Sawyer man wins George Morrison Artist AwardPoet, playwright, author and columnist Jim Northrup of Cloquet is the recipient of this year’s George Morrison Artist Award.
The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council has announced that Jim Northrup of Cloquet is the recipient of this year’s George Morrison Artist Award. For many years, Jim Northrup has been an award-winning journalist, poet, and playwright. He is the author of three books: “Walking the Rez Road,” (Voyageur Press, 1993), “Rez Road Follies,” “Canoes, Casinos, Computers,” and “Birchbark Baskets” (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), and “Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View from the Rez” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2011).
When published, “Walking the Rez Road” won both the Minnesota Book Award and the Northeast Minnesota Book Award. “Anishinaabe Syndicated” is a current finalist for both of these awards.
Northrup’s regular column, “Fond du Lac Follies,” is syndicated through several Native American papers, such as “The Circle,” “The Native American Press,” and “News From Indian Country.” It has won many awards and is known for its warm humor and sharp, political undertone. He has also given radio commentaries on the Superior Radio Network, National Public Radio, Fresh Air Radio, and the BBC-Scotland.
One of his plays, “Rez Road 2000,” was performed at the Great American History Theatre in St. Paul for a five- week run in January, 2000.
In addition to his own work, Northrup has been a mentor in the Loft Inroads Program, a judge for both the Lake Superior Contemporary Writers Series and The Jerome Fellowship, and a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board Prose Panel.
Northrup is also featured in “Jim Northrup: With Reservations,” a video by Mike Hazard of the Center for International Education.
“I was born on the Rez, live on the Rez, will probably die on the Rez,” said Northrup. “’Twas a lot that happened in between, but it was just details. And from those details I make my stories.” He is referring, of course, to the Fond du Lac Reservation in northeastern Minnesota, where he lives in the community of Sawyer.
Northrup’s newest book, “Rez Salute,” will be published in the fall of 2012 by Fulcrum Publishing.
The George Morrison Artist Award is named after internationally acclaimed visual artist George Morrison (1919-2000), who was an important member of the second generation of American abstract expressionist artists. Morrison was heralded for successfully synthesizing American Indian themes with abstraction and surrealism. As a life-long member of the Grand Portage Chippewa, he resided and worked for many years in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.