2019 Literary Awards


2019 Awards Announcements

The Literary Awards Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association annually selects outstanding books by Wisconsin-connected authors and awards the WLA Literary Award, Outstanding Books of the Year, and Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators.

WLA Literary Award

This award is for the highest literary achievement by an author with a Wisconsin connection, for a work written in the previous year.

The Immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalistsfollows the lives of four siblings living in New York’s Lower East Side in 1969. Drawn to a mystic woman who claims to divine the date of one’s death, the Gold children learn their futures. The prophecies hang over the Gold family for the next forty years as they grapple with choices over fate, science versus nurture and what they owe to themselves and each other. Author and retired professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin Judith Claire Mitchell called The Immortalists “a beautifully written page-turner...a thoughtful and tender look at how we live our lives in our fraught and perilous times.”



Notable Wisconsin Authors & Illustrators

Designed to promote greater awareness of the state’s literary heritage, the award recognizes an author’s entire body of work. This year’s Notable Authors are: 

Ellen Kort
Michael Perry
Michelle Wildgen

Outstanding Achievement Award

These are Wisconsin authors & illustrators recognized for outstanding achievement for books published in the previous year.

Honored Authors:
The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Deborah Blum
A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamel Brinkley
Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan
Florida by Lauren Groff
How Are You Going to Save Yourself by J. M. Holmes
The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller
Light It Up by Nick Petrie
What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
Honored Poets:
The Arrows That Choose Us by Marilyn Annucci
Caught Between Coasts: Collected Poems, 1989-2018 by Jan Chronister
At the End of the War by DeWitt Clinton
Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Walking Backwards: Poems, 1966-2016 by John Koethe
A Stone to Carry Home by Andrea Potos
Midwest Medley: People and Places, Wild Things and Weather by Patricia William