Matthew Robinson’s The Horse Latitudes, which follows one Cavalry platoon’s time in Iraq, has been named a finalist for a 2018 Oregon Book Award. The book, Robinson’s first, is one of five finalists for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.
Robinson served six years in the Oregon Army National Guard, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004. On an episode of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud in November, 2017, he discussed the book, his service, and his thoughts on the civilian-veteran divide. In an article titled “Writing Angry, Writing Anger,” he described his personal history with anger upon returning from Iraq, and how fiction writing changed things for him. Robinson currently teaches writing at Portland State University and Mt. Hood Community College.
The Horse Latitudes was published by Propeller Books, the publishing imprint of Propeller magazine. The magazine was established in 2009, and the press published its first title, Mary Rechner’s Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women, in 2010.
Winners of the Oregon Book Awards, a program of Literary Arts, will be announced at a ceremony on April 30. Out of state judges determine the finalists and winners in each category. In addition to the awards, Literary Arts invites winners and finalists to participate in the Oregon Book Awards Author Tour, which offers free readings, school visits and writing workshops in public libraries and independent bookstores in towns across the state.
Matthew Robinson holds an MFA from Portland State University, where he also teaches writing. The recipient of a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship, his fiction has been published in O-Dark-Thirty, Nailed Magazine, Gobshite Quarterly, Split Lip Magazine, and Clackamas Literary Review. He served six years in the Oregon Army National Guard, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2004. The Horse Latitudes is his first book.