Category Archives: American Book Awards

Ishmael Reed Writes New Introduction for Author Charles S. Wright

The Collected Novels of Charles S. Wright has been republished in 2019 with a new introduction from Ishmael Reed containing an in depth and personal examination of the Author’s history.

From The Literary Hub:

San Francisco Library Hosts American Book Award Winner Tommy Orange

San Francisco Public Library is honored to announce its 15th Annual One City One Book main event, #ThereThere by Tommy Orange, presented in partnership with Litquake. Tommy Orange will be at the Main Library in conversation with San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck.

“There There” tells the story of urban Native Americans living in Oakland, CA, depicting a beautiful, compelling, heartbreaking and urgently real landscape of the Native experience living in the Bay Area past and present day.

Throughout the months of October and November 2019, “There There” will be widely available at all San Francisco libraries and at bookstores around the city. We are pleased to offer many events and programs related to #OneCityOneBook, including book talks, themed exhibits, related programs and speakers along with city-wide celebration of Indigenous heritage and the 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Occupation.

This year’s One City One Book program is a joint partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission, Oakland Public Library, City College of San Francisco, and June Jordan School of Equity. Key sponsors are Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and Litquake.

Koret Auditorium
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St., San Francisco



All libraries are wheelchair accessible. To request other accommodations, call 415-557-4557 or contact Requesting 72 hours in advance will help ensure availability.

RSVP on Facebook:

Mercury News Covers Tommy Orange’s American Book Award

Orange’s debut novel There There has received the 2019 American Book Award. It plumbs the substance of Native American lives in Oakland, California.

Lorna Dee Cervantes and Ishmael Reed’s Band Perform

Lorna Dee Cervantes performs When Ishmael Cooks the Gumbo to a full house with accompaniment from the Ishmael Reed Band at Yoshi’s Jazz Club San Francisco on 11/14/11. This event was part of a benefit for the Before Columbus Foundation. Cervantes’ Emplumada earned considerable critical acclaim and continues to be an important work in Chicana literature. In 1982 it won the American Book Award.

Laila Lalami Interviewed at National Book Festival

NPR Interviews Lalami about her recent The Other Americans at the event hosted by the Library of Congress. Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. 

Atlanta Magazine Interviews Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown received the American Book Award 2009 for his first poetry collection, Please. He’s currently on tour promoting of his most recent collection of poetry, The Tradition (2019), attempting to (as Brown says) “take the book around the sun.” He’ll give a reading in Atlanta this weekend at the Decatur Book Festival. Read more at the link below:

William T. Vollman Discusses Award Winning Climate Change Research

National Book Award winner William T. Vollmann introduces “Carbon Ideologies,” his new two-volume exploration of the causes and consequences global warming. Vollmann’s Carbon Ideologies: Volume I, No Immediate Danger, & Volume II, No Good Alternative received the American Book Award 2019 from the Before Columbus Foundation. Buy a copy of “No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies” here:

Over the years William T. Vollmann has earned critical acclaim by tackling some of the largest and thorniest issues of our times, including poverty, violence, and American imperialism. In “Carbon Ideologies,” Vollmann turns to one of the greatest crises we have ever faced: global warming.

G. Willow Wilson and Nico Leon Receive American Book Award for Ms. Marvel

See coverage of the award from Marvel and Comics Beat

Will Alexander Publishes Essay “Translucence as Superior Distillation”

Will Alexander is a poet, aphorist, playwright, essayist, philosopher, visual artist, pianist, and native of Los Angeles. The author of nearly thirty books, his awards and honors include a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001, a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award in 2007, and an American Book Award in 2013 for Singing In Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose, Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture. In 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Jackson Prize for poetry, which is among the most substantial given to an American poet.

Tommy Orange’s American Book Award Coverage

Author Tommy Orange’s There There has received the 2019 American Book Award. See coverage of this and other awardees from Associated Press, Washington Post, and KQED:

"The educator and psychologist Nathan Hare was given a lifetime achievement award. His books include 'The Black Anglo-Saxons' and 'The Endangered Black Family'."

Posted by Before Columbus Foundation on Monday, August 19, 2019