Putting Cleveland’s Literary Scene on the Map

Since 2016, Cleveland Book Week has celebrated literary excellence in Northeast Ohio, anchored by the latest class of Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners. View the full archive of events below.

2022

Class of 2022, l to r: George Makari (nonfiction), Tiya Miles (nonfiction), Ishmael Reed (lifetime achievement), Donika Kelly (poetry), and Percival Everett (fiction)

Book lovers gathered in person for the first time since 2019 to celebrate Cleveland Book Week with our current Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winners — novelist Percival Everett, poet Donika Kelly, historian George Makari, historian Tiya Miles and lifetime achievement recipient Ishmael Reed.

Our return to in-person programming was facilitated by our partnerships with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, Black Environmental Leaders, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Lake View Cemetery and the City Club of Cleveland.

2021

Cleveland Book Week featured a one-hour documentary with historian Vincent Brown, poet Victoria Chang, lifetime achievement recipient Samuel R. Delany, novelist James McBride, and memoirist Natasha Trethewey. Jury Chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. served as host.

Our 2021 programming was possible due to generous collaborations with Case Western Reserve University, Great Lakes African American Writers Conference, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Public Library, and Cuyahoga County Public Library.

2020

The fifth annual Cleveland Book Week celebrated our 2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winners, while broadening our reach into film and podcasts. The week was anchored by a one-hour documentary featuring a visit to the hometowns of historian Eric Foner, poet Ilya Kaminsky, scholar Charles King and novelist Namwali Serpell, replacing our annual in-person awards ceremony.

The slate of virtual programming was made possible due to collaborations with the Cleveland International Film Festival, Western Reserve Historical Society, Global Cleveland, the City Club of Cleveland, and the Great Lakes African American Writers Conference. 

2019

Class of 2019, l to r: Tommy Orange (fiction), Sonia Sanchez (lifetime achievement), Andrew Delbanco (nonfiction), Tracy K. Smith (poetry)

Cleveland Book Week 2019 took attendees from the shores of Lake Erie to the campus of Kent State University 40 miles to the south, honoring historian Andrew Delbanco, novelist Tommy Orange, lifetime achievement recipient Sonia Sanchez, and poet Tracy K. Smith.

The Cleveland Foundation and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards presented Cleveland Book Week in partnership with Brews + Prose, Case Western Reserve University, The City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Great Lakes African American Writers Conference, Great Lakes Science Center, Karamu House, Kent State University, Lake Erie Native American Council, Project 400, and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

2018

Class of 2019, l to r: Kevin Young (nonfiction), Jesmyn Ward (fiction), N. Scott Momaday (lifetime achievement), and Shane McCrae (poetry)

In 2018, Cleveland celebrated present and past Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards winners and hosted 13 events, 5,000 people, a world of incredible writing and reading. The week honored our 2018 winners right here in Northeast Ohio: poet Shane McCrae, lifetime achievement recipient N. Scott Momaday, novelist Jesmyn Ward, and author and editor Kevin Young.

The Cleveland Foundation and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards presented Cleveland Book Week in partnership with Baker-Nord Center, Brews + Prose, The City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Karamu House, Literary Cleveland and Twelve Literary Arts.

2017

Class of 2017, l to r: Ronn Richard, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation; Peter Ho Davies (fiction); Tyehimba Jess (poetry); Isabel Allende (lifetime achievement); Rita Dove, Anisfield-Wolf juror; Margot Lee Shetterly (nonfiction); Karan Mahajan (fiction); Henry Louis Gates Jr, Anisfield-Wolf jury chair

The 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony during Cleveland Book Week drew a record crowd of more than 1,200 to the State Theatre at Playhouse Square to celebrate the year’s winners: lifetime achievement recipient Isabel Allende, novelist Peter Ho Davies, poet Tyehimba Jess, novelist Karan Mahajan and nonfiction writer Margot Lee Shetterly.

Among the partners of Cleveland Book Week were Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Great Lakes Science Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga County Community College, the City Club of Cleveland, Overdrive, Brews & Prose, Twelve Literary Arts, Karamu House, MOCA Cleveland and the Cleveland Flea.

2016

Class of 2016, l to r: Orlando Patterson (lifetime achievement); Brian Seibert (nonfiction); Mary Morris (fiction); Rita Dove, Anisfield-Wolf juror; Ronn Richard, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation; ; Lillian Faderman (nonfiction); and Rowan Ricardo Phillips (poetry).

In 2016, we celebrated the inaugural Cleveland Book Week, a series of special events to celebrate Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners past and present, and showcase people and organizations working to promote literature and literacy in Greater Cleveland. Throughout the week, in coordination with a number of community partners, we hosted an array of events to honor the Anisfield-Wolf class of 2016: historian Lillian Faderman, novelist Mary Morris, sociologist Orlando Patterson, poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips and dance critic Brian Seibert.

Many thanks to Brews & Prose, the City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Flea, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beck Center for the Arts, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Case Western Reserve University for partnering on this inaugural celebration.