A sprinkling of literati were on hand for the The Boston Book Review's annual award ceremony Saturday night. Judges Ann Beattie, Orlando Patterson, and Robert Pinsky mingled with the $1,000 winners at Upstairs, a posh restaurant in the Hasty Pudding building here. Mark Strand, fresh from a Pulitzer Prize, won the BBR poetry award for "Blizzard of One." Henry Mayer's biography of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, "All on Fire," earned the nonfiction prize. And Denise Giardina won the fiction prize for "Saints and Villains," a fictionalized biography of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Enraged by destructive coal mining practices in her native West Virginia, Ms. Giardina is considering a switch from writing to politics - perhaps a run for governor. "You've heard of Jesse the Body," a friend whispers. "We'll call her Denise the Mind."