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Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA)

NEMBA Winner's seal

32nd Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards  


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Book Fair, Dessert Reception, Featured Speaker, and Awards Presentation

Kirby Ballroom, UMD Campus, Duluth, MN

The 32nd Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) will be presented at a public celebration on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at the Kirby Ballroom on the UMD campus, Duluth, Minnesota, and will honor books published in 2019. The Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards were created to showcase and honor authors and books that capture the spirit of the Northland and substantially represent northeastern Minnesota. The celebration will include featured speaker, author Wing Young Huie, as well as a book fair and dessert reception. The program and awards presentation is free and open to the public.

Celebrated photographer Wing Young Huie, is this year's NEMBA speaker. He has captured the complex cultural realities of American society for over 35 years. His photos have been shown in international museums, but his best known works, Lake Street USA and the University Avenue Project, were epic public art projects that transformed Minneapolis and Saint Paul thoroughfares into six-mile photo galleries, reflecting the everyday lives of thousands of its citizens. 

Wing Young Huie
Wing Young Huie

The StarTribune named him “Artist of the Year” in 2000 and in 2018 he was honored with the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, the first photographer ever to receive the award in its 21-year history. His seventh and most personal book, Chinese-ness: The Meanings of Identity and the Nature of Belonging (Minnesota Historical Society Press, fall 2018) won a Minnesota Book Award and a Northeastern Minnesota Book Award.

It is in classrooms and non-arts venues where his work has been most impactful, as he’s given over a thousand presentations to audiences of all kinds—including K-12 classrooms, colleges, museums, non-profits, corporations, and places of worship—showing the various ways he’s photographically engaged thousands of strangers.

Nominations for the 32nd annual NEMBA are now closed. We will begin accepting nominations for the 33rd annual NEMBA in October, 2020.


Nominations were submitted in one of six categories:

  1. Nonfiction: nonfiction works such as history, biography, guidebooks, cookbooks, books about science and nature, and scholarly works.
  2. Fiction: novels, short stories, plays, and other works of narrative fiction.
  3. Art, Photography: books that primarily serve to showcase (and annotate) the visual art contained in them.
  4. Children's Literature: books of any type intended for children and young adults.
  5. Poetry: collections of poetry or a single poem of book length.
  6. Memoir: books that examine some aspect of the world from a highly personal perspective. 


The winning book in each category will receive a cash prize of $200. The winning book and the honorable mention in each category will receive a glass plaque and 100 book seals. 


Presented by UMD's Kathryn A. Martin Library
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

and the Friends of the Duluth Public Library