Congratulations to Mónica Ojeda and translator Sarah Booker, whose Jawbone has been longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Translated Literature; and to Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, whose Look at This Blue has been longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry.
Coffee House Press is proud to have two recent titles among those longlisted last week for this year’s National Book Awards: Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, translated from the Spanish by Sarah Booker; and Look at This Blue by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.
Jawbone, the U.S. debut for Ecuadorian author Mónica Ojeda, is a deliciously wicked dive into the terrors of adolescence, examining the relationships between four teen girls who form increasingly dangerous rituals to match the cultic mythology crafted by their ringleader. Meanwhile, their new teacher’s traumatic past and unusual obsessions prove to be a threat for more than just her own sanity. “Two Catholic high school classmates bond over their mutual love of horror stories and become inseparable, near mirror images of each other,” write the judges. “[Jawbone] creates a world where villains and victims become impossible to distinguish.”
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s Look at This Blue—a multifaceted, intimately constructed single poem—forms a durational love letter to California and its people, species, horizons, disasters, and deep beauty. Hedge Coke insists upon an honest reckoning with America’s continued violence toward Earth and its indigenous people as she constructs this powerful call for resistance and healing. The judges write, “[Hedge Coke] grapples with America’s long history of violence against people, animals, and the Earth in Look at This Blue. Her book-length poem courageously warns of a dire future terrorized by mass extinction and the impacts of climate change and offers a timely—and time-sensitive—wake-up call.”
Finalists for this year’s awards in all categories will be announced Tuesday, October 4, and winners in all categories will be announced live at the National Book Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, November 16.
In 2021, longtime Coffee House Press author Karen Tei Yamashita was presented with the National Book Foundation’s lifetime achievement award, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; the same honor will go to Art Spiegelman for 2022.
All of us at Coffee House send our congratulations to Mónica, Sarah, and Allison, and our thanks to the National Book Foundation and prize judges for recognizing their literary achievements!
More About the Longlisters:
Mónica Ojeda is the author of the novels La desfiguración Silva (Premio Alba Narrativa, 2014), Nefando (Candaya, 2016), and Mandíbula (Candaya, 2018), as well as the poetry collections El ciclo de las piedras (Rastro de la Iguana, 2015) and Historia de la leche (Candaya, 2020). Her stories have been published in the anthology Emergencias: Doce cuentos iberoamericanos (Candaya, 2014) and the collections Caninos (Editorial Turbina, 2017) and Las voladoras (Páginas de Espuma, 2020). In 2017, she was included on the Bógota39 list of the best thirty-nine Latin American writers under forty, and in 2019, she received the Prince Claus Next Generation Award in honor of her outstanding literary achievements.
Sarah Booker is an educator and literary translator working from Spanish to English. Her translations include Mónica Ojeda’s Jawbone (Coffee House Press, 2022), Gabriela Ponce’s Blood Red (Restless Books, 2022), and Cristina Rivera Garza’s New and Selected Stories (Dorothy Press, 2022), Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country (Feminist Press, 2020), and The Iliac Crest (Feminist Press, 2017; And Other Stories, 2018). Her translations have also been published in journals such as the Paris Review, Asymptote, Latin American Literature Today, 3:am magazine, the Baffler, and Nashville Review. She has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently based in Morganton, North Carolina where she teaches Spanish at the North Carolina School of Science and Math.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, a Fulbright scholar, First Jade Nurtured SiHui Female International Poetry Award recipient, recent Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals, and U.S. Library of Congress Witter Bynner fellow, has written seven books of poetry, one book of nonfiction, and a play. Following former fieldworker retraining in Santa Paula and Ventura in the mid-1980s, she began teaching, and she is now a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. Hedge Coke is the editor of ten anthologies and has served as an editor and guest editor for several magazines and journals, most recently World Literature Today. A career community advocate and organizer, she most recently directed UCR’s Writers Week, the Along the Chaparral/Pūowaina project, and the Sandhill Crane Migration Retreat and Festival.