NEMBA Previous Winners

Previous Winners and Honorable Mentions

Winners (by year of publication)


Fiction: Laurentian Divide written by Sarah Stonich

Poetry:  To Keep Him Hidden by Ryan Vine

Nonfiction:  Gichi Bitobig, Grand Marais: Early Accounts of the Anishinaabeg and the North Shore Fur Trade written by Timothy Cochrane

Children's Literature: Hush Hush, Forest written by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Nick Wroblewski

Memoir: Iron and Water: My Life Protecting Minnesota's Environment written by Grant J. Merritt

Art, Photography: Chinese-ness written by Wing Young Huie


Fiction: Family Trees written by Dean Hovey

Poetry: Now/Here: Poems by Crystal Spring Gibbins

Nonfiction: Duluth's Historic Parks written by Nancy S. Nelson, Tony Dierckins

Children's Literature: Grandpa Allen's Sugar Shack written by Alan Page, Kamie Page, illustrated by David Geister

Memoir:  Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year ;written by Linda LeGarde Grover


Fiction: Wintering written by Peter Geye

Poetry: The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives by Linda LeGarde Grover

Nonfiction: What Should A Clever Moose Eat? Natural History, Ecology, and the North Woods written by John Pastor

Children's Literature: One North Star: A Counting Book written by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen and Beckie Prange

Memoir: Homemade: Finnish Rye, Feed Sack Fashion, and Other Simple Ingredients from My Life in Food written by Beatrice Ojakangas

Art, Photography: Glensheen: The Official Guide to Duluth's Historic Congdon Estate by Tony Dierckins, photography by Dennis O'Hara


Fiction: Once Were Mountains written by Victoria Richards

Poetry: Yoik by Jim Johnson

Nonfiction: Taconite Dreams: The Struggle to Sustain Mining on Minnesota's Iron Range, 1915-2000 written by Jeffrey T. Manuel

Children's Literature: Wilder's Ghost written by Diane Bradley

Memoir: Hillsider: Snapshots of a Curious Political Journeywritten by Don Ness

Art, Photography: The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014 curated by Peter Spooner, The Tweed Museum of Art


Fiction: Sins of Our Fathers, written by Shawn Lawrence Otto

Poetry: Approaching the Gate, by Lynette Reini-Grandell

General Nonfiction: Twin Ports by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Duluth-Superior, written by Aaron Isaacs

Children's Literature: Rhoda's Rock Hunt, written by Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Rooted in Iron and Ice: Innocent Years on the Mesabi, written by Gary W. Barfknecht

Art, Photography: Saved by Beauty: Sister Mary Charles McGough, OSBwritten by John Schifsky, Sister Lois Eckes, Peter Spooner, Dustin Lyon and Meridith Schifsky


Fiction: Tamarack County written by William Kent Krueger

Poetry: Bound Together: Like the Grasses by Deborah Cooper, Candace Ginsberg, Ann Floreen Niedringhaus, Ellie Schoenfeld, Anne Simpson

General Nonfiction: The Pie Place Cafe Cookbook: Food & Stories Seasoned by the North Shore written by Kathy Rice

Children's Literature: The Best Part of a Sauna written by Sheryl Peterson, illustrated by Kelly Dupre

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Threads of Hope: Caring for Babies Across Three Continents written by Martha Aas, M.D.


Fiction: The Lighthouse Road written by Peter Geye

Poetry: The First Day of Spring in Northern Minnesota by Jim Johnson

General Nonfiction: Hawk Ridge: Minnesota's Birds of Prey written by Laura Erickson, illustrated by Betsy Bowen

Children's Literature: Summer of the Wolves written by Polly Carlson-Voiles

Art, Photography: Another Year on the Gunflint Trail by Nace Hagemann

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: My Mother Is Now Earth written by Mark Anthony Rolo


Fiction: Dead Ahead: A Jo Spence Mystery written by Jen Wright

Poetry: Tumbled Dry by Charmaine Donovan

General Nonfiction: Ancient Earth and the First Ancestors: A Cultural and Geological Journey written by Ron Morton and Carl Gawboy, illustrated by Carl Gawboy

Children's Literature: Unforgettable written by Loretta Ellsworth

Art, Photography: Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota's National Park  photography by Don Breneman, weather commentary by Mark Seeley

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Shelter written by Sarah Stonich


Fiction: Safe from the Sea written by Peter Geye

Poetry: On Speaking Terms by Connie Wanek

General Nonfiction: Paddle North: Canoeing the Boundary Waters-Quetico Wilderness written by Greg Breining, photography by Layne Kennedy

