Ucross Fellow Lucas Bessire’s book Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains is on the shortlist for a prestigious National Book Award in the nonfiction category, announced the National Book Foundation on Tuesday. Bessire, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, spent a month in residence at Ucross in May.
Bessire is an anthropologist, filmmaker and writer. His nominated book, published this spring by Princeton University Press, recounts his search for water across the drying High Plains of western Kansas, where five generations of his family lived as irrigation farmers and ranchers.
Writer Rivka Galchen has called it “a beautiful and unusual book, and wholly original,” and Francisco Goldman said, “Running Out is destined to be a contemporary classic.”
“We are proud to count Lucas among our esteemed alumni,” said Ucross President and Executive Director Sharon Dynak. “We are thrilled that his work is being recognized with this honor and will be rooting for him in November.”
During his Ucross residency, Bessire lived and worked in the historic Depot, which was once the Burlington Northern train depot in nearby Clearmont. The building was relocated to Ucross in the 1990s to house writer studios and bedrooms.
The National Book Award winners will be announced Nov. 17 in an online ceremony. For more information, visit www.nationalbook.org.