Category Archives: American Book Awards

Resisting Disaster Capitalism in Puerto Rico

On Wednesday, June 6, The Intercept co-hosted “The Battle for Paradise: Resisting Disaster Capitalism in Puerto Rico,” an event focused on how the forces of disaster capitalism are seeking to undermine the Puerto Rican people’s vision for a just and renewable future. Video of the discussion can be seen on The Intercept‘s website:

The event features Naomi Klein alongside various other esteemed scholars and journalists. Klein received the American Book Award in 2015 for This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs The Climate.


Spanish-language coverage of Ishmael Reed’s trip to Catalonia

Ishmael Reed, founder of Before Columbus Foundation and the American Book Award, has recently traveled to Catalonia, Spain for the First Person Festival and other engagements. Includes discussion of his latest book, Flight to Canada. Coverage from various sources linked below:

UCLA hosts discussion of Vaughn Rasberry’s “Race and the Totalitarian Century”

Rasberry received the 2017 American Book Award for Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination

Will Alexander, Justin Desmangles, Robin D.G. Kelley, Vaughn Rasberry, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, UCLA, May 15, 2018 (photo by Tatyana Ali)

Nancy Mercado delivers Keynote Address at Rutgers’ Rites of Passage Ceremony

Rites of Passage, a graduation ceremony for Black and Latinx students at Rutgers, invited Nancy Mercado to deliver its Keynote address in 2018. Mercado received the 2017 American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement. Event details can be read here: Video from YouTube:

Ishmael Reed’s play Life Among The Aryans to debut

“Life Among the Aryans” Opens May 31, 2018 in New York City at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketfly:

John Keene speaks on elements of literary style

Keene’s Counternarratives received the American Book Award in 2016. “Literary style is the material articulation, in whatever genre and form, of an author’s attempt to record their vision, sensibility, and apperception of the world.” Speech originally delivered at Association of Writers/Writing Programs (AWP) Tampa Transcript From Literary Hub:

Laila Lalami examines divide between writers and critics

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. From Poets & Writers:

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Marlon James wins award from American Academy of Arts and Letters

Eight writers, including St. Paul novelist Marlon James, have won Arts and Letters Awards in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The awards celebrate “exceptional accomplishment in literature”. James is part of the Before Columbus Foundation’s board of directors, and received the 2015 American Book Award (and several other awards) for A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz criticizes America’s gun obsession

“The Second Amendment is almost a Time Bomb that was planted in the constitution”

Dunbar-Ortiz received the American Book Award in 2015 for An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. Her newest book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment (City Lights, 236 pages, $15.95), takes on the militaristic and white-supremacist origins of our country’s unhinged love affair with guns.