Children's Literature: Minnesota's Hidden Alphabet written by David LaRochelle, photography by Joe Rossi

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Brown Sugar Syrup and Jack Pine Sand  written by Dennis Herschbach


Fiction: Minnesota Coldwritten by Cynthia Kraack

Poetry: The Dark Honey: New & Used Poems by Ellie Schoenfeld

General Nonfiction: Minong - The Good Place: Ojibwe and Isle Royale written by Timothy Cochrane

Children's Literature: Wintering written by William Durbin

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Knife Island written by Stephen Dahl


Fiction: A Finntown of the Soul written by Patricia Eilola (Library Call # PS3555.I45 F57 2008)

Poetry: Trail Guide to the Northland Experience in Prints and Poetry by Northern Printmakers Alliance and Lake Superior Writers (Library Call # PS584.T735 2008)

General Nonfiction: Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota written by Barbara W. Sommer (Library Call # S932.M45 S66 2008)

Children's Literature: Someone Walks By: The Wonders of Winter Wildlife written by Polly Carlson-Voiles (Library Call # Children's Lit 591.723 C284so)

Art, Photography: Driftwood: Stories Picked Up along the Shore written by Howard Sivertson (Library Call # F552.S56 2008)

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range written by Aaron Brown (Library Call # PS3602.R652 O94 2008)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Thunder Bay: A Cork O'Connor Mystery written by William Kent Krueger (Library Call # PS3561 .R766 T48 2007)

Nonfiction, Memoir: Morgan Park: Duluth, U.S. Steel, and the Forging of a Company Town written by Arnold R. Alanen (Library Call # HN80.D88 A53 2007)

Children's Literature: Agate: What Good is a Moose? written by Joy Morgan Dey and illustrated by Nikki Johnson (Library Call # Children's Lit Prim-Fic D5283ag )

Art, Photography : Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art, and Craft of an Ancient Tree written by North House Folk School (Library Call # TT199.7 .C45 2007)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The North Shore written by Gunnard Landers (Library Call # PS3562 .A4755 N67 2006)

Nonfiction, Memoir: Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence written by Matthew Sanford (Library Call # WL346 S217w 2006)

Children's Literature: Fearless John: The Legend of John Beargrease written by Kelly Emerling Rauzi and illustrated by Mila Horak (Library Call # Children's 977.6 R251f)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Zoe's Good-bye written and illustrated by Mary Schlangen (Library Call # PRIM-FIC S3385zo)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Salmela: Architect by Thomas Fisher, with photographs by Peter Bastianelli-Kerze (Library Call # NA737 .S317 F57 2005)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Ojibwe Tales: Stories of the Ojibwe People by Art Przybilla with the aid of the late Randy Councillor (Library Call # Children's 398.2 P973o)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Minnesota's Iron Country: Rich Ore, Rich Lives by Marvin Lamppa (Library Call # F606 .L29 2004)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Uncommon Light: A Collection of Poems by Jeanine Lamoureux Emmons, Gladys Koski Holmes, Kathleen McQuillan, Stephanie Stevens, and Sheila Packa (Library Call # PS589 .U536 2003)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: V Is for Viking: A Minnesota Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by Karen Latham and Rebecca Latham (Library Call # Children's 977.6 W274v)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Borealis by Jeff Humphries with woodcut prints by Betsy Bowen (Library Call # PS3608 .U57 B67 2002)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: The Art of the Canoe with Joe Seliga by Jerry Stelmok with photography by Deborah Sussex (Library Call # VM353 .S767 2002)


Schooners, Skiffs & Steamships: Stories along Lake Superior Water Trails by Howard Sivertson (Library Call # F552 .S57 2001)


John Blair and the Great Hinckley Fire by Josephine Nobisso (Library Call # Children's 977.6 N745J)


50 Circuit Hikes by Howard Fenton (Library Call # GV199.42 .M6 F46 1999)


Cold Comfort by Barton Sutter (Library Call # PS3569 .U87 Z464 1998)


Just Above Water by Louis Jenkins (Library Call # PS3560 .E488 J87 1997x)


Silent Words by Joan M. Drury (Library Call # PS3554 .R827 S5 1996)


The Duluth Portfolio by Craig and Nadine Blacklock (Library Call # V0Y F614 .D8B53 1995x)


The Illustrated Voyageur by Howard Sivertson (Library Call # V0Y F614 .G7 S58 1994)


