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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Happy Birthday, Rita Dove

Anisfield-Wolf juror Rita Dove is 61 today.  Her father, chemist Ray Dove, took her and her brother from Akron, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. when she was 11, where Mr. Dove participated in the March for Jobs and Freedom.  This video, created by Rita Dove’s husband Fred Viebahn, features rich personal photographs and vintage film.  Please note that the music in the background is former U.S. Poet Laureate Dove herself, playing bass viol. Read More →

Black Breastfeeding Week 2013: Pushing For Better Health Outcomes For Black Babies

The numbers are sobering: African American babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white infants. Journalist and breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers works for better survival and health of black infants through her website, MochaManual.com, and her on-the-ground campaign. A big focus is to give newborns more of what Allers calls the "first food"—breastmilk. Studies consistently show that breastfeeding boosts the child’s immune system and reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which kills black infants twice as often. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control finds that 59 percent of black mothers have breastfed compared to 75 percent of white mothers. While the proportion has been increasing over the past decade, Allers... Read More →

#HipHopEd = Science Mixed With Rap For An Ultimate Battle Of Skills

I defy gravity/I am stronger than any force/I am Brooklyn" This isn't a verse from one of Jay Z's latest records, but rather the first lines from a high school student's entry in the Science B.A.T.T.L.E.S. competition.  Students from nine New York City schools competed in June, part of a network of student rap contests that marry verbal dexterity with concepts from plate tectonics to Pluto.  These aren’t lectures but true competitions—students in Oakland, California, rapped about whether Rosalind Franklin was ripped off by James Watson and Francis Crick in their discovery of the architecture of DNA. Stage names were welcome—one student performed as "Double R Bars." Teachers encouraged adolescents to be energetic and creative as they rhymed lyrics on stage in front of family... Read More →

Cleveland Public Library’s Brown Bag Book Club Features Anisfield-Wolf Authors

Meet our esteemed manager, Karen R. Long, at the Cleveland Public Library's Brown Bag Book Club on Wednesday, August 21 at noon. Long, the former Plain Dealer book editor, will introduce Cleveland to the four 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners. Beginning Wednesday, September 4, a more in-depth discussion of each book will occur weekly:  Eugene Gloria, My Favorite Warlord, September. 4 Laird Hunt, Kind One, September 18 Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds, September 25 Andrew Solomon, Far From The Tree, October 2 Tickets to the Sept. 12 awards ceremony are sold out, but Long will raffle off six at her library talk.  Karen R. Long served as book editor of The Plain Dealer for eight years before becoming the manager of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Long is a vice... Read More →

REVIEW: Eugene Gloria, My Favorite Warlord

by Kathleen Cerveny   My Favorite Warlord, by Eugene Gloria, is the recipient of the 2013 Anisfield Wolf Book Award for Poetry.  This award, administered by the Cleveland Foundation, recognizes books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Now in its 78th year, the Award is juried independently by a panel of scholars led by Dr. Henry Louis Gates.    In this, his third book of poetry, Eugene Gloria continues his focus on his cultural origins in the Philippines.  He offers poems that range between accessibility and a satisfyingly complex look at the experiences of Asians growing up in America; he examines family and home — both here and far away — and identity and belonging.   From... Read More →

Author Wendell Berry Wins Peace Prize

"In a time that spends so many words and dollars upon conflict, it is encouraging to be noticed for having said a few words in favor of peace." ~Wendell Berry  The Dayton Literary Peace Prize announced that Wendell Berry is the 2013 recipient of the Richard Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Dayton peace accords. A novelist, essayist, poet, farmer, and activist, Berry has spent his literary career exploring issues ranging from sustainable agriculture to national security. He was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War and protested the nation's post-9/11 international strategy. Among his many honors, Berry received the National Humanities Medal in 2011 from President Barack Obama, and in 2012 was named the 2012 Jefferson Lecturer... Read More →
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