UW-Eau Claire alum and author receives distinguished state award

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(PRESS RELEASE -- Wis. Dept. of Public Instruction) — New Auburn native and bestselling author Michael Perry will receive the first State Superintendent’s Distinguished Public School Alumni Award Oct. 2 at the Madison Concourse Hotel.

Perry will be the guest speaker for the 2012 Wisconsin Schools of Recognition reception, which precedes the noon award ceremony at the Capitol.

“Wisconsin’s public school graduates have made our state, our nation, and our world better through their contributions in the arts, science, athletics, and statesmanship,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Thanks to the public school teachers who have nurtured the hopes and dreams of millions of young people during our state’s history, Michael Perry joins the ranks of Wisconsin literary giants: Edna Ferber, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, and Thornton Wilder. Perry is an accomplished author and has distinguished himself as an alumnus of our public schools.”

A 1983 graduate of New Auburn High School, Perry has variously worked as a cowboy, country music roadie, and a roller-skating Snoopy. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire School of Nursing in 1987 and has served as an EMT for several rural Wisconsin communities.

He chronicled his rescue work in his first book of memoirs “Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time,” published in 2003. He followed it with the critically acclaimed “Truck: A Love Story”
and “Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting.” His most recent work, “Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace,” was published this August.

Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion, and Salon.com, and he is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.

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