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Tag Archives: events

Historian Michael Twitty Sets “A Place At The Table,” Serves Up A Hearty Helping Of Culinary Justice

“Call soul food what it is: the edible scripture of the Black aesthetic, the culinary answer to jazz, memory food of a people.”That’s a tweet from Michael Twitty, a culinary historian from Maryland, who sees Cleveland as “the deep north.” To stay warm, he kept on his light grey jacket as he addressed the audience at the Cleveland Natural History Museum gathered for his December talk, “A Place at the Table.”He begins with a question: “What if the enslaved could tell their story through food?” The story of American history, he argues, lies within the story of the foods people in bondage ate and the meals they cooked for others. It grieves him that so many hadn’t been properly acknowledged or recorded.Via his food blog, AfroCulinaria.com, Twitty seeks culinary... Read More →

Join Us For “An Evening With Rita Dove And Friends” On September 14

Rita Dove is coming home. The former poet laureate and Akron native will return to the region that raised her to celebrate her new “Collected Poems” and for the 30th anniversary of her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, “Thomas and Beulah.” "An Evening with Rita Dove & Friends" serves as an intellectual appetizer for our 2016 awards ceremony, with jury chair Henry Louis Gates and all five 2016 winners — Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Mary Morris, Orlando Patterson, Lillian Faderman and Brian Seibert — scheduled to attend. Poet Toi Derricotte, who won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for “The Black Notebooks” in 1998, will introduce her friend to a hometown crowd.The evening is co-sponsored by Brews and Prose, the literary series.Published in 1986, “Thomas and... Read More →

EVENT: “Cleveland In Print” Examines Northeast Ohio Through Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes And Harvey Pekar

  Come learn more about the Cleveland that helped shape Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, and Harvey Pekar. Teaching Cleveland has teamed up with Literary Cleveland and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards to present "Cleveland in Print: The History and Literature of Northeast Ohio" on Thursday, January 28. The story of Cleveland in the 20th Century is one of immigrants and migrants, racial tensions, and economic stratification. Join us as we examine three works by these three Northeast Ohio writers and explore the interplay between person, place and perspective; bring a notebook or a laptop and explore your own connections as well. A light dinner will be served, and participants will receive a book, compliments of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. "Here is a unique opportunity to reflect... Read More →

New Photography Exhibit Provides Never-Before Look At Black Student Life In The 1960s

A preview of the photographs on display at the Kent State exhibit Toledo attorney Lafayette Tolliver, 65, estimates there were fewer than 300 black students on the campus of Kent State University during his four years a half-century ago. "We pretty much knew everyone there because that's how few of us there were," he said. "We were there, we did it, we graduated. It was quite an exhilarating time."  Interested parties can glimpse that mid-American black student experience in a new photography exhibit, "Coming of Age at Kent 1967-1971: A Pictorial of Black Student Life." Culled from Tolliver's personal collection, these images depict a pivotal time on college campuses, as black students at predominately white institutions began organizing for more resources, taking cues from the... Read More →

Anthony Marra Brings His New Author Magic To Cleveland September 10

Anthony Marra startled the literary world in 2013 with his stunner of a debut, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. His fresh, Chechnya-inspired book won this year’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and will bring its author to Cleveland for the first time. He follows in the footsteps of Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers, who spoke last year about his own war novel, “The Yellow Birds” on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.  Marra, 30, will speak and read at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 10, in the intimate setting of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case. "Wars shatter families, relationships, even stories," Marra has said. "But Constellation is less a story about war than a story about ordinary people rebuilding their lives during and in the aftermath of war. It's a... Read More →

Poet Adrian Matejka Comes To Cleveland Boxing Gym For “The Big Smoke” Reading

Poet Adrian Matejka mixed his love of boxing with his love of literature to produce “The Big Smoke,” 52 poems that center on Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion. The collection won this year’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. On September 10, Matejka will bring his words to the Cleveland canvas of the Old Angle Boxing Gym while boxer Roberto Cruz, 11, and Corey Gregory, 42, will each demonstrate the sweet science in separate demonstration bouts. We are proud to collaborate with Old Angle owner Gary Horvath and Dave Lucas of Brews + Prose to welcome the Clark Avenue neighborhood, the boxing community and local literati for a memorable night of sport and poetry. The evening begins at 7 p.m. and is... Read More →

Tim Wise’s Attitudes On Race Resonate With University Of Akron Crowd

Anti-racism activist Tim Wise joked that he was on his third visit to the University of Akron campus in the past 15 years and was pleased to see the audience increase each time.  Wise, 45, opened the evening by taking note of his privilege as a middle-class, college-educated, heterosexual white man. "I'm here because I fit the aesthetic for what's necessary for white people to talk about racism in America," he boomed. "People of color get up and say it all the time, but they get ignored. The real measure of post-racial America is when a black person can stand here and receive the same reception I do."   Acknowledging his privilege is the cornerstone of Wise's career. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, he received his B.A. from Tulane University, where he led an anti-apartheid student... Read More →

Junot Diaz Ponders Identity And Passion For Writing At Cleveland State University Keynote

Junot Diaz did not dress up for his talk.  He wore black jeans, worn boots and his white shirttails out beneath a charcoal sweater, front and back. On an October Friday afternoon, he walked into the terraced auditorium at Cleveland State University, and leaned companionably against the wall, sipping coffee out of a disposable cup as Professor Antonio Medina-Rivera introduced him. Medina-Rivera ran through Diaz’s dizzying credentials: a full professor at M.I.T., a 2012 MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow, a Pulitzer Prize for his vibrant first novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which also won an Anisfield-Wolf book award.  In addition, his host reported, Diaz volunteers at Freedom University, a new institution that attempts to meet the needs of undocumented college... Read More →

“We Are All Political”: Poets Eugene Gloria & Kazim Ali Move The Crowd At MOCA

Eugene Gloria, this year's winner for poetry, reads from My Beloved Warlord at the 2013 awards ceremonyEugene Gloria says that he is fascinated by failure. He was quick to describe a particular poem or two as failed, and even his book, “My Favorite Warlord,” which won a 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, as a failure of his original idea to describe 1967.“I ran out of ideas for 1967, became bored,” Gloria told listeners at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. “I ran out of gas, even though I was obsessed by it. The idea of failure is fascinating to me.”And yet, 1967 is a fulcrum in “My Favorite Warlord” – the year his family arrived in San Francisco from the Philippines, the year his future wife was born in Detroit, the year that Wole Soyinka is “being hauled to... Read More →

Cleveland Public Library’s Brown Bag Book Club Features Anisfield-Wolf Authors

Meet our esteemed manager, Karen R. Long, at the Cleveland Public Library's Brown Bag Book Club on Wednesday, August 21 at noon. Long, the former Plain Dealer book editor, will introduce Cleveland to the four 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners. Beginning Wednesday, September 4, a more in-depth discussion of each book will occur weekly:  Eugene Gloria, My Favorite Warlord, September. 4 Laird Hunt, Kind One, September 18 Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds, September 25 Andrew Solomon, Far From The Tree, October 2 Tickets to the Sept. 12 awards ceremony are sold out, but Long will raffle off six at her library talk.  Karen R. Long served as book editor of The Plain Dealer for eight years before becoming the manager of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Long is a vice... Read More →
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