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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. For 83 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice. Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity.

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From The Jury Chair

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Letter from the Chairman, Henry Louis Gates Jr. Thoughtful, provocative writing about cultural identity has been rare in this country, so that makes it even more remarkable that... Read More →

From The Cleveland Foundation

Ronald Richard
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.45 billion and annual grants of $90... Read More →

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Latest Blog Posts

  • Author Claudia Rankine Brings “Citizen” To Cleveland January 23


    Claudia Rankine and her “slender, musical book that arrives like a thunderclap” are coming to Cleveland, the first major literary event of the year. Thanks to the Big Read of the National Endowment for the Arts and the moxie of the staff at Cleveland’s Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, residents of Cuyahoga County will have eight weeks […] Read More →

  • N. Scott Momaday Named 2019 Recipient of the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize

    N. Scott Momaday


    N. Scott Momaday, a captivating storyteller long considered “the dean of Native American letters,” is the new recipient of the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. Established in 2016, the young prize honors artists, authors, educators, filmmakers, historians, and scientists “whose body of work has advanced our collective understanding of the indomitable American spirit.” Momaday is […] Read More →

  • 10 Gems From 2018 That Deserve A Spot On Your 2019 Reading List


    As we bid adieu to 2018, allow us to shine a last, lingering reading light on ten highlights: the year’s titles from Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners.  It should surprise no one that several are already acclaimed as the best-of-the-year. All are worth reading. “American Histories: Stories” by John Edgar Wideman  In the latest literary stroke […] Read More →

  • Hear From Anisfield-Wolf Fellow Leila Chatti At Her Shaker Heights Poetry Reading


    Mark your calendars for a newcomer to Cleveland’s poetry scene — poet Leila Chatti will be at Loganberry Books December 13 for an intimate reading of her new and celebrated poems.    Chatti, a dual citizen of Tunisia and the United States, became the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing and Editing at Cleveland State University’s Poetry […] Read More →

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