Walking the Rez Road by Jim Northrup (Library Call # V0Y PS3564 .O765 W3 1993)


The Grand Portage Story by Carolyn Gilman (Library Call # F614 .G7 G55 1992)


North Writers: A Strong Woods Collection edited by John Henricksson (Library Call # QH14 .N67 1991)


Gunflint: Reflections on the Trail by Justine Kerfoot (Library Call # F612 .B73 K468 1991)


The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen (Library Call # INTR-FIC P3324WI)


Quiet Magic by Sam Cook (Library Call # V0Y F610 .C65 1989x)


Honorable Mentions (by year of publication)


Fiction: Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny written by Thomas D. Peacock

Poetry: The Way She Told Her Story by Diane Jarvenpa

Nonfiction:  Whaleback Ships and the American Steel Barge Company written by C. Roger Pellett

Children's Literature:  Where I Fly: A Hockey Story written and illustrated by K. M. Allen

Memoir:  Sawbill: A Search for Place written by Jennifer Case


Fiction: Going Coastal written by Lake Superior Writers

Poetry: Blue Window: Poems by Deborah Gordon Cooper

Nonfiction: Flames of Discontent: the 1916 Minnesota Iron Ore Strike written by Gary Kaunonen

Children's Literature: Dead Man's Rapids written by William Durbin, Barbara Durbin

Memoir: Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir  written by Douglas Wood


Fiction: The Tao of Nookomis written by Thomas D. Peacock

Poetry: Meridian by Mark Maire

Nonfiction: Jay Cooke State Park to Two Harbors: A Walking Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail written by Ron Morton and Judy Gibbs

Children's Literature: Storm's Coming! written by Margi Preus, illustrated by David Geister

Memoir: The Contemplative Paddler's Fireside Companion written by Timothy McDonnell

Art, Photography: In and Out of Context by Tim White with excerpts from 21 Northland writers


Fiction: Relentless: A Striker Myster Novel written by Marcus Bruning and Jen Wright

Poetry: Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior edited by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, and Pamela Mittlefehldt

Nonfiction: North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota's Superior Coast written by Chel Anderson and Adelheid Fischer

Children's Literature: Norman Loves the Lake, written by Debbie Hoven

Memoir: Ship Captain's Daughter: Growing Up on the Great Lakes written by Ann M. Lewis

Art, Photography: Portrait of an Artist, paintings by Sarah M. Brokke


Fiction: A River Through Two Harbors, written by Dennis Herschbach

Poetry: Night Train Red Dust: Poems of the Iron Range, by Sheila Packa

General Nonfiction: Sawdust in Their Blood, written by Jim Boyd

Children's Literature: Wilder's Foe, written by Diane Bradley

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Zenith City: Stories from Duluth, written by Michael Fedo

Art, Photography: The Other Side of Wilderness written by Richard C. Johnson


Fiction: Timber: Fire in the Pines written by A.L. Sanderson

Poetry: Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems by Louis Jenkins

General Nonfiction: Esko's Corner: An Illustrated History of Esko and Thomson Township written by Esko Historical Society

Children's Literature: Finding Hope written by Michelle Myers Lackner

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky written by Kent Nerburn


Fiction: The Long-Shining Waters written by Danielle Sosin

Poetry: Reindeer Camps and Other Poems by Barton Sutter

General Nonfiction: Rez Salute: The Real Healer Dealer written by Jim Northrup

Children's Literature: Frozen written by Mary Casanova

Art, Photography: Words and Pictures written by Louis Jenkins, images by Richard C. Johnson

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Two Bucks and a Can of Gas written by Robert R. Olson


Fiction: The Winds of Change written by Duane Schwartz

Poetry: Migrations: Poetry and Prose for Life's Transitions edited by Sheila Packa

General Nonfiction: Twelve Owls written by Laura Erickson, illustrations by Betsy Bowan

Children's Literature: Utterly Otterly Night written by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt

Art, Photography: Old Minnesota written by Nace Hagemann

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Hauling Water: Reflections on Making a Home in the North Woods written by Becca Manlove, illustrated by Sharon Brin Manlove


Fiction: The Burying Place written by Brian Freeman

Poetry: Under the Influence of Lilacs by Deborah Gordon Cooper

General Nonfiction: The Assassination of Hole in the Day written by Anton Treuer

Children's Literature: Big Belching Bog written by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowan

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Tales from the Creel written by Rudy Senarighi


