For those of you who read competitively, you may commence licking your page-turners. Literary Arts has announced the 2022 Portland Book Awards finalists, and the crop is looking mighty. The poetry selection is particularly poppin' with Portland favorites Emily Kendal Frey, Zachary Schomburg, and Dao Strom as three of the five finalists.

It's nice to see Portland's Fonograf Editions retake ground ceded to big name publishers. As I said in 2019, seeing national publishing houses on the list of nominees could simply mean bigger, better book deal for Oregon writers. However, Oregon—especially Portland—was once known for its strong self-publishing and book arts scene.

Also of note: This is one of the years where the awards ceremony recognizes graphic novel authors—Portland has more than a few. Typically the Graphic Literature Award and Drama Award switch back and forth bi-annually, so this year's graphic novel category covers books published in the past two years.

The graphic novel finalists include none other than two fairly famous comics-world Portlanders, Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber. Sarah Mirk—who was a Mercury reporter ten years ago—is also nominated for the collection that took her almost ten years to make, Guantanamo Voices. It's always odd that comics for all ages end up in the same category because in this house we also stan Breena Bard, Cat Farris, and Aron Nels Steinke. Anyone who wins will be more than worthy.

Check out the list of finalists after the jump. We'll have an update on winners after Monday, April 25, or you can check the festivities out for yourself at the awards show. This year's will be hosted by Kesha Ajose-Fisher—who won the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction in 2020 for her first novel No God Like the Mother.

Here are the finalists:

Award for Graphic Literature

Breena Bard, Trespassers: A Graphic Novel (Graphix, Scholastic)
Cat Farris, The Ghoul Next Door (HarperAlley, HarperCollins)
Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen? (DC Comics)
Sarah Mirk, Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World's Most Infamous Prison (Abrams ComicArts)
Aron Nels Steinke, Field Trip: A Graphic Novel (Mr. Wolf’s Class #4) (Graphix, Scholastic)

Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry

Irene Cooper, spare change (Finishing Line Press)
Emily Kendal Frey, LOVABILITY (Fonograf Editions)
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, When We Talk of Stolen Sisters: New and Revised Poems (Not a Pipe Publishing)
Zachary Schomburg, Fjords vol. 2 (Black Ocean)
Dao Strom, Instrument (Fonograf Editions)

Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction

Bryna Goodman, The Suicide of Miss Xi: Democracy and Disenchantment in the Chinese Republic (Harvard University Press)
Jacob Darwin Hamblin, The Wretched Atom: America’s Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology (Oxford University Press)
Annelise Heinz, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture (Oxford University Press)
Kenneth I. Helphand, Hops: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape (Oregon State University Press)
Kathleen Dean Moore, Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World (Counterpoint Press)

Ken Kesey Award for Fiction

Callum Angus, A Natural History of Transition (Metonymy Press)
Omar El Akkad, What Strange Paradise: A Novel (Alfred A. Knopf)
Tracey Lange, We Are the Brennans: A Novel (Celadon Books)
A. E. Osworth, We Are Watching Eliza Bright: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing)
Chris Stuck, Give My Love to the Savages: Stories (Amistad, HarperCollins)

Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction

David Biespiel, A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas (Kelson Books)
Allison Cobb, Plastic: An Autobiography (Nightboat Books)
Mary Emerick, The Last Layer of the Ocean: Kayaking through Love and Loss on Alaska's Wild Coast (Oregon State University Press)
Aaron Gilbreath, The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley (Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press)
Tina Ontiveros, rough house: a memoir (Oregon State University Press)

Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature

J. C. Geiger, The Great Big One (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Courtney Gould of Salem, The Dead and the Dark (Wednesday Books)
April Henry, Eyes of the Forest (Henry Holt and Company, Macmillan)
April Henry, Playing with Fire (Henry Holt and Company, Macmillan)
Deborah Hopkinson, We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance (Scholastic Focus)

Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children’s Literature

Waka T. Brown, While I Was Away (Quill Tree Books, HarperCollins)
Cathy Camper, Ten Ways to Hear Snow (Kokila, Penguin Random House)
Jennie Englund, Taylor Before and After (Square Fish, Macmillan)
Gabi Snyder, Listen (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster)
Tracy Subisak, Jenny Mei Is Sad (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Special Award: The Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award

In addition to announcing the finalists, Literary Arts revealed it will award Cynthia Whitcomb—a playwright, screenwriter and writing coach of Wilsonville, Oregon—the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award. The award recognizes "the finest achievements of Oregon authors in several genres."