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Anisfield-Wolf Community Blog

Cleveland Residents Invited To Anisfield-Wolf Reading Series

  Pull up a chair at Case Western Reserve University's new reading seminar for a hearty discussion of four Anisfield-Wolf award-winning books, covering everything from the modern, urban Native experience to the consequences of political upheaval in Chile. Organizers invite you to explore four Anisfield-Wolf award winning books: "There There" by Tommy Orange (2019, fiction) — January 23 Orange, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations, launched his literary career with :"There There," a layered, multi generational... Read More →

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston With The Release Of “The Zora Canon”

Anisfield-Wolf recipient Zora Neale Hurston would have turned 129 years old January 7. To celebrate her birthday, the editors of ZORA, an online magazine eponymously named after the Harlem Renaissance writer and pioneering anthropologist, compiled the ZORA Canon, its definitive list of the best books written by African American women. Novelist Kaitlyn Greenidge (“We Love You, Charlie Freeman") writes that the editors decided to take up the task when they realized no one seemed to have published a comprehensive list of black women authors, a... Read More →

Put These 2019 Titles On Your 2020 Book List

In the onslaught of titles published each year, friends of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards can deploy a powerful technique to sift the wheat from the chaff: Find the new work from those writers already in the canon. Here are some gems sitting atop the 2019 pile: “Black Leopard Red Wolf” by Marlon James The Jamaican American novelist most celebrated for “A Brief History of Seven Killings” goes genre. Actor Michael B. Jordan bought the film rights to this epic fueled by African mythology even before it published in February. The story... Read More →

Tommy Orange Shares The Urban Native American Experience In “There There” During Cleveland Book Week

Novelist Tommy Orange, cast in the warm glow of the lights at St. John Episcopal Church, brought his Anisfield-Wolf award-winning debut, "There There" to Northeast Ohio for Cleveland Book Week. Lake Erie Native American Council (LENAC) dancers - An Evening with Tommy Orange: Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 2019 winner for Fiction for Cleveland Book Week 2019 - Photo © Bob Perkoski The evening's reading melded some new writing from Orange about fathers and sons playing basketball with dancers and drummers from the Lake Erie Native American... Read More →

Tracy K. Smith Examines The Duty Of Poetry In Turbulent Times During Cleveland Book Week

© Hilary Bovay With the William G. Mather steamship providing a nautical backdrop, poet Tracy K. Smith brought her work to the shores of Northeast Ohio as part of the 2019 Cleveland Book Week festivities. The 2019 Anisfield-Wolf winner for poetry opened her reading with a few selections from "Wade in the Water," her 2018 award-winning collection. She began "The Everlasting Self," a short meditative poem on identity and legacy, before segueing into "Declaration," an erasure poem taken directly from the Declaration of Independence. "Please... Read More →

Young Cleveland Poet Mesmerizes Crowd At 2019 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Ceremony

Logan Greer, 10, with Tracy K. Smith, 2019 Anisfield-Wolf award winner for poetry and the inspiration behind Logan's poem. For the past decade, Northeast Ohioans gathered for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremonies have celebrated a young poet alongside the winning authors. This year Logan Greer, 10, a fifth grader at Campus International School, set the tone with her poem, "City of Growing Up." She wrote these lines in the spring of 2019 during a class exercise with teaching artist Nicole Robinson. Logan took her inspiration from... Read More →

Sonia Sanchez Invokes The Political At Kent State University For Cleveland Book Week

Poet Sonia Sanchez launched Cleveland Book Week 2019 with a rousing, reflective performance at Kent State University, as part of the 50th anniversary May 4 commemoration events. Sanchez began the evening with "A Poem of Praise," accompanied by a reflection on Kent State students who were killed and wounded by the National Guard during the campus demonstration in 1970, chanting each by name. As one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez, 85, has written more than a dozen poetry books, several plays and essays, experimenting... Read More →

Reflecting On My Immigrant Experience Through Anisfield-Wolf Award Winning Books

For a few days in June, I sat down in an old building at Case Western Reserve University among 20 scholars, activists and artists to unpack the new class of books honored by the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. I spoke of the immigrant experience, of entering this country as an adult in 1998, with only some knowledge of its complex history. Back in high school in New Delhi, I did study U.S. history, but barely remembered little more than the rolling prairies and the Boston Tea Party. The America I imagined was largely the one I saw on movie screens... Read More →

REVIEW: Sarah M. Broom Brings New Orleans To Life With “The Yellow House”

The typical story set in New Orleans begins and ends somewhere in the French Quarter, but Sarah M. Broom’s meaty new memoir “The Yellow House” stretches our attention seven miles east, to the neighborhood where she and thousands of others live beyond the glitz of the city’s most famous district. Broken into four movements spanning nearly a century, “The Yellow House” is the story of connection, longing and migration. Who belongs to a city, Broom asks over 300 pages. Whose stories are worth capturing and telling? She begins... Read More →

N. Scott Momaday Honored With Dayton Literary Peace Prize

At 85, N. Scott Momaday – considered the dean of Native American literature – is attracting renewed accolades for his life’s work. In 2018, he won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and entered the National Native American Hall of Fame. In May, he received the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize and this November will be feted with a Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The poet, novelist and essayist has won the Dayton organization’s Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. It is named for the celebrated U.S. diplomat who... Read More →
  • 2019 Winners Announced

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