Previous Winners

Listed by Year of Publication

2020 & 2021

  • Fiction: Carnival Lights by Chris Stark
  • Poetry: Roze and Blud by Jayson Iwen
  • Nonfiction: Duluth: An Urban Biography by Tony Dierckins
  • Children’s Literature: The Fire written by Thomas D Peacock, illustrated by Anna Granholm
  • Memoir: The View From Split Rock: A Lighthouse Keeper’s Life by Lee Radzak with Curt Brown


  • Fiction: Jack & the Ghost written by Chan Poling, illustrated by Lucy Michell
  • Poetry: Hawks on High: Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season by Phil Fitzpatrick, illustrated by Penny Perry
  • Nonfiction: Grandfather’s Blood Memories and Unbroken Spirit by Sharon Doolittle Shuck
  • Children’s Literature: The Lost Forest by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen
  • Memoir: Rooted in Rocky Soil: A Mostly Peaceful Life Interrupted by Moments of Something Else Entirely by Ray Thielbar, Rose Thielbar


  • 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 Journey written 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, OSB, written 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
  • Poetry: Trail Guide to the Northland Experience in Prints and Poetry by Northern Printmakers Alliance and Lake Superior Writers
  • General Nonfiction: Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota written by Barbara W. Sommer
  • Children’s Literature: Someone Walks By: The Wonders of Winter Wildlife written by Polly Carlson-Voiles
  • Art, Photography: Driftwood: Stories Picked Up along the Shore written by Howard Sivertson
  • Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range written by Aaron Brown


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Thunder Bay: A Cork O’Connor Mystery written by William Kent Krueger
  • Nonfiction, Memoir: Morgan Park: Duluth, U.S. Steel, and the Forging of a Company Town written by Arnold R. Alanen
  • Children’s Literature: Agate: What Good is a Moose? written by Joy Morgan Dey and illustrated by Nikki Johnson
  • Art, Photography : Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art, and Craft of an Ancient Tree written by North House Folk School


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: The North Shore written by Gunnard Landers
  • Nonfiction, Memoir: Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence written by Matthew Sanford
  • Children’s Literature: Fearless John: The Legend of John Beargrease written by Kelly Emerling Rauzi and illustrated by Mila Horak


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Zoe’s Good-bye written and illustrated by Mary Schlangen
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Salmela: Architect by Thomas Fisher, with photographs by Peter Bastianelli-Kerze


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Ojibwe Tales: Stories of the Ojibwe People by Art Przybilla with the aid of the late Randy Councillor
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: Minnesota’s Iron Country: Rich Ore, Rich Lives by Marvin Lamppa


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Uncommon Light: A Collection of Poems by Jeanine Lamoureux Emmons, Gladys Koski Holmes, Kathleen McQuillan, Stephanie Stevens, and Sheila Packa
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: V Is for Viking: A Minnesota Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by Karen Latham and Rebecca Latham


  • Fiction, Poetry, Drama: Borealis by Jeff Humphries with woodcut prints by Betsy Bowen
  • Nonfiction, Art, Scholarship: The Art of the Canoe with Joe Seliga by Jerry Stelmok with photography by Deborah Sussex


  • Schooners, Skiffs & Steamships: Stories along Lake Superior Water Trails by Howard Sivertson


  • John Blair and the Great Hinckley Fire by Josephine Nobisso


  • 50 Circuit Hikes by Howard Fenton


  • Cold Comfort by Barton Sutter


  • Just Above Water by Louis Jenkins


  • Silent Words by Joan M. Drury


  • The Duluth Portfolio by Craig and Nadine Blacklock


  • The Illustrated Voyageur by Howard Sivertson


  • Walking the Rez Road by Jim Northrup


  • The Grand Portage Story by Carolyn Gilman


  • North Writers: A Strong Woods Collection edited by John Henricksson


  • Gunflint: Reflections on the Trail by Justine Kerfoot


  • The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen


  • Quiet Magic by Sam Cook