In an excellent new essay in Belt Magazine's inaugural online issue, Jacqueline Marino recounts the history of Cleveland's Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, one of the most distinguished literary prizes in American letters.
"Yet, for the majority of the award’s 78-year history," writes Marin, "most Clevelanders—and many in the literary world—have not known this prize even existed. And many still don’t."
That's a shame: It's an award which celebrates social justice and contributes to our understanding of racism and diversity. The awards ceremony will be held this Thursday at Playhouse Square, hosted (per usual) by Harvard's Henry Louis Gates. You can check the Anisfield-Wolf website for information on past winners, and opportunities to meet this year's crop.
In addition to a work of poetry, two works of fiction and one work of nonfiction, Wole Soyinka (a Nobel laureate) will be honored with a lifetime achievement award.