Book Markers 03.21.13

Local book news

Two Awards, Two Very Different Writers
    From hard-earned merit to simple reminders that the stuff’s out there to prompts to pry your eyes from the wrecked lives on “World’s Worst Tenants,” there can never be too many literary awards. Agreed? James Salter of Bridgehampton, one of the country’s most admired fiction writers, bagged another earlier this month, and it’s new. The Windham Campbell Prizes “recognize emerging and established writers for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction, and drama,” according to the Web site, which goes on to describe the awards as “the MacArthur Genius Grants just for writing.”
    It means $150,000 for Mr. Salter. His books — always masculine, often sensual, in clear, unadorned prose — date from “The Hunters,” a 1956 novel based on his experiences as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, to the legendary “A Sport and a Pastime,” from 1967, to “Last Night,” a collection of stories published in 2005. Next month, at the age of 87, he’ll be coming out with “All That Is,” a novel. An awards ceremony will be held on Sept. 10 at Yale University.
    Also just announced were the finalists for the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, among them one Davida Singer for her collection “Port of Call,” from Plain View Press. She’s the author of “Shelter Island Poems,” published by Canio’s Editions in 1995. Ms. Singer, who teaches writing and literature at Hunter College and the School of Visual Arts, has divided her time between New York City and the East End for 20 years or so. In addition to explorations of her relationship with her aging parents and peregrinations to Vermont, Montreal, and Florida, “Port of Call” features a “Long Island: East End” section of nighttime walks in the countryside and encounters with swallows, raccoons, and imagined parents “posed like frozen deer / among the trees.”
    The award is part of the Publishing Triangle Awards, “honoring the best lesbian and gay fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2012.” They will be given out on April 25 at 7 p.m. at the New School in New York.

Trip to Zebratown
    The story goes that Greg Donaldson’s 1994 book, “The Ville,” used a photo of Kevin Davis on the cover, which, it just so happens, resulted in his subsequent identification and incarceration. But no hard feelings. The two later got together, made amends, and started a project that led to another book by Mr. Donaldson, “Zebratown,” which came out in 2010. It chronicles life after close to a decade of lockup for Mr. Davis, a boxer, welder, and former resident of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn who tries to start over in Elmira, N.Y., where he becomes involved in an interracial relationship with a single mother of a 6-year-old girl.
    Mr. Donaldson, a professor at John Jay College who has a house in East Hampton, will talk about his work and sign copies of his books at the East Hampton Library on Saturday starting at 3 p.m.