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Tag Archives: 2005

The Artist As Activist: Author Edwidge Danticat In Cleveland

Edwidge Danticat began her remarks in Cleveland by drawing attention to another artist, the painter Jacob Lawrence, whose migration series was on display last year at the Museum of Modern Art. Danticat, who has family in Brooklyn, New York, said she often walked the long rectangular room, soaking in the art as a way to reflect on the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charlotte, South Carolina. “What kept me glued to these dark silhouettes is how beautifully and heartbreakingly Lawrence captured black bodies in motion, in transit, in danger, and in pain,” she said. “The bowed heads of the hungry and the curved backs of mourners helped the Great Migration to gain and keep its momentum, along with the promise of less abject poverty in the North, better educational... Read More →

VIDEO: A. Van Jordan On Winning An Anisfield-Wolf Award

A. Van Jordan made an October appearance at Market Garden Brewery's Brews & Prose event, sharing snippets from his latest work, "The Cineaste," in front of a packed crowd. We caught up with the Akron native for a brief chat on the personal significance of winning the 2005 Anisfield-Wolf award:   2005 A Van Jordan from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo. Read More →

A. Van Jordan Remixes Film And Poetry For Latest Work, “The Cineaste”

Photo courtesy of Brews & Prose When the starter failed Tuesday in A. Van Jordan’s car, the poet leased a rental and made a deadline dash from Ann Arbor to Cleveland. He arrived in good time to read five poems for “Brews and Prose,” a monthly literary series at Market Garden Brewery that uses beer to try to ease art away from its academic moorings.  Jordan, 48, a University of Michigan professor, won an Anisfield-Wolf prize in 2005 for “M*A*C*N*O*L*I*A,” which explores the life of MacNolia Cox, the first black child finalist of the National Spelling Bee in 1936. She grew up in Akron, as did Jordan, who infuses his work with history, physics, and music. A year ago, Jordan told an audience at Arizona State University, “I went to a kind of crappy high school where we... Read More →

VIDEO: Edwidge Danticat On Why Americans Don’t Know Haiti Beyond The Catastrophes

Watch Edwidge Danticat on the Struggle of Haitian Immigrants on PBS. See more from Need To Know. When we see Haiti in the news, it is often downtrodden and negative. Edwidge Danticant, our 2005 winner for fiction, tries to bring a different light to Haiti through her work. In a 2011 interview on PBS, shortly after the Haiti earthquake of 2010, Danticat talks about the side of Haiti we rarely get to see. "The beauty surprises people sometimes. The physical beauty of certain parts of Haiti, the beauty of the arts - the music, the paintings, the literature - that Haiti, I want people to also know"  Read More →

WE REMEMBER: August Wilson’s Play, “The Piano Lesson,” Debuted 25 Years Ago This Month

A photo from the 1987 premiere of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson."                     In our rush to get to Thanksgiving dinner, we missed the anniversary of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson." 2011 winner Isabel Wilkerson reminded us through a post on her Facebook page (she's just FULL of wonderful factoids about African American history), including a rare photo of Samuel L. Jackson (third from left), who starred in the play as Boy Willie.  Wilkerson writes:  It was 25 years ago today, Nov. 23, 1987, that the August Wilson play, The Piano Lesson, made its world premiere, starring Samuel L. Jackson (3rd from left) as Boy Willie, at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The play would win the Pulitzer Prize. In its scenes play out... Read More →

VIDEO: Edwidge Danticat On Whether Art Is A Luxury Or Necessity

2005 Anisfield-Wolf winner Edwidge Danticat visited the Tavis Smiley show on PBS to discuss her latest work, Create Dangerously. She discusses the origins of the book's title, the difference between immigrant artists and American-born artists, and whether art should be considered a luxury or necessity. Read More →

NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF: Geoffrey C. Ward’s “A Disposition To Be Rich”

2005 winner Geoffrey C. Ward's latest book covers familiar ground—history—but also gives readers insight into his family history. The book is titled, A Disposition to be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastor's Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash, and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States (quite a mouthful!). The focus of the story is on the life of Ferdinand Ward, Geoffrey's great-grandfather—the Bernie Madoff of the late 19th century.  The New York Times writes:  Geoffrey Ward cuts his great-grandfather no slack. He describes a whiny, bullying, self-pitying narcissist who, once caught, didn’t even try to justify his behavior. The best things to be said about Ferd Ward are that he was reckless and ruthless enough to be worth reading... Read More →

VIDEO: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson

Geoffrey C. WardIn Geoffrey C. Ward's Unforgivable Blackness: Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, we are treated to a front row seat to the racism and prejudice that tormented the man who was one of the best boxers the sport has ever known. We honored Ward with the 2005 award for nonfiction for his gripping account of what happens when your talent is outshadowed by the color of your skin and the times you live in. In 2005, Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward teamed up to produce a documentary on Johnson's life, which can be seen in its entirety below. Click here for a synopsis. Part 1 Part2 Read More →

Love August Wilson’s Plays? You’re In Luck This Spring

August Wilson We've been in a real August Wilson mood around here lately and with good reason. Residents of Northeast Ohio (our neck of the woods) will have the chance to see five of Wilson's plays from his Pittsburgh Cycle, his ten-play cycle on the Black experience in the 20th century.  ‘Radio Golf’ is ontage at Cleveland Play House now through Sunday, March 4th. ‘Fences’ is onstage at East Cleveland Theatre now through Sunday, March 4th. ‘The Piano Lesson’ is onstage at True North Theatre now through Sunday, March 4th. ‘Two Trains Running’ is onstage at Tri-C’s Metro Campus Studio Theatre March 29 - April 7. ‘Gem of the Ocean’ is onstage at Karamu House May 11 - June 3. Take a listen to this Around Noon podcast on Wilson's work and get your tickets today. Read More →

What Are Your Top Ten Favorite Books – Of All Time?

Edwidge DanticatThe website and corresponding book, "The Top Ten," tackles that very question, asking celebrated writers to list their favorite 10 books. It's so simple yet incredibly fascinating to see which authors select which books and what genres they love. A few of our own Anisfield-Wolf authors have been featured on the site—Joyce Carol Oates and Edwidge Danticat. Check out their picks below:  Top Ten List for Edwidge Danticat Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston  The Stranger by Albert Camus  Germinal by Emile Zola  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez Beloved by Toni Morrison  Night by Elie Wiesel  The Color Purple by Alice Walker  The Trial by Franz Kafka  Masters of the Dew by Jacques... Read More →
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