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Tag Archives: jury

Rita Dove Brings Focus To Literacy In Akron, Delivers Stunning Poetry To Inspire A New Generation

When former poet laureate Rita Dove graced the stage of the Akron Civic Theater October 16, she took a minute to give thanks to her hometown.  "It's wonderful to be back home," Dove told the crowd, adding that she was thankful for the opportunity to "give back what was given to me." The Anisfield-Wolf juror was the headliner for Project Learn of Summit County's annual "Night of Illumination," a fundraiser to improve literacy. The figures are sobering: an estimated 18 percent of the adult population in Summit County read at less than a fifth grade education. For more than 30 years, Project Learn has worked to improve literacy rates among adults, offering free classes and workshops. During the afternoon, Dove met with 30 students from these classes for an intense writing session. Two of... Read More →

Rita Dove Arrives “Home,” Explores The Depths Of Poetry At PlayhouseSquare Reading

Few modern poets range as widely through time and geography as Rita Dove, the former U.S. poet laureate. But when she took the stage of the Ohio Theatre in downtown Cleveland April 11, the evening had the sweet tang of home. “It’s always good to come back,” she said, 60 years after her birth in Akron. “There is something in the Midwest -- particularly in Northeast Ohio -- that never leaves your system. I come back and immediately I fall into the cadences of the Midwest.” Dove, whose musical alto drew an audience of more than 700, grew up immersed in the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, during a childhood that also made room for fractal geometry and “Harold and the Purple Crayon.” Ronald B. Richard, president of the Cleveland Foundation, noted that the 1955... Read More →

Henry Louis Gates Jr On The Importance Of A Good Book

Anisfield-Wolf jury chair Henry Louis Gates has a resume a mile long. And in between his work at Harvard, his successful PBS specials, among his other numerous obligations, he found time to finish "Life On These Shores: Looking At African-American History 1513-2008," an expansive look at the experience of blacks in America from the time of arrival of the free black conquistador Juan Garrido with Ponce de León in 1513 to the election of President Obama in 2008. Gates covers subjects as diverse as NBA great Bill Russell to Malcolm X to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  The reason he's able to write such books on such expansive topics is quite simply, his love for knowledge. In this interview with the Boston Globe, he talks about his love of reading and what books he believes... Read More →
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