Fiction: Big Noise: A Jo Spence Mystery written by Jen Wright

Poetry: The Gravity of Flesh by Jill Breckenridge

General Nonfiction: 61 Gems on Highway 61 written by Kathryn Mayo and William Mayo

Children's Literature: Manoomin: A Wild Rice Adventure written by Joshua Whitebird

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Chaos and Grit: Barbless Bits & Little Chits  written by Phyllis Burgess


Fiction: Shelter Half written by Carol Bly (Library Call # PS3552.L89 S54 2008)

Poetry: Between the Ceiling & the Moon written by Deborah Gordon Cooper (Library Call # PS3603.O5826 B48 2008)

General Nonfiction: Invincible: History of the Duluth Boat Club written by Michael J. Cochran (Library Call # GV793.C63 2008)

Children's Literature: Face to Face with Wolves written by Jim and Judy Brandenburg (Library Call # Children's Lit 599 B817fa)

Art, Photography: Edge of Forever: Images of Lake Superior written by Peter Scott Eide (Library Call # F552.E343 2008)

Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Blueberry Summers: Growing Up at the Lake written by Curtiss Anderson (Library Call # F615.S2 A53 2008)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The Mother Tongue written by Sheila Packa (Library Call # PS3566 .A315 M68 2007)

Nonfiction, Memoir: Skiing the North Shore: A Guide to Cross Country Trails in Minnesota's Spectacular Lake Superior Region written by Andrew Slade (Library Call # GV854.5.M6 S53 2007)

Children's Literature: Storm Codes written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Christina Rodriguez (Library Call # Children's Lit Prim-Fic M4534st )

Art, Photography : We Are At Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People written by Bruce White (Library Call # TR654 .W363 2007)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The Keeper's Daughter written by Leanne Denise Knott (Library Call # PS3611 .N688 K44 2006)

Nonfiction, Memoir: By the Ore Docks: A Working People's History of Duluth written by Richard Hudelson and Carl Ross (Library Call # HD8085 .D88 H83 2006)

Children's Literature: The Legend of Minnesota written by Kathy-jo Wargin and illustrated by David Geister (Library Call # Children's 398.2 W2746Leg)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger (Library Call # PS3561 .R766 M47 2005)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Rudy! The People's Governor by Betty Wilson (Library Call # F606 .P476 W557 2005)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Sea Smoke: Prose Poems by Louis Jenkins (Library Call # PS3560 .E488 S43 2004)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Pride of the Inland Seas: An illustrated History of the Port of Duluth by Bill Beck and C. Patrick Labadie (Library Call # HE554 .D8 B43 2004)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Mittens in the Boundary Waters by Larry Ahlman (Library Call # PS3601 .H563 M5 2001)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Will to Murder: The True Story behind the Crimes & Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Killings by Gail Feichtinger with John DeSanto and Gary Waller (Library Call # HV6534 .D88 F45 2003)


Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Chasing Fire:Danger inCanoeCountry by Earl Fleck (Library Call # PRIM-FIC F593CK)

Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Stories in Log and Stone: The Legacy of the New Deal in Minnesota State Parks by David R. Benson (Library Call # SB482 .M6 B46 2002)


These Granite Islands: A Novel
 by Sarah Stonich (Library Call # PS3569 .T6455 T47 2001)


The Journal of Otto Peltonen, A Finnish Immigrant by William Durbin (Library Call # INTR-FIC D953J0)


Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger (Library Call # PS3561 .R766 B68 1999x)


Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger (Library Call # PS3561 .R766 I69 1998)


Hometown Folks by Gerald Carlson (Library Call # PS3553 .A7323 H66 1997)


The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem by Miron Heinselman (Library Call # QH 105 .M55 H43 1996)


Gathering: A Northwoods Counting Book by Betsy Bowen (Library Call # Children's 513.2 B786G)


The Birch: Bright Tree of Life and Legend by John Peyton (Library Call # VOY SD397 .B5 P49 1994) Gooseberry by Nadine and Craig Blacklock (Library Call # VOY F612 .L3 B53 1994)


For the Birds: An Uncommon Guide by Laura Erickson (Library Call # QL699 .E74 1994)


Canoe Country Wildlife: A Field Guide to the Boundary Waters and Quetico by Mark Stensaas (Library Call # QL185 .S74 1993)


Witch Tree by Joanne Hart and Hazel Belvo (Library Call # VOY PS3558 .A6817 W5 1992)


Distant Fires by Scott Anderson (Library Call # VOY GV776.15 .A2 A53 1990)