Published: July 15, 2004

Center for Great Lakes Culture Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Awards Competition

Contact: C. Kurt Dewhurst, Center for Great Lakes Culture, (517) 355-2370,; or Kristan Tetens, University Relations, (517) 355-5633,

Outstanding books and museum exhibition celebrate unique culture of region

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Center for Great Lakes Culture at Michigan State University has announced the winners of the fourth annual Great Lakes Culture Awards.

The awards recognize books and museum exhibitions that contribute to an understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the Great Lakes region.

“There is a growing body of new work on the culture of the Great Lakes and creative expressions related to life in this region. This group of awardees represents a rich resource for those interested in better understanding the life and people of the Great Lakes region,” says C. Kurt Dewhurst, director of the center.

Established in 1999, the Center for Great Lakes Culture is dedicated to the understanding and interpretation of the cultural history and expressions of the diverse peoples, traditions and customs of the Great Lakes region and the region’s interaction with the world. The center is part of the College of Arts & Letters at MSU and is housed in the MSU Museum.

The nomination deadline for next year’s competition is Dec. 1. Nominations should be made directly to the Center for Great Lakes Culture. For more information visit

Winners of the fourth annual Center for Great Lakes Culture Awards include:

CGLC BEST BOOK AWARD FOR NON-FICTION: The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas by Jerry Dennis, published by Thomas Dunne Books, 2003.This book by a Michigan author is one of the most complete books ever written about the history, nature and science of the remarkable Great Lakes. Among its numerous positive reviews is this one from Booklist: “Dennis surveys the Inland Seas through the viewpoint of his lake-faring rambles in three different vessels: schooner, racing yacht, and voyageur canoe. As he passes the numerous spectacular sights the Great Lakes afford sailors, Dennis recalls their associated history in a vibrant blend of personal observation and geological, historical, and environmental anecdote.”

CGLC BEST BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION: How to Fly by Rachael Perry. Published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2004, this collection of stories recounts the lives of healers, ice sculptors, visionaries and rainmakers in Michigan. Perry is an important up-and-coming writer who explores the lives of the people of the Great Lakes region in sensitive and perceptive ways.

CGLC BEST BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY:  You Can't Go Back, Exactly, by Louis Daniel Brodsky. First published in 1989 and republished by Time Being Books in 2003, this volume of poetry describes the experience of youthful summers in Wisconsin at Camp Nebagamon for Boys. The poems capture the camp experience and the lasting impact of this popular phenomenon in the Great Lakes region.

CGLC BEST EXHIBIT AWARD: Shared Waters: Natives and French Newcomers on the Great Lakes, an exhibition sponsored and exhibited by the Fort Miami Heritage Society in St. Joseph, Michigan. Although the exhibit focuses on events in the coastal region of southwest Michigan, specifically Fort Miami and Fort St. Joseph, its subject is regional in scope, addressing interactions between native nations and the French as they moved through the Great Lakes region to develop trade, establish missions and colonize this part of the "New World.” The exhibition also serves as a catalyst for the presentation and discussion of themes and issues of cultural diversity and inclusiveness.