Skip to main content

Syracuse Authors Named CNY Book Awards Finalists

Winners to be announced at sixth annual awards ceremony on November 9

Oct 30, 2017 — Article by: Renée K. Gadoua

Central New York Book Awards

Several University authors are finalists for the sixth annual Central New York Book Awards, taking place on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the CNY Philanthropy Center (431 E. Fayette St., Syracuse).

Finalists with ties to the University are featured in the poetry, fiction and nonfiction categories.

They are:

Book Awards Finalist

  • Gemma Cooper-Novack, doctoral student in literacy education, for “We Might As Well Be Under Water” (Unsolicited Press, 2017), poetry;

  • Jeff Delbel G’79, G’90, for “The Flight of Jimmy Eagleson” (Downtown Books & Coffee, 2016), fiction; 

  • Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi ’70 G’71 G’76, for “Just Do It” (Ootpik Press, 2017), fiction;

  • Keith Bybee, professor of political science and professor and vice dean of the College of Law, for “How Civility Works” (Stanford Briefs, 2016), nonfiction;

  • Sydney Hutchinson, associate professor of Music History and Cultures, for “Tigers of a Different Stripe” (University Of Chicago Press, 2016), nonfiction;

  • Georgia Popoff (editor, with Quraysh Ali Lansana), instructor, for “The Whiskey of Our Discontent” (Haymarket Books, 2017), nonfiction;

  • Sean Kirst, former writer for University publications, for “The Soul of Central New York” (Syracuse University Press, 2016), nonfiction.

This year’s other finalists are Paul David Adkins, Jessica Cuello and Nancy DaFoe (poetry), and Jaimee Wriston Colbert and Benjamin Allocco (fiction).

The finalists in each category were selected by independent judges, who also select the winning titles. Winners will be announced at the Nov. 9 reception. Open to the public, the CNY Book Awards is organized by the Downtown Writers Center (DWC) of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse. Tickets are $75, $50 of which is a tax-deductible contribution, supporting DWC workshops, readings and other literary events.

Tigers of a Different Stripe Cover

Since 2012, dozens of Syracuse faculty and alumni have participated in the competition as judges, winners or finalists. Faculty and alumni regularly teach or read at the DWC, as well as volunteer at Y Arts fundraising events. Every fall, the DWC presents a guest-author reading and seminar, in conjunction with Syracuse Symposium, organized and presented by the Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences.

For tickets and more information, contact Phil Memmer, executive director of the Y Arts Branch, at 315.474.6851, ext. 328, or

“Our annual contest consistently showcases Central New York’s literary excellence,” says Memmer, DWC founder. “Strong participation from University authors reinforces our relationship and the value of a strong literary community.”

Contact Information

Rob Enslin