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Philosophical Society of Texas Presents Book Prizes for Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

AUSTIN, Texas – The Philosophical Society of Texas announced its annual Book Prizes for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry during the Society’s Annual Meeting held in El Paso, Texas on February 5, 2022.

The winner of the Fiction Prize was Paulette Jiles’s Civil War-era Texas story Simon the Fiddler, published by HarperCollins Publishers. Honorable Mention for Fiction went to Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore, also published by HarperCollins Publishers.

The Nonfiction Prize was awarded to The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism by Gregg Cantrell, published by Yale University Press. Two Honorable Mentions for Nonfiction were given—to The Governor and the Colonel: A Dual Biography of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby by Don Carleton and published by Tower Books/University of Texas Press, and to George T. Ruby: Champion of Civil Rights in Reconstruction Texas by Carl H. Moneyhon, published by Texas Christian University Press.

The Poetry Prize went to the outstanding first collection by Matt Morton, Improvisation Without Accompanimentpublished by BOA Editions Ltd. Honorable Mention for Poetry went to Maps of Injury by Chera Hammons, published by Sundress Publications.

In a year of strong literature originating in or related to Texas, the Philosophical Society of Texas congratulates the authors and their publishers on these splendid works.

Each award carries a $2,500 prize for the author. The prizes announced this year were for books published in 2020 and reviewed by the Committee in 2021. Fiction and nonfiction books, as well as volumes of poetry, are submitted each year to the Society’s Book Prize Committee. Nonfiction submissions must relate to Texas; fiction and poetry eligibility depends on the author’s current or past Texas residency. For the purpose of the awards, Texas is defined as having the borders of the Republic of Texas in 1845, extending into parts of what are now New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Information about submitting titles for the 2022 Book Prizes (books published in 2021) will be posted in March 2022 at For more information, please contact Society director, Dawn Orsak, directly at (512) 825-2249 or

The Philosophical Society of Texas was founded December 5, 1837, in Houston, the capital of the Republic of Texas. The goal was to unite the efforts of the modern-day philosophers to collect and disseminate knowledge. The Society was incorporated as a nonprofit educational institution on January 18, 1936. On December 5, 1936, formal reorganization was completed.

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