We’re very proud to share that Brent Martin’s book, “George Masa’s Wild Vision,” which was published earlier this year, has been selected for the 2022 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Continue reading the press release below:
The Western North Carolina Historical Association selects Brent Martin’s “George Masa’s Wild Vision” as winner of 2022 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award
The Western North Carolina Historical has selected author Brent Martin’s George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina for the 2022 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Originated by the Louis Lipinsky family, the Award has been presented annually by the Western North Carolina Historical Association since 1955 for printed works that focus special attention on Western North Carolina. In order to more broadly support the writers of Western North Carolina, a December 13, 2022 award ceremony will celebrate all five finalists.
Of the work, literary award committee chair Catherine Frank said, “In George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina Brent Martin brings together Masa’s arresting images and his own reflections on walking in Masa’s footsteps to tell one of our region’s important stories in an innovative way. Masa played a pivotal role in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Appalachian Trail through photographs that allowed viewers to experience places they would never visit. Martin creates a portrait of a man and a region we now know a little better.”
A prize of $2,500.00 accompanies the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and will be presented to Brent Martin on Tuesday, December 13 at 5:00pm during an in-person event at UNC-Asheville’s Reuter Center that will include readings by the finalists. The event will also be live-streamed via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. Registration is available for this free event at: www.wnchistory.org. Light refreshments will be served.
The WNC Historical Association presented the first Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to Wilma Dykeman in 1955 for The French Broad. Last year’s winner was Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle for her novel, Even As We Breathe. Other authors who have received the award include Charles Frazier, Robert Morgan, John Parris, Gail Godwin, John Ehle, Robert Brunk, Michael McFee, Lee Smith, Ron Rash, Wiley Cash, Wayne Caldwell, Fiona Ritchie, and Doug Orr.
The Award Panel this year consists of: Catherine Frank, Chair, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville; James Bradley, Secretary of Education for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Wayne Caldwell, author and former Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award winner; Dee James, professor emeritus, UNC-Asheville; Leslee Johnson, English department, UNC-Asheville; Jasmin Morrell, writer and co-editor of The Porch magazine; Tom Muir, Historic Site Manager, Thomas Wolfe Memorial; Terry Roberts, Director, National Paideia Center and former Thomas Wolfe Literary Award winner; Jim Stokely, President, Wilma Dykeman Legacy.
This year’s finalists were chosen from an original group of over 50 nominations. The finalists, listed below in alphabetical order, encompass a broad range of genres and forms.
Anne Chesky Smith, Murder at Asheville’s Battery Park Hotel: The Search for Helen Clevenger’s Killer
Lance Greene, Their Determination to Remain; A Cherokee Community’s Resistance to the Trail of Tears
Brent Martin, George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina
Heather Newton, McMullen Circle
John Ross, Through the Mountains: The French Broad River and Time
The Western North Carolina Historical Association is a nonprofit with a mission of promoting and preserving regional history. For more information, please call WNCHA at 828.253.9231 or visit www.wnchistory.org.
Folks are welcomed to purchase tickets for the finalist celebration event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thomas-wolfe-memorial-literary-award-celebration-tickets-469297329947
You can find the book “George Masa’s Wild Vision” in bookstores around Western North Carolina including Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, City Light’s Bookstore in Sylva, Novel Escape in Franklin, and at the Alarka Expeditions/Blue Ridge Bartram Trail Conservancy office at the Cowee School. You can also purchase Brent’s book on the Alarka Expeditions website.
|Brent Martin is the author of three chap- book collections of poetry and of The Changing Blue Ridge Mountains: Essays on Journeys Past and Present. His poetry and essays have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Pisgah Review, Tar River Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Eno Journal, New Southerner, Kudzu Literary Journal, Smoky Mountain News and elsewhere. He lives in the Cowee community in Western North Carolina, where he and his wife, Angela Faye Martin, run Alarka Institute.