Jonis Agee, 2010 George Garrett Award Recipient

At the 2010 AWP Conference and Bookfair in Denver, AWP announced the recipient of the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, presenting the award to Jonis Agee. 

Agee was born in Omaha. She received her BA in English from the University of Iowa and her MA/PhD in Creative Writing/English from SUNY—Binghamton. She is the author of thirteen books, including five novels—Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, South of Resurrection, The Weight of Dreams, and her most recent, The River Wife, published in the summer of 2007 by Random House—and five collections of short fiction—Pretend We’ve Never Met, Bend This Heart, A .38 Special and a Broken Heart, Taking the Wall, and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. She has also published two books of poetry: Houses and Mercury.

Jonis Agee’s awards include ForeWord Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for Taking the Wall and the Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road; a National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction; a Loft-McKnight Award; a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction; and two Nebraska Book Awards (for The Weight of Dreams and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. Three of her books—Strange Angels, Bend This Heart, and Sweet Eyes—were named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times.
The Adele Hall Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Agee was the founding director of the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference.

A recipient of the Garrett Award is chosen by the AWP Board of Directors each fall. Named after one of the founding members of AWP, the award includes $2,000 in addition to travel and lodging for the recipient to attend the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair.

If you know someone deserving of this Award, the board encourages you to send a letter of nomination during the months of August and September. Please see our website for more information. Letters of nomination remain in consideration for three years.


Each year, AWP welcomes nominations for the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature. Consult our award guidelines for more information. Award recipients are selected by AWP's Board of Directors.