The 27th annual Nevada Writers Hall of Fame welcomes two new inductees, poet Shaun Griffin and folklorist and historian Ronald M. James. This year's ceremony will take place Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 in the Milt Glick Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union. Alicia Barber, author of Reno's Big Gamble, will be awarded with the 2014 Silver Pen Award at the ceremony.
Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Award: Shaun Griffin and Ronald M. James
The Nevada Writers Hall of Fame is an annual event held to honor Nevada's finest writers and to recognize emerging writers for their work. The first ceremony was held in 1988 and since then, 51 writers have been selected to be a part of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Shaun Griffin is a poet and prominent figure in the northern Nevada community. Griffin has lived in Nevada since 1978. He has written many soulful poems such as What the Desert Surrenders, Bathing in the River of Ashes and Woodsmoke, and Wind and the Peregrine.
"I believe poetry has a central role in our lives - if we slow down and find the one poem that excites us," Griffin said. "From there on, it is like returning to a fountain for fresh water. We can be a culture of poetry readers...if we listen for the voice lying dormant on the shelves."
Griffin received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995 and the Silver Pen award as an "author of promise" from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1998.
In addition to being a writer, Griffin co-founded Community Chest, a non-profit agency serving children and families in northwestern Nevada since 1991.
Ronald M. James
Ronald M. James is the author of a dozen books that include Roar and the Silence: A History of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode and Uncovering Nevada's Past: A Primary Source History of the Silver State. Additionally, James has written many published articles on history, folklore and archaeology.
James received the "Award of Special Recognition" from the National Mining History Association and the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History for The Gold Rush Letters of E. Allen Grosh and Hosea B. Grosh.
James graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in anthropology and history. He serves as an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department at the University.
James is the current executive director of the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture. He previously served on the advisory board of the National Park Service, and recently stepped down after serving as Nevada's State Historic Preservation Officer for three decades.
The Silver Pen Award: Alicia Barber
The Silver Pen Award is given to emerging and mid-career writers of promise. The Silver Pen Award was established in 1996.
This year's Silver Pen recipient, Alicia Barber, is the author of Reno's Big Gamble,a book that chronicles the city's changing fortunes and analyzes the relationship between Reno's reputation and its development.
Barber has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught at the University of Nevada, Reno from 2003-2013. Nevada history and museum studies were some of the courses she offered. Barber was also the director of the Oral History Program from 2009-2013. She is the co-founder and editor of the Reno Historical website and mobile app.
Hall of Fame Awards
The Nevada Writers Hall of Fame was conceived by former Friends of the University Libraries President Marilyn Melton in 1988. She envisioned two purposes: an annual event honoring Nevada's finest writers and a stimulus to encourage excellence among emerging writers in the Silver State.
The names of all the authors who have been inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame are prominently displayed on a wall of honor in the Leslie Harvey and Robert George Whittemore Tower Entry and Reception Gallery of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.
Honorees are selected based on their body of work, critical recognition and a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state. A selection committee of representatives from throughout the state chooses the inductees to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and the Silver Pen Award recipients.
This year's reception and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Tickets are available for $40 per person. Complimentary parking will be available in the metered parking lot at the corner of Virginia and 15th streets, across from Lawlor Events Center. For more information or to make reservations, contact Breanne Standingwater at 775-682-6022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.