I didn’t know what to say. I was there because I knew that Another Work is Possible was selected as a finalist for “Excellence in Publishing,” but I never expected to hear my name announced as the winner.
The 2021 Maine Literary Awards took place last Thursday evening, and I am still in disbelief. My first book, Hands Employed Aright: The Furniture Making of Jonathan Fisher (1768-1847), was a finalist at the 2019 ceremony, but ultimately not the winner. I felt honored to even be a finalist in 2019 and was content with that achievement again this year. Regardless of the fact that I knew it was still a possibility my book would be selected this time around, there was nothing that prepared me to hear my name read aloud.
One judge said of Another Work is Possible, “This book is a true and moving celebration of the art and practice of hand-tool carpentry. Beautifully laid out and illustrated, it captures all of the joy, sweat, and camaraderie of a community project. The narrative not only tells the story of a barn-raising; it does so in fine prose and well-chosen quotations. This book perfectly shows the benefits of slow work in a fast world.”
Since the “Excellence in Publishing” award particularly takes into account the design, printing, and production, this award ought to go to everyone who worked on this book: Adam Spitalny, Mike Updegraff, Jim McConnell, Nancy Hiller, Signature Printing… not to mention all of the carpenters who contributed their reflections and anecdotes. We all poured ourselves into this book to try to do justice to the awe-inspiring event that was the 2019 Carpenters Without Borders Sedgwick timber-frame project.
We were astonished when our Another Work is Possible film was awarded “Best Feature” at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. So, receiving this recognition from the Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance is confirmation to us that what happened over those nine days truly was nothing short of magical. We are grateful that this book in some way has been able to transport all sorts of people into the yard in which the thudding of axes shaped trees in timbers – a yard full of smiles, and laughter, and sweaty-browed conviviality.
Thank you all for your support that makes this magic possible.