2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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Richard S. Dunn spent 40 years researching and writing “A Tale of Two Plantations,” a scrupulous, revelatory archival investigation of some
2,000 people enslaved across three generations: roughly half on a Jamaican sugar plantation called Mesopotamia, and half on Mount Airy, a Virginia tidewater plantation growing tobacco and grain.

As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is Dunn’s turn in front of the camera:

Richard S Dunn, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf winner for nonfiction from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

 

As Marilyn Chin began her acceptance speech for this year’s award for poetry, she looked out in the audience upon former poet laureate and jury member Rita Dove, thanking her for her sisterhood. Dove praised “Hard Love Province,” noting, “In these sad and beautiful poems, a withering portrayal of our global ‘society’ emerges – from Buddha to Allah, Mongols to Bethesda boys, Humvee to war horse, Dachau to West Darfu, Irrawaddy River to San Diego.”

As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is Chin’s turn in front of the camera:

 

Marilyn Chin, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf winner for poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

 

It was a brief passage in “Sula,” Toni Morrison‘s 1973 novel, that changed Marlon James‘ entire life: in it, Sula refutes the idea that her life choices only have value if affirmed by others. James realized: “I don’t owe anything to anyone. I didn’t have anything to prove. I could be the writer; I could be the artist. I could be the person that I want.”

James’ indebtedness to Morrison extends further into the Anisfield-Wolf canon—Edwidge Danticat, Arnold Rampersad, Wole Soyinka are among the winners he referenced as he accepted his prize for 2014’s “A Brief History of Seven Killings” at the sold-out awards ceremony at Playhouse Square.

As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the hustle of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is James’ turn in front of the camera:

Marlon James, 2015 winner of Anisfield-Wolf award for fiction from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

 

“My idols sat around and read my book, y’all,” Jericho Brown remarked from the podium at the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony. Moments later he launched into “Labor,” a piece featured in his 2014 collection, The New Testament

As is our tradition, we caught up with Brown in a few quiet moments before this year’s ceremony to hear his thoughts on being honored with the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for poetry:

Jericho Brown, 2015 Anisfield-Wolf award winner for poetry from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.