The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is the country's only juried literary competition devoted to recognizing books that have made an important contribution to society's understanding of racism and the diversity of human cultures.
Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity.
The esteemed jury, overseen by Henry Louis Gates Jr., includes poet Rita Dove, author Joyce Carol Oates, psychologist Steven Pinker, and art historian Simon Schama. Each year, the jury honors works of fiction and non-fiction and recognizes one individual whose life work has enhanced an understanding of cultural diversity. Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Oprah Winfrey, August Wilson, and Gordon Parks.
The announcement was made by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, who serves as jury chair, and Ronald B. Richard, president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Foundation, which administers the prize.
[Press release content via Randi Cone, Coterie Media.]