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The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. For 85 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice. Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity.

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  • 2020 Winners Announced

From The Jury Chair

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Letter from the Chairman, Henry Louis Gates Jr. Thoughtful, provocative writing about cultural identity has been rare in this country, so that makes it even more remarkable that... Read More →

From The Cleveland Foundation

Ronald Richard
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.6 billion and 2019 grants of more than $114... Read More →

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Latest Blog Posts

  • “We Are Radical Monarchs” Documentary Shows Young Girls Taking Flight In The Social Justice Realm


    “I was meant to be here,” 11-year-old Amia said as she twirled around the state capitol building in Sacramento, California.  On a field trip with roughly a dozen other members of the Radical Monarchs, a social justice troop based out of Oakland, California, Amia’s enthusiasm was captured in the riveting 2019 documentary, “We Are the […] Read More →

  • New Exhibition Pulls Local Community Into The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Canon


    An innovative virtual exhibition at Case Western Reserve University selects and showcases new local responses to Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards writing. Sponsored by the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative, the exhibition features 10 new poems and essays responding to prompts from the Anisfield-Wolf award-winning canon. Students and faculty from area universities created their own work based in Tracy K. Smith (“Wade in the Water”), Jesmyn Ward […] Read More →

  • Kamden Hilliard Named Second Anisfield-Wolf Fellow At Cleveland State University Poetry Center


    Kamden Hilliard — a poet who has lived in Hawai’i, southern California, New York City, Hong Kong, Iowa and South Carolina over their 26 years — will be the second Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing and Editing.  Hilliard was chosen from among more than 100 applicants. The poet, who uses “they, them, their” pronouns, has yet […] Read More →

  • Introducing Our Class Of 2020


    The Cleveland Foundation today unveiled the winners of its 85th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. The 2020 recipients of the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and explores diversity are: Eric Foner, Lifetime Achievement Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic, Poetry Charles King, Gods of the Upper Air, Nonfiction Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift, Fiction […] Read More →

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