(Shanta Lee Gander, left, and Kekla Magoon, right)


Magoon’s Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People is a finalist in the Creative Nonfiction category, and Gander’s GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues is a finalist for Poetry.

In years past, the Vermont Book Award was a single award: finalists were named in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s Writing, but only one book was the year’s winning title. In 2021, the award became a collaboration between VCFA, Vermont Humanities, and the Vermont Department of Libraries, and with that change in leadership came a change in title to the Vermont Book Awards. Now, there are three winners each year—one from Fiction, one from Creative Nonfiction, and one from Poetry, with Children’s Writing now included in the other three categories.

Revolution in Our Time (Candlewick Press, November 2021) was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book, in addition to being a Junior Library Guild Selection and receiving starred reviews from The Horn BookPublisher’s Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews. Magoon was featured in a recent article in The Bridge and in an interview with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb.

GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA (Diode Editions, June 2021) received an honorable mention for the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize and positive reviews from the Poetry Foundation, Seven Days, Kenyon Review, and The Adroit Journal. Read the glowing review in Seven Days here.

The 2021 Vermont Book Awards winners will be announced at a celebration on Saturday, April 30 at 7 pm ET in VCFA’s Alumnx Hall. The event is hosted by Vermont Humanities, who will also reveal their choice for Vermont Reads 2022, their one-book community reading program, during the evening. Tickets for the celebration, which will include dessert, nonalcoholic drinks, and free books, can be purchased online at bit.ly/vt-book.

Get your copy of both of these excellent titles from your local independent bookstore or online from the publishers: