The Cleveland Foundation announced the winners of its 80th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Named after Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf, who established the book prizes in 1935 in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect their passion for issues of social justice, the national juried awards recognize books that make important contributions to our understanding of racism and cultural diversity.
Past winners of the award include such notable names as Nadine Gordimer, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison and Wole Soyinka.
This year’s Anisfeld-Wolf Book Awards recipients are:
- Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings (fiction)
- Jericho Brown for The New Testament (poetry)
- Marilyn Chin for Hard Love Province (poetry)
- Richard S. Dunn for A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia (nonfiction)
- David Brion Davis – Lifetime Achievement
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who directs the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, and the chair of the jury who determines the awards, said, “The new Anisfield-Wolf winners heighten our perceptions on race and diversity. This year, we honor ground-breaking research into the lives of specific families enslaved on two New World plantations, a tour-de-force fictional portrayal of Jamaica spun in multiple voices, poetry from both coasts that is erotic and grave, and the indispensable, morally towering scholarship of David Brion Davis.”
Other members of the selection jury were poet Rita Dove, novelist Joyce Carol Oates, psychologist Steven Pinker and historian Simon Schama.
The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony to be held on September 10th in Cleveland, Ohio.