As our profile begins to grow as a book award, from time to time we like to recognize some of the beautiful writing others have done on our behalf. Barbara Hoffert, past president of the National Book Critics Circle, authored an elegant write-up about this year’s winners for the Library Journal, aptly titled, “Celebrate the Past, Look to the Future.”
Since their founding in 1935 by Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf to honor books that confront racism and celebrate diversity, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have called out major writers to us, among them Nadine Gordimer, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott—generally before they became Nobel Laureates….
From Israel to the Caribbean, Chechnya to the boxing rings of Jim Crow America—the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have come far from Edith Anisfield Wolf’s Cleveland. But in spirit they are right at home.