Helmerich Distinguished Author Award

On this edition of ST, we speak with the well-regarded novelist and short-story writer Richard Ford, who is the recipient of the 2017 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. Ford is the author of many critically acclaimed works of ficition, including "The Sportswriter," "Independence Day," and "Let Me Be Frank with You." His newest book, just out, is a memoir about his parents, which he discusses with us at length.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Billy Collins back to our show. He is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and he'll be reading from his work at an event here in Tulsa on Saturday the 3rd at the downtown Central Library. (This event begins at 10:30am and is free to the public.) Known and loved by readers everywhere for his accessible, conversational, clearly rendered, and often witty poems, Collins has been called "the most popular poet in America" by The New York Times.

Our guest on StudioTulsa today is the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and military historian Rick Atkinson, who is the recipient of this year's Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. (This prize is awarded annually by the Tulsa Library Trust.) Atkinson grew up a self-described "military brat" and began his writing career as a newspaper reporter in Pittsburgh, Kansas, and today he's perhaps best known for his bestselling "Liberation Trilogy" about the U.S. Army's role in the liberation of Europe during World War II.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the winner of the 2014 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is annually given by the Tulsa Library Trust. (Past recipients of this honor include Michael Chabon, John Updike, and Geraldine Brooks.) Ann Patchett is our guest today; she is a bestselling American novelist and essayist who's written six novels (among them "The Magician's Assistant," "Bel Canto," "Run," and "State of Wonder") and three books of nonfiction (including the recent "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage").

On this edition of our program, we speak with Wendell Berry, who's worked as a prolific and highly principled writer of fiction, essays, and poetry for the past 50 years. Mr. Berry has been named the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author, and he'll be in town to accept this honor later this week. Indeed, he'll give a free-to-the-public presentation at 10:30am on Saturday the 8th at the TCCL's Central Library, at Fourth Street and Denver Avenue in Downtown Tulsa.