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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ronn Richard 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Remarks

(Left to Right) David Eltis and David Richardson, authors of “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns” Nicole Krauss, author of “Great House” Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia” John Edgar Wideman, winner of Lifetime Achievement Award Essence Cain, poet “In the Flower Market” (front)Good evening. I’m Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to the 76th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see a full house for our opening night here in Playhouse Square.We will always think back upon our years at the Cleveland Play House with nostalgia. But the change in venue didn’t slow demand for almost 1,000 tickets, most of which were snapped up the first week. That’s a testament to the respect this prize commands – and to you. Never let it be said that any group anywhere can out-read Clevelanders! I want to extend a special greeting to our internet audience. We’re streaming our ceremony live, thanks to a collaboration between Playhouse Square and Ideastream.The... Read More →

Young Poet, Essence Cain, Performs at 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Ceremony

Visiting the Flower MarketSince 2009, an emerging young poet from Northeast Ohio is celebrated along with the winning authors at the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony in Cleveland. At the 2011 ceremony, Essence Cain, a sixth-grader at Miller South School for Visual and Performing Arts in Akron, Ohio, recited “In the Flower Market,” a poem she and her classmates wrote for “Speak Peace,” an international youth arts program created by Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center. American children in the program wrote poems in response to paintings created by Vietnamese children. The exhibit of paintings and poems is traveling nationally through 2013. Essence has appeared in plays and musicals at venues throughout Ohio. She was a contributing writer and reader for the animated e-greetings of the 2009... Read More →

Chairing the Jury

Chairing the jury for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is one of the single pleasures of my life. The thought that a poet – a white, female poet – had the foresight to endow a prize to honor excellence and diversity, at the height of the Great Depression, is something of a miracle, isn't it? And in a few days, we will honor her commitment to racial equality and justice by recognizing this year's winners of her prize, the 76th such occasion. It is humbling to thumb through the names of previous winners, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and three Nobel laureates, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison, and Derek Walcott. God bless Edith Anisfield Wolf, and the Cleveland Foundation for so judiciously protecting her legacy. Read More →
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