With his brainchild Book Smart Tulsa, Jeff Martin has raised the literary bar in Tulsa, bringing a new youthful energy to the literary scene and giving Tulsa a national reputation as a valuable wellspring of literary life.
Since its inception in 2009, Book Smart Tulsa has hosted more than 100 acclaimed authors, helping to make Tulsa a vibrant location for writers and readers alike. Book Smart Tulsa has partnered with the Tulsa City-County Library on numerous occasions.
“Jeff has brought together enthusiasm for the literary arts, passion for the power of social networking and a vision for community involvement in Tulsa to create a grassroots literary movement that has helped put Tulsa on the national literary map,” said Gary Shaffer, Tulsa City-County Library CEO. “His infectious exuberance for literature has instilled the value of reading in so many people from so many walks of life.”
For his invaluable contributions to Tulsa’s literary scene and support of literature in every form, Tulsa City-County Library will induct Martin into the Library Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 during the Tulsa Library Trust’s 2012 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award public presentation featuring American writer and farmer Wendell Berry.
“I proudly share this recognition with all of my enthusiastic and passionate collaborators, without whom my ideas would never be fully realized,” said Martin.
In addition to holding the unofficial title of “literary impresario of Tulsa,” Martin also works at Philbrook Museum of Art, as well as serves as fiction editor for This Land magazine and on the advisory board for Nimrod and the board of directors for the Oklahoma Center for the Book. He is an author and editor. His collection “The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles” was a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee. In 2009, Martin lampooned current publishing world scandals with his book “My Dog Ate My Nobel Prize: The Fabricated Memoir of Jeff Martin.” He also is a contributor to Publishers Weekly, Poets & Writers, Salon and National Public Radio. His latest book, “The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books,” was hailed by The Atlantic as “funny, poignant and relentlessly thought-provoking.”
The Library Hall of Fame was established in 1982 to recognize and honor organizations and individuals who have provided leadership and made exemplary contributions of time, talent and energy toward the development of the Tulsa City-County Library.
As a member of the Library Hall of Fame, Martin joins a prestigious list of former honorees including: Alfred E. Aaronson, Phil Dessauer, Beverly Dieterlen, Bill Donahue/KJRH 2 News NBC, Lloyd E. Elkins, Lee C. Erhard, Joan Flint, Sally Freeman Frasier, Friends of the Tulsa Public Library, Tom Grant Jr., Donna and Roger Hardesty, Peggy V. Helmerich, Ben G. Henneke, The Junior League of Tulsa Inc., Betty Kaiser, Janis C. Keene, William C. Kellough, M. Darwin Kirk, Judy Z. Kishner, KTUL NewsChannel 8, KWGS Public Radio 89.5 FM, Robert J. LaFortune, Beth Macklin, Allie Beth Martin, Peter C. Meinig, Claud Miller, Judy S. Moody, Rosetta Mulmed, Ruth K. Nelson, Lillian B. Norberg, John M. Petty, Judy Otterstrom Randle, Bonnie T. Reed, Jean M. Risser, Agnes Rutledge, John Bennett Shaw, Eileen K. Smith, Thomas F. Staley, Nan Sturdivant, Marcus R. Tower, Tuesday Book Club, Tulsa Drillers, TulsaKids magazine, Tulsa World, Pat Woodrum, Henry Zarrow, and Maxine and Jack Zarrow.
As a Hall of Fame inductee, Martin will receive an engraved marble obelisk, given by the Tulsa Library Trust and the Tulsa City-County Library, at a free public presentation featuring Wendell Berry at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 at Central Library, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue. Berry will speak, answer questions from the audience and sign books. Berry has spent his career exploring man’s relationship with the land and the community in his more than 50 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. His novels include “Nathan Coulter,” “Jayber Crow,” “Hannah Coulter” and “Andy Catlett: Early Travels.” Copies of his books will be available for purchasing at the event.
For more information about the Library Hall of Fame or the Helmerich award, call Larry Bartley, Tulsa Library Trust director, at 918-549-7363.