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Tag Archives: winners

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 →

[Call For Submissions] 2016 MLK Essay Contest

In a year characterized by racial urgency, the local Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest is expanding to accept entries from students, faculty and staff at Cuyahoga Community College, as well as those at Case Western Reserve University. Participants are invited to reflect on King's connection to Cleveland and the fight for equal rights in our backyard. (King first visited Cleveland in 1956 to speak about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, returning often to raise funds, campaign for Carl Stokes' bid for mayor and help organize a local boycott.) The essays should reflect the themes in King's first book, Stride Toward Freedom, which won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1958. Winners will receive a monetary prize and a copy of one of King's books. Sponsors include the Cleveland Humanities... Read More →

[In Their Words] Examining The Runaway Success Of A Brief History Of Seven Killings

by Dr. Anand Bhat In 2007, when I asked my driver in Caracas if evangelical Christianity had been making its way into the oil-rich jungles of Venezuela, he nodded, smiled, and said, “Yes, they say officially they are here for the Church of Pentecost, but I think they are here for the Church of the CIA.”  In every developing nation, that nod and that smile and that second story represent the beginning of almost every great storytelling session I have had about recent history and current events. Listen to me now.  Me warn him… Long time I drop warnings that other people close, friend and enemy, was going get him in a whole heap o’trouble.  Every one of we know at least one, don’t it?  Always have a notion but never come up with a single idea.  Always working plenty of... Read More →

The Incredible Staying Power Of James McBride’s “The Color of Water”

by Gail Arnoff, adjunct professor, John Carroll University  The first time I read The Color of Water, I was deep in the woods of Otter Creek, a lovely wilderness in West Virginia. In my hammock strung between two trees, with the musical creek flowing just below our campsite, I began to read. From the first page I was fascinated by the story of James McBride and his mother, Ruth Jordan McBride. I didn't climb out of the hammock until hours later, when I'd finished the book. That summer I was planning a seminar, “Questions of Identity,” for Case Western Reserve University and was looking for pertinent memoirs. I knew immediately that The Color of Water would make the reading list.   In the past eight years I have introduced McBride and his mother to more than 135 students. The... Read More →

Poet Eugene Gloria Brings Discussion On Identity To Hiram College

  Credit: Kirsten L. Parkinson Tom Pantic, a junior at Hiram College in Ohio, wanted to know how poet Eugene Gloria felt about being put in the Asian box. Gloria, known for his nuanced poems exploring identity, geography and masculinity, took a moment in the college’s wood-paneled Alumni Heritage Room to gather his thoughts on a complicated question. “I’m OK with being grouped with Asian American poets – I’m very proud of that community,” he said. “It is a problem to be put on the ethnic shelf, with ‘American poets’ shelved elsewhere – that’s a problem for me. I’m happy to represent. I’m a Filipino poet but there are many other identities I inhabit.” Gloria, now 58, was the youngest of six children when his family left Manila and settled in San... Read More →

Education Writer Jonathan Kozol On Racial And Class Disparities In Our Nation’s Schools

As I approached the ballroom of the Cleveland Convention Center to reach the Open Doors Academy luncheon, I heard a commotion that seemed a bit out of place--more like a pep rally. Students flanked both sides of entrance to the ballroom, arms outstretched, giving enthusiastic high-fives to each guest. “No one asked them to do that,” executive director Annmarie Grassi shared with the audience. "That enthusiasm is all their own." Students greet keynote speaker Jonathan Kozol as he arrives to the event. Photo credit: Dennis Crider Photography More than 500 attendees filled the ballroom to support Open Doors Academy, a 13-year-old enrichment and leadership nonprofit serving some 400 students in Northeast Ohio. These students, buoyed by academic tutoring, volunteer projects and summer... Read More →

WATCH: Richard S. Dunn, 2015 Winner Of Anisfield-Wolf Prize: “It Is A Tremendous Honor”

Richard S. Dunn spent 40 years researching and writing "A Tale of Two Plantations," a scrupulous, revelatory archival investigation of some2,000 people enslaved across three generations: roughly half on a Jamaican sugar plantation called Mesopotamia, and half on Mount Airy, a Virginia tidewater plantation growing tobacco and grain. As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is Dunn's turn in front of the camera: Richard S Dunn, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf winner for nonfiction from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.   Read More →

WATCH: Marilyn Chin On Winning The 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Prize: “I Believe I’m An Activist Poet”

As Marilyn Chin began her acceptance speech for this year's award for poetry, she looked out in the audience upon former poet laureate and jury member Rita Dove, thanking her for her sisterhood. Dove praised "Hard Love Province," noting, "In these sad and beautiful poems, a withering portrayal of our global ‘society’ emerges – from Buddha to Allah, Mongols to Bethesda boys, Humvee to war horse, Dachau to West Darfu, Irrawaddy River to San Diego.” As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is Chin’s turn in front of the camera:   Marilyn Chin, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf winner for poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.   Read More →

WATCH: Marlon James On Winning The 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Prize: “My Whole Life Has Been Shaped By Anisfield-Wolf”

It was a brief passage in "Sula," Toni Morrison's 1973 novel, that changed Marlon James' entire life: in it, Sula refutes the idea that her life choices only have value if affirmed by others. James realized: "I don't owe anything to anyone. I didn't have anything to prove. I could be the writer; I could be the artist. I could be the person that I want." James' indebtedness to Morrison extends further into the Anisfield-Wolf canon—Edwidge Danticat, Arnold Rampersad, Wole Soyinka are among the winners he referenced as he accepted his prize for 2014's "A Brief History of Seven Killings" at the sold-out awards ceremony at Playhouse Square. As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to... Read More →

WATCH: Jericho Brown On Winning The 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Prize: “The Writing I Do Is Part Of A Tradition”

"My idols sat around and read my book, y'all," Jericho Brown remarked from the podium at the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony. Moments later he launched into "Labor," a piece featured in his 2014 collection, The New Testament.  As is our tradition, we caught up with Brown in a few quiet moments before this year’s ceremony to hear his thoughts on being honored with the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for poetry: Jericho Brown, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf award winner for poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.   Read More →
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