Four Ashland authors receive Oregon Book Awards honors

Four Ashlanders have been honored with Oregon Book Awards and fellowships from Literary Arts for 2014.

The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award went to Vince and Patty Wixon for their decades of work promoting books, writing and literary events in Southern Oregon.

Two $2,500 fellowships went to Southern Oregon University Professor Robert Arellano, author of six novels, and to children's author Anjie Seewer Reynolds, to finish her book on two kids of different colors — blue and black — having a friendship in the South half a century ago.

The awards are sponsored annually by the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust. They will be awarded March 17 in Portland.

The Wixons are poets and were nominated by Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen, who in her nominating letter said they were "at the hub of literary arts ... using their remarkable vision and energy to benefit Southern Oregon's literary community." Their efforts include organizing the annual Ashland Book and Author Festival hosted by Friends of Hannon Library, judging the "As Time Goes By" poetry contest for poems on aging, organizing the annual William Stafford reading at SOU and serving on the board of Chautauqua Poets & Writers, which brings many noted poets to the valley.

"Many people think of Oregon literary arts as existing only in the Portland metro area and the Willamette Valley," noted Petersen. "The accomplishments of the Wixons prove that notion wrong. Southern Oregon, and thus all of Oregon, is richer because the Wixons are advocates for the literary arts."

— John Darling

Read more in Saturday's Daily Tidings.

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