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Anisfield-Wolf Community Blog

Author Angie Thomas Shares Inspiration For “The Hate U Give” With Cleveland Public Library

In December, a suburban Houston school district yanked copies of the young-adult novel “The Hate U Give” from all 25 of its school libraries. In January – after a student-led outcry – copies were back in the high schools of Katy, Texas, albeit paired with a parental consent form. The consternation began when a middle-school parent complained about profanity and drug use at a party depicted in the book’s opening scene. Angie Thomas, who wrote that scene, had a few observations about her breakout book, which spent 38 weeks atop the... Read More →

Poet Elizabeth Alexander Becomes New President Of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Anisfield-Wolf poet Elizabeth Alexander will be the next president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, becoming the first woman to head the nation’s largest foundation for the humanities. “All of the things that I’ve cared about my whole life and worked toward my whole life Mellon does,” Alexander told The New York Times. The author of six books and two collections of essays won the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement prize in 2010. A year earlier she recited an original poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” at President Barack... Read More →

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones Breaks Down The Dangers Of Educational Segregation During CWRU Convocation

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones meets with Case Western Reserve University students in the Women's Center after her keynote at the Martin Luther King Jr. convocation Nikole Hannah-Jones has no interest in frittering anyone’s time. “You would never hear me use the word ‘diversity’ except to criticize it,” she declared to a large Cleveland audience at Case Western Reserve University’s Martin Luther King Jr. convocation. “Diversity is a word that makes white liberals feel good.” The 41-year-old MacArthur “genius... Read More →

REVIEW: “When They Call You A Terrorist” Takes Readers Inside The Black Lives Matter Movement

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, is no stranger to resistance. Her searing new memoir, “When They Call You a Terrorist,” makes that plain. Khan-Cullors, along with organizers Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, created the call to action after the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager Zimmerman killed as the adolescent walked alone back to his father’s home from a trip to a convenience store. The author was the one to punctuate their grief... Read More →

The New York Times And PBS NewsHour Team Up For A New Book Club

Jesmyn Ward, whose fiction is drawing comparisons to William Faulkner's, received a new honor this week: her 2017 novel, “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” will kick off a new book discussion led by the New York Times and the PBS NewsHour. Called Now Read This, the organizers hope to become a go-to resource for reading groups across the country. Ward, the only woman to win a National Book Award twice for fiction, continues to live in rural Mississippi, the source of her family life and much of her inspiration. Born in 1977, Ward attended Stanford... Read More →

New Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship Addresses Diversity In Publishing

In a nationally unique innovation, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards has partnered with the Cleveland State University Poetry Center to create a fellowship aimed at the lack of diversity in publishing. The Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship in Writing & Publishing is a two-year post-graduate position for an emerging writer. It will encompass time to work toward a first or second book and an opportunity to learn editing, publishing, literary programming, and community outreach. Through the creation of this fellowship, Anisfield-Wolf and the... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Authors To Close 2018 Virginia Book Festival With Panel On Racism And Reflections On Charlottesville

  Coming off a successful year of literary prizes, three of the 2017 recipients of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will reconvene for a closing panel session at the Virginia Festival of the Book.  Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes and recipient of the 2017 Chautauqua Prize; Tyehimba Jess, author of Olio and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race and... Read More →

READ: Marilyn Chin’s New Poem, “Love Story”

Marilyn Chin accepting her 2015 Anisfield-Wolf award for poetry Marilyn Chin is a frank and feminist poet who continues to enlarge the Anisfield-Wolf canon. Like Peter Ho Davies, she is a master of the hyphenated identity, writing, “ I am a Chinese American poet – born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. My poetry both laments and celebrates the ‘hyphenated’ identity.” Chin, a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, has a new poem reaching the 350,000 subscribers to the American... Read More →

LISTEN: Karan Mahajan Interviewed On Professional Book Nerds Podcast

At the tail end of Cleveland Book Week, Adam Sockel and Jill Grunenwald, hosts of the "Professional Book Nerds" podcast, interviewed Karan Mahajan, our 2017 co-winner for fiction. Their conversation centered on Mahajan's award-winning "The Association of Small Bombs," the difficulties of writing about terrorism, and the proliferation of books on the subject after 9/11. The podcast is a production of OverDrive, the leading app for eBooks and audiobooks available through public libraries and schools, headquartered in Cleveland. In the weekly... Read More →

WATCH: Poets From Twelve Literary & Performative Arts Bring Anisfield-Wolf To Public Transit

One idea to make the morning commute more bearable for Clevelanders? Add a bit of poetry. That theory was tested this past September as local poets from Twelve Literary and Performative Arts set up shop on RTA platforms across the city to perform samples from Anisfield Wolf authors for the duration of Cleveland Book Week. Riders heard snippets from Jericho Brown's "The New Testament" and Marilyn Chin's "Hard Love Province," along with five other authors and original works from the local poets. These informal poetry readings were an... Read More →
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