UW Professor Wins High Plains Book Award

October 17, 2011

University of Wyoming Department of English Professor Alyson Hagy is the recipient of the High Plains Book Award for the best book of fiction. It is the second time she has won the award, previously receiving the best woman writer award.

Hagy, also an MFA Program in Creative Writing faculty member, was honored for her latest book, "Ghosts of Wyoming," described as "an unsentimental vision of the West, old and new." Her book explores the hardscrabble lives and terrain of America's least-populous state. "Ghosts of Wyoming" explores both the state's colorful pioneer past and brings to life the not-often-heard voices of oil field workers, rock climbers and those left behind by the latest boom and bust. The book also updates several traditional ghost stories set in Wyoming.

"Ghosts of Wyoming" is Hagy's sixth work of fiction, which earlier this semester won the 2011 Devil's Kitchen Award in Prose from Southern Illinois University. Her most recent novel, "Snow, Ashes," won prizes from both the Wyoming State Historical Society and the High Plains Literary Awards.

The High Plains Book Award is given to books that examine life on the high plains, which includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The award was presented at a ceremony at the Billings campus of Montana State University.

Hagy, who has taught at UW since 1996, is a graduate of Williams College and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan.

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