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Howe to receive lifetime achievement award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book

Alan Flurry

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book Board of Directors has selected UGA faculty member LeAnne Howe to receive the 2024 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in Oklahoma City May 11. 

The award is named after Arrell Gibson who was born December 1, 1921, in Pleasanton, Kansas. He earned a B.A. from Missouri Southern State College, an M.A. (1948) and Ph.D. (1954) from the University of Oklahoma. He was professor of history and government at Phillips University in Enid and at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Previously, the Oklahoma Center for the Book (OCB) has honored thirty-three Oklahomans with this award, including Daniel Boorstin, N. Scott Momaday, Tony Hillerman, R.A. Lafferty, Savoie Lottinville, Harold Keith, John Hope Franklin, Joyce Carol Thomas, World Literature Today, Joy Harjo,  Rilla Askew, Anna Myers, and Sheldon Russell. 

LeAnne Howe, Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in the department of English and Director of the Institute of Native American Studies, is the recipient of a United States Artists (USA) Ford Fellowship, Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, American Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, and a former Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to Jordan. 

Howe co-authored Famine Pots, The Choctaw-Irish Gift Exchange 1847-Present (2020), MSU Press, with Padraig Kirwan, Goldsmiths of London. In 2020, the Norton anthology, "When the Light of the World Was Subdued Our Songs Came Through, A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry," was published. Howe served Executive Associate editor along with Executive Editor Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate, and Managing Editor Jennifer Elise Forester.  The landmark anthology covers two centuries of Native poetry and includes 160 Native poets.  

Her other books include Shell Shaker, 2001, (American Book award) Evidence of Red, 2005, (Oklahoma Book Award),  Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story, 2007, and Choctalking on Other Realities, 2013. Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation 

"It's a great honor for me to be named in the same literary company as N. Scott Momaday, Joy Harjo,  Rilla Askew, and the editors of World Literature Today," Howe said. "This is something I would never have expected when I started writing in the tiny bedroom closet of my childhood home."   


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