2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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Cleveland welcomed poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips to town by giving him a good sense of our hometown pride. Visiting only months after the city won its first championship in 52 years, Phillips arrived in a walking boot, as he was recovering from surgery on his Achilles. As he made small talk, he’d remark, “Better me than Lebron, right?” To his surprise, everyone responded: “Yes, definitely. Better you than Lebron.”

Phillips told this story from the stage at Playhouse Square, where he was collecting the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf award for Heaven. We found a few quiet moments to speak with Phillips during his busy Cleveland itinerary about what this award means to him both personally and professionally:

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, 2016 Winner for Poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

Following in our tradition, each of our winners will speak at the awards ceremony, and each will talk and read separately in a second, more intimate setting in Northeast Ohio. Mark your calendars and make plans to join us in September for a string of these illuminating events, designed to bring readers and winners into each other’s orbits.

Orlando Patterson, Lifetime Achievement
“What Have We learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?”
Baker-Nord Center
Wednesday, September 14
4:30-6 p.m.

Mary Morris, The Jazz Palace
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch, along with jazz pianist Jackie Warren and jazz trumpeter Kenny Davis
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Wednesday, September 14
4-5:30 p.m.

Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
“A Very Long and (Almost) Victorious Battle: The Struggle for Gay Civil Rights”
The City Club of Cleveland
Friday, September 16, noon
Register here

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Planetarium
Friday, September 16
3:30 p.m.

Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
Beck Center for the Arts
Friday, September 16
5-6 p.m.