- GRADUATE STUDIES
- STUDENT LIFE
Nov. 10, 2011
Four years in the making, Beyond the Notches: Stories of Place in New Hampshire’s North Country received the 2011 award for Outstanding Book of Nonfiction at the NH Writers’ Project event last week. Editors John R. Harris, Executive Director of Franklin Pierce University’s Monadnock Institute, Kay Morgan and Mike Dickerman were on hand to receive the award on behalf of all the contributors to the book.
The award was presented by NH Writers’ Project Vice President, Mary Jo Alibrio, whose remarks included some of the comments made by the judge in nonfiction, Art Winslow, former literary editor and executive editor of The Nation and frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune Book Forum. About Beyond the Notches, Winslow wrote: “the symbiotic relationship between the land and its people is the great throbbing heart of Beyond the Notches, rendered close and dear on virtually every page, and without shyness or rancor it engages difficult questions with open-ended answers.”
Designed as a project to collect and celebrate essays “with dirt under their fingernails” by North Country writers, Beyond the Notches “manages to wed together historicism and contemporary affairs relatively seamlessly, in a continuum of consideration that balances questions of stewardship, economic necessity and communal responsibility,” according to Winslow. The book, a compendium of fifty-one new essays by an equal mix of noted New Hampshire writers and new voices from the North Country, brings together the past and present and looks to the future of this unique region.
Howard Mosher, noted fiction writer in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom has called it “The best anthology of a distinctive American region I have ever read.” In his Foreword to the book, Richard Ober, President of the NH Charitable Foundation wrote, “It’s not sentimental about the region’s stunning beauty, and it doesn’t flinch from the reality of a boom-and-bust economy. It is, in short, a collection worthy of the singular place it chronicles so well.” In addition to stunning cover art and five specially commissioned paintings by Bethlehem resident Amy Delventhal, the book is lavishly illustrated by historic and contemporary photos, maps and art by the White Mountain School of 19th century artists.
The anthology project was funded by grants and donations from Jane’s Trust, the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, Franklin Pierce University, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, and numerous family foundations and individual donors. Copies retail for $29.95 and are available in bookstores throughout the state and directly from www.northcountrynhstories.org or Bondcliff Books in Littleton, N.H.