U press prints award winning tale

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

The book France Davis: An American Story Told, published by the U press, received the Utah Book Award for non-fiction last week. The book is the fourth title released by the press to receive an award this year.

The award-winning book is an autobiography of the Rev. France Davis, a pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, and recounts the struggles he faced on the frontline of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Nayra Atiya compiled the book, which also chronicles Davis’ life as a pastor and an activist.

“We always enjoy having our publications recognized by reviewers,” said Joyce Ogburn, director of the Marriott Library. “The Press contributes immeasurably to our intellectual wealth. We are very proud of its achievements.”

In the past year, books published by the U have won two other awards from organizations in Utah. Levi Peterson’s A Rascal By Nature, A Christian by Yearning won the Turner-Bergera Award for Best Biography from the Mormon History Association in May. Also in May, Kenneth Merrell’s book Scottish Shepherd: The Life and Times of John Murray Murdoch, Utah Pioneer was the recipient of the Evans Handcart Award.

The press won an award from Choice magazine for Outstanding Academic Title in January for the text Southwest Archeology in the Twentieth Century that was edited by Linda S. Cordell and Don D. Fowler.

The press prints primarily books on subjects such as anthropology, archeology, Western and Mormon history. On average, the Press receives around 200 submissions per year from writers interested in publishing with the U. Of those submissions, John Herbert, director of the press, said that the U press prints around 30 publications per year.

After manuscripts are reviewed to ensure they meet the standards and subject matter of the press, the submissions are reviewed by faculty and staff at the U. After the manuscripts are reviewed by professionals in a relevant field, a round table of professors votes to decide if the press will publish the book.

“The academic rigor that the University Press holds publications to gets the scholarly communication that meets the standards of the academic community,” Herbert said. “We have a string of titles that are being recognized by the external community with multiple books and topics that are getting these awards.”

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