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Norman, OK April 15, 2012-- Mongrel Empire Press is delighted to announce that Joe Dale Tate Nevaquaya has won the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry for his 2011 MEP collection entitled Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings.
In the 2012 Oklahoma Book Awards competition, Mongrel Empire Press was represented by two finalists: Ken Hada, for The River White and Joe Dale Tate Nevaquaya, for Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings. The Press extends its congratulations to both poets.

This is not the first laurel for Nevaquaya’s collection: Leaving Holes was the co-winner of the first Native Writers’ Circle First Book Award for Poetry (then called the Diane Decorah Award) awarded in 1992. The untimely closure of the small press that had agreed to publish the manuscript led to a 19 year lapse between the award and the book’s publication. Included in the book is a “Foreward” by Native literature scholar and author Dr. Geary Hobson, which details the manuscript’s trials on the way to print. Leaving Holes presents the complete award-winning manuscript along with a section of new writing by Nevaquaya.
Of Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings, Mvskoke poet and performer Joy Harjo writes, “These poems range from star messages tapped out on silver cords ascending from the death dreams of a dying country, to tribute poems in the form of shields, giving protection to those whom they are addressed, to reports from the edge of brokenness. It is time to celebrate the arrival of these poems, acknowledge the visions and give them their place in the circle.” Rilla Askew, author of Harpsong, declares, “From the fierce bloodletting of the early poems, through the elegant simplicity of the 'Poems for Those Remembered' to the sly sorrowful humor of 'The Mayor of Red Wasp' and the vibrant prose 'Poems of November’s Grace,' Leaving Holes is a work of breathtaking richness.”
About the Author
Joe Dale Tate Nevaquaya, the author of Leaving Holes & Selected New Writings, is a poet and visual artist who lives in Norman, OK, where he dedicates his days to working with at-risk students in the Norman Public School System. Nevaquaya’s written and visual works have been anthologized and collected nationally and internationally; he is tribally affiliated with the Yuchi and Comanche tribes of Oklahoma.
For more information on Mongrel Empire Press or to obtain review copies of these and other titles, to receive print-suitable images, or to contact our authors for interviews and other public relations events, contact the Press by sending an email from the web site: Mongrel Empire Press books are available from the Press, the authors, most online booksellers, and selected independent bookstores.
About Mongrel Empire Press
Mongrel Empire Press was established in 2007 with a mission to publish well-written, thoughtfully-considered works across generic and disciplinary boundaries. The Press actively identifies and promotes Oklahoma and regional writers while at the same time making room for outside the region works that, because of their mixed generic, disciplinary, and philosophical approaches, cannot find a home at other presses that have a more narrowly defined mission.
Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Editor
Mongrel Empire Press
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