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Anisfield-Wolf Community Blog

Kevin Young Strolls Through Black History In New Poetry Collection, “Brown”

James Brown. John Brown’s raid. Michael Brown. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. These subjects braid through Kevin Young’s new book, Brown, as he creates poems about black culture and boyhood, dividing his collection into “Home Recordings” and “Field Recordings.” It publishes this week. “It’s a book that’s been brewing for a while,” Young told David Canfield of Entertainment Weekly. “The title poem is one I’ve been trying to write for some time, about growing up in Topeka, Kansas, and going to the church... Read More →

New Toni Morrison Documentary, “The Foreigner’s Home,” Explores The Meaning Of Belonging

Toni Morrison poses in front of the Louvre in Paris, November 2006. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images At 87, Toni Morrison is a direct woman. The Nobel laureate in literature has long contemplated her legacy, and the larger meaning of art, society and belonging. A moving piece of evidence for this unfurls in The Foreigner’s Home, a feature-length film, making its regional debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 35 miles east of Morrison’s childhood town of Lorain, Ohio. The film screens at 2 p.m. Saturday. The documentary captures the... Read More →

Mary Morris Is Back With Latest Novel, “Gateway to the Moon”

With Gateway to the Moon, writer Mary Morris casts a new spell drawing water from some of her favorite wells. Her new novel is publishing today. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner for The Jazz Palace returns to Jewish history, this time spinning a family story across centuries. She puts it in motion in 1492, the year Spain expelled its Muslim and Jewish citizens and Christopher Columbus journeyed to the New World. In Gateway to the Moon, Morris places on that voyage an interpreter she calls Luis de Torres, a Jew who has disguised... Read More →

Interview With Directors Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip On Their New Film, “Dawnland”

Dawnland co-directors Ben Pender-Cudlip (left) and Adam Mazo Boston-based filmmaker Adam Mazo is quick to admit that he knew little about Native populations growing up in Minnesota. He’s committed to changing that for future generations with “Dawnland,” the 90-minute documentary premiering this month at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The film centers on the decades of government policy that forced Native children from their families and into adoptive homes, foster care and boarding schools. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards... Read More →

Introducing Our Class Of 2018

  The Cleveland Foundation today unveiled the winners of its 83rd Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Marlon James, a 2015 Anisfield-Wolf honoree, made the announcement. The 2018 recipients of the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity are: Shane McCrae, In the Language of My Captor, Poetry N. Scott Momaday, Lifetime Achievement Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing, Fiction Kevin Young, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake... Read More →

“Evicted” Author Matthew Desmond On Fixing America’s Broken Housing System

Photography by Michaelangelo's Photography Matthew Desmond thinks America can’t see itself clearly. “We’re the richest democracy with the worst poverty. There’s not another advanced society that has the kind of poverty we have,” the sociologist said as he paced the stage at the State Theater in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. Dressed casually in a black pullover, Desmond’s talk was the marquee event for One Community Reads, the three-month book club for Greater Cleveland residents to rally around “Evicted,” his Pulitzer... Read More →

National Book Critics Circle Awards Toast The Best Of 2017

Winners of the 2017 National Book Critics Circle awards (back row, left to right): Charles Finch, reviewing; Caroline Fraser, biography; Frances FitzGerald, nonfiction; Layli Long Soldier, poetry and Carmen Maria Machado, John Leonard First Book Award. Front row, left to right: Carina Chocano, criticism; John McPhee, Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; and Joan Silber, fiction. Missing: Xiaolu Guo for autobiography. The thrill of writing as clear as water ran through this year’s National Book Critics Circle awards, bookended by the... Read More →

New Documentary “Dawnland” Explores Only Truth And Reconciliation Commission In The U.S.

Can the United States transition “from being an occupier to being a neighbor”? So asks gkisedtanamoogk, a Native man living in Maine. He poses this question in “Dawnland,” a moving 90-minute documentary that the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is proud to sponsor this year at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The documentary follows four key participants in a truth and reconciliation commission entered into five years ago by the Wabanaki people and the state of Maine. It centers on the consequences of decades of government policy... Read More →

Jill Lepore Shares Political Optimism For A Divided Nation During CWRU Talk

Jill Lepore is restless. The Harvard historian prefers to walk while she thinks, and stand when she talks.  And so she stood before perhaps 800 guests gathered in Cleveland to hear her ponder whether a divided nation can own a shared past. “A nation born in contradiction, liberty in a land of slavery, will fight forever over the meaning of its history,” she writes in These Truths: A History of the United States, a 1,000-page civics lesson that W.W. Norton will publish in September. Sweeping American histories were once common... Read More →

Poet Leila Chatti Named The Inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow At Cleveland State University Poetry Center

Leila Chatti, a poet who grew up in Michigan, will be the first Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing and Editing, beginning her appointment this fall at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She has dual citizenship in Tunisia and the United States. She was chosen from among almost 90 applicants. “I am drawn to this fellowship in particular because I almost did not become a writer,” Chatti explained in her application. “As a child, I loved books, but because I had never encountered any written by or about people like me, I... Read More →
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