Category Archives: Foundation News

Poets Will Alexander and Cecilia Vicuña host collaborative reading

Long-time friends, Cecilia Vicuña and Will Alexander came together for the first time to read and discuss their many varied involvements. Alexander’s Singing In Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose, Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture received the 2013 American Book Award, and he sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s board of directors. Coverage of the event from Entropy Magazine.

Marlon James and Victor LaValle in conversational interview

The two authors discuss topics relevant to their writing in a candid and insightful conversation. Marlon James received the American Book Award in 2015 for his novel A Brief History Of Seven Killings, and subsequently joined Before Columbus Foundation’s board of directors. Victor LaValle’s The Changeling received the American Book Award in 2018.

Designer Grace Wales Bonner discusses fashion with Ishmael Reed

The London-based artist holds a conversational interview with Ishmael Reed discussing influences, interpretation, and interrelation between art forms. From Interview Magazine.

New York Times covers Ishmael Reed’s play “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda”

Ishmael Reed’s play aims to counter misinformation spread by popular Broadway play Hamilton. It is showing at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in Manhattan. From NYTimes:

Joseph Rios Discusses debut “Shadowboxing: poems and impersonations”

Joseph Rios’ debut collection of writing, Shadowboxing: poems and impersonations received the American Book Award in 2018.

LA Review of Books interviews Victor LaValle

LaValle received the American Book Award in 2010 for Big Machine and again in 2018 for Changeling, which is being developed into a small-screen series. “His books tackle mental illness, poverty, and parenthood in a variety of genres. LaValle’s most recent publications, the H. P. Lovecraft–inspired novella The Ballad of Black Tom and the American Book Award–winning novel The Changeling, are being developed for the small screen by AMC and FX respectively.”…/the-craft-is-all-the-same…#!

Rachelle Cruz’s American Book Award Brings Attention to Region’s authors

Rachelle Cruz is a lecturer at University of California Riverside. Her collection of poetry, God’s Will For Monsters, received the American Book Award in 2018.

Thirty-ninth annual American Book Awards ceremony, October 28th at SF Jazz Center

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Thirty-Ninth Annual
Ceremonies, October 28, 2018, 12:00–2:30 p.m.

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.

For event details and to RSVP on Facebook:

Vancouver International Film Festival to screen Astra Taylor’s “What is Democracy?”

Astra Taylor received the 2015 American Book Award for The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.

Dorothy Woodend reviews Taylor’s third film in anticipation of its upcoming screening (October 6th – October 12th) at the Vancouver Film Festival.

“Taylor’s film is alive with febrile hope, offering not only wrangling, tangling debate, but real situations, lived experience and democracy in the raw. Even as the social body is sawn apart, there are people working to stitch it back together again. Often these are folk who have historically been left out of the discussion — women, people of colour, gay and lesbian people, and kids.

In What Is Democracy?, genuine action happens not in the Oval Office or a UN conference room, but in makeshift medical centres that sprang up in Greece under austerity measures, a workers’ co-op that employs refugees from across Latin America, or a living room in Miami where young activists debate who gets to be a citizen, whether mobility is more important than capital and, ultimately, “Who gets to count and who gets counted?””

Astra Taylor’s “What is Democracy” debuts at Toronto International Film Festival

Astra Taylor received the 2015 American Book Award for “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.” Thom Powers interviews her about her third film, What is Democracy, which was screened at the 43rd annual Toronto International Film Festival.

“What is Democracy? — the title and central question of Astra Taylor’s new documentary — forgoes simple answers in favour of a series of compelling contradictions, one of which is that democracy is both thought and action.”