Mark Your Calendar For Our 2022 Awards Ceremony September 15, Nestled In Cleveland Book Week

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VIDEO: Adrian Matejka On Winning The 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award For Poetry

Adrian Matejka’s “The Big Smoke” is a nuanced, polyphonic book that explores the life of boxer Jack Johnson, the first African- American heavyweight world champion. A fan of the sport, Matejka was moved by this son of emancipated slaves – born in Texas just 13 years after the end of the Civil War – who loved Shakespeare, Verdi’s operas, travel abroad and a series of white women. The Big Smoke follows Johnson until 1912 in 52 poems. Matejka spent eight years researching and writing this book. He teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington.  

We caught up with Matejka in a few quiet moments before this year’s ceremony to hear his thoughts on being honored with the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for poetry: 

Adrian Matejka, Winner of The 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

 

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