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Anisfield-Wolf Community Blog

Laird Hunt’s Latest Novel Is A Stunning Mystery, Setting Readers Up For A Harrowing Ride

The new novel from Laird Hunt, “In the House in the Dark of the Woods,” has the feel of a hymnal. It is palm sized and red, and it contains a story nestled in the Puritan Colonial era. Hunt, 50, won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2013 for “Kind One,” a haunting Civil War novel inspired by a short passage in Edward P. Jones’ masterpiece “The Known World.” Hunt is drawn to fable and journeys and psychological complexity. The new novel wastes no time entering the woods. The first two sentences, in the voice of the narrator, are... Read More →

Get A Taste Of Toi Derricotte’s New Poetry Collection, “I”

Photo by Linda Koolish Poet Toi Derricotte, whose 1998 prose publication “The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey” remains a pillar of American literature, has not been idle. The University of Pittsburgh Press will bring out a new book of her poetry, “I,” in March of next year. Derricotte, 77,  an emeritus professor at the University of Pittsburgh, co-founded Cave Canem in 1996, a revolutionary space for black writers. Nikky Finney calls it  to this day “the major watering hole and air pocket for black poetry.” “The Black... Read More →

Cleveland Book Week Highlights: N. Scott Momaday Speaks At City Club Of Cleveland

N. Scott MomadayPhotography by Michaelangelo's Photography N. Scott Momaday began with horses and ended with bears. He spoke of the sacredness of both. At 84, the recipient of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards lifetime achievement prize was both merry and measured on the dais of the City Club of Cleveland. He began with a tale about a hunting horse “black and fast and afraid of nothing.” Its owner was a coward, though, and when the man diverted the horse from battle, it died of shame. The elder who recounted this story to Momaday cried when he told it.... Read More →

Starting Cleveland Book Week With A Look At How Literacy Changes Lives

Margo Hudson Margo Hudson, a Clevelander who won the National Learner Award in Dallas two years ago, reflected recently on how “literacy turned chaos into opportunity.” Her remarks kicked off the 2018 edition of Cleveland Book Week and attracted an early morning crowd to the East Cleveland Public Library under the banner of Creative Mornings – Cleveland. After 11 years spent sitting for six tests, Hudson earned her GED – a fortitude reflected in her erect posture, elegant up-do and patience with audience questions. She said Seeds of... Read More →

When A Haircut’s Not Just A Haircut: Uplifting Black Boys In The Pages Of “Crown”

Barnes and Crown illustrator Gordon C. James will speak in Cleveland at the tail end of Cleveland Book Week. This event, sponsored by the Cleveland Public Library, the Schubert Center for Children’s Studies and Anisfield-Wolf, will be held September 29 at 2 p.m., at the main library branch downtown. The first few pages of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut look like a coronation. The 2017 children’s book written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James features a young black boy holding center court, getting draped with a cape and... Read More →

Walter Mosley Tackles the Elusiveness of History in His New Novel, “John Woman”

“John Woman,” the newest novel from prolific and philosophical Walter Mosley, arrives today telling the story of a fugitive genius. It begins with Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVII – “Who will believe my verse in time to come” – and ends 36 chapters later with a mystery, its central character missing. Detectives find blood of more than one type on a New York City park bench. In between is the story of a character born Cornelius Jones, the son of an Italian-American sensualist and an older, self-taught black intellectual. The novel opens... Read More →

Get Ready For Cleveland Book Week 2018, Running September 22-29

2018 Cleveland Book Week Logo  The third annual Cleveland Book Week runs this year from Sept. 21-29, and will celebrate present and past Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winners, while offering a number of free literary and literacy themed events for the community. The series of events is anchored by the sold out 83rd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27 in the State Theatre at Playhouse Square. This year’s winners are: Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor, Poetry N. Scott Momaday, Lifetime... Read More →

Andrew Solomon On The Film Adaptation of “Far From The Tree”:

Still from a scene of the new documentary, "Far From the Tree"Days ahead of the theatrical debut of the documentary film adapted from his book, Far From the Tree, author Andrew Solomon reflected on the creative and emotional differences between the mediums of film and text. "My Stories Become Someone Else's: Adapting a Book into Film" is a fascinating essay.   Solomon put a decade into researching and writing his magisterial book, centered in interviewing more than 300 families. It won the nonfiction Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2013.... Read More →

In New Harvey Milk Biography, A Portrait Of A Man Gone Too Soon

In 1970, Harvey Milk, a boisterous, restless New Yorker, turned 40 without a sense of having accomplished much. But in the handful of years that remained to him, Milk moved to San Francisco and remade American politics and identity. Posthumously, his grin landed on a postage stamp, and the U.S. Navy, in which he served, is scheduled in 2021 to christen a logistics ship after him. Even before these two honors, Barack Obama in 2009 awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying, with a smile, “His name was Harvey Milk, and he was here... Read More →

Getting Closer To A New Home For Cleveland’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Collection

Design concept courtesy of SO-IL + Kurtz Works by Langston Hughes, Zadie Smith and Toni Morrison will soon have a new place to call home. All three authors have books housed in the Anisfield-Wolf collection at the downtown branch of the Cleveland Public Library, tucked away in the recesses of the second-floor special collections room. Now the collection, the only complete assemblage of all 83 years of Anisfield-Wolf-winning books, will be a showpiece of the new $10 million Martin Luther King Jr branch in University Circle. The canon contains... Read More →
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