Category Archives: American Book Awards

Democracy Now interviews Nick Turse about ethnic violence in Congo

Nick Turse received the American Book Award in 2014 for Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam and in 2016 for Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops In Africa. Amy Goodman invites him onto her program Democracy Now to discuss his article Slaughter in Silence: How a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was made worse by Trump’s America First policy and the world’s neglect.

Los Angeles Review of Books reviews Ishmael Reed’s latest “Conjugating Hindi”

Ishmael Reed released Conjugating Hindi, a historical satire of Indian race relations in America, through Dalkey Press in the spring of 2018.

“Conjugating Hindi is a further exploration of Reed’s alternative Black aesthetic of Neo-HooDoo, informed by bricolage and jazz improvisation. It is not quite as poetic or gnostic as Reed’s 1972 masterpiece Mumbo Jumbo, but it is brilliant — the same sort of experimental brilliance observable in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon or the cut-up technique of William S. Burroughs — and more accessible.”!

Will Alexander, “A Cannibal Explains Himself to Himself”

Alexander received the American Book Award in 2013 for Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose, Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture, from Essay Press.

A Cannibal Explains Himself to Himself is a creative non-fiction essay of internal exploration. From Entropy Magazine:

Colorlines highlights 2018 American Book Awards given to authors of color

“The 39th cohort of awardees features several novelists, scholars, poets and other literary figures whose works interrogate race in America’s history and present.”

Bojan Luis’ “Currents” wins American Book Award

KCUR highlights the book of stories from BkMk press.

“Louis, a member of the Navajo Nation, tells stories in “Currents” in three languages: English, Diné and Spanish. Inspired by his work as an electrician, enriched by his love for the Navajo and Spanish languages, and marked by his fearless look at how the big cultural questions affect our daily lives, Bojan Louis has given us a stunning debut book.”

Valeria Luiselli’s ‘Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions’ wins American Book Award

Telesur TV covers Luiselli’s critical investigation of immigration policy. “Distributed to both English and Spanish readers, the collection of short stories was published to its Latin audience under the title ‘Los Niños Perdidos’ (The Lost Children).”

Thi Bui, American Book Award winner, named Best of the East Bay

The East Bay Express names Thi Bui “Best Graphic Novelist Fighting For The Underdog”  in their annual Best of the East Bay list, including biographical article:

2018 American Book Awards

The Press Release for the 2018 American Book Awards has been released: American Book Award 2018 Press Release

The Raymond House • 655 13th Street • Suite 302 • Oakland, California 94612

August 13, 2018


Contact: Justin Desmangles, 916-425-7916

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the

Winners of the Thirty-Ninth Annual


Ceremonies, October 28, 2018, 12:00–2:30 p.m.

Oakland, CA—The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Thirty-Ninth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. The 2018 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Sunday, October 28, from 12:00-2:30 p.m. at the SF Jazz Center, Joe Henderson Lab, 201 Franklin Street (at Fell), San Francisco, CA. This event is open to the public.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term “multicultural” to be not a description of various categories, groups, or “special interests,” but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers’ award given by other writers.

The 2018 American Book Award Winners are:

Thi Bui, The Best That We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Harry N. Abrams)

Rachelle Cruz, God’s Will for Monsters (Inlandia Books)

Tommy Curry, The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood
(Temple University Press)

Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights)

Dana Naone Hall, Life of the Land: Articulations of a Native Writer (‘Ai Pohaku Press)

Kelly Lytle Hernández, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965 (University of North Carolina)

Victor LaValle, The Changeling: A Novel (Spiegel & Grau)

Bojan Louis, Currents (BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City)

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions (Coffee House)

Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson and B. V. Olguín, Altermundos Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press)

Tiya Miles, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (The New Press)

Tommy Pico, Nature Poem (Tin House Books)

Rena Priest, Patriarchy Blues (MoonPath Press)

Joseph Rios, Shadowboxing: poems & impersonations (Omnidawn)

Sunaura Taylor, Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation (The New Press)

Lifetime Achievement

Sequoyah Guess

Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award

Kellie Jones, South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s

(Duke University)

Editor/Publisher Award

Charles F. Harris

Anti-Censorship Award

Rob Rogers

Oral Literature Award

Heroes Are Gang Leaders



Laila Lalami criticizes US immigrant detention policy

Lalami has received the American Book Award in 2016 for novel The Moor’s Account. From The Nation:

Roscoe Mitchell to perform musical tribute to poet Bob Kaufman

(This event is free and open to the public)
Before Columbus Foundation Presents
In Association with The African-American Center of The San Francisco Public Library and Justin Desmangles, Chair of Before Columbus Foundation

Does the Secret Mind Whisper?
A Celebration of Poet Bob Kaufman with Roscoe Mitchell

Where: San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St. San Francisco, California

A towering presence in Afro-American classical music for over five decades, Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble of Chicago) presents a program of music and poetry celebrating Bob Kaufman.

Roscoe Mitchell, reeds
Brett Carson, keyboard
Justin Desmangles, voice

You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here: