in a corrupt world. Geye's first novel, Safe from the Sea, won the Indie Lit Award and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award.