Category Archives: Foundation News

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C-Span Footage of 2019 American Book Awards Ceremony

The American Book Awards were hosted November 1, 2019 at the San Francisco Public Library.

Ishmael Reed discusses writing for a global audience

Writer Ishmael Reed is founder of the Before Columbus Foundation. Interviewed by Keisha Blane.

John Okada’s “No-No Boy” Reviewed In Retrospective

John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung is a winner of the Before Columbus Foundation’s 2019 American Book Awards.

From Inquiries Journal:

Ishmael Reed’s Latest Play Highlighted for Criticism of Broadway Hit “Hamilton”

The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda is completing its second running at the famed Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe.

From The Washington Square News:

Laila Lalami nominated for National Book Award

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. From the LA Times:

Joy Harjo’s “An American Sunrise” Reviewed by New York Times

Harjo was recently named American Poet Laureate by the U.S. Library of Congress, becoming the first Native American awarded the title. Their poetry collection In Mad Love And War received the American Book Award in 1991. The New York Times reviews her latest release.

Ishmael Reed’s Play Showing at Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Ishmael Reed’s new play “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” returns to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe this October, after a run of sold-out performances and press coverage from the New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, the Observer, the Paris Review and more. Like theater in the time of Bertolt Brecht or the WPA, Reed’s new work (under the direction of multiple AUDELCO winner Rome Neal) challenges the narrative of commercial theater and mainstream historical accounts. Reed’s play brings to the forefront those characters who are absent from “Hamilton, The Revolution”: slaves, Native Americans, indentured servants & Harriet Tubman. Performances of “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” take place October 4-27, 2019. Visit to purchase tickets. RSVP on Facebook:

Salman Rushdie and Marlon James In Conversation

The two met to read and discuss recent works as part of PEN America’s Pen Out Loud series. Salman Rushdie celebrates the release of his newest novel, QUICHOTTE, recently shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Quichotte is a dazzling, modern take on Don Quixote by a literary master, at once an homage and a unique work of art. Rushdie was joined in conversation by Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James (BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF), to read from his work, and discuss his literary interpretation of a classic. James sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors, and his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings received the American Book Award in 2015.

Shawn Wong Interviewed About Asian-American Literature

Wong is one of Before Columbus Foundation’s original founders and currently sits on its board of directors.

Shawn Wong is a writer and Professor of English at the University of Washington. He has published two novels, Homebase (1979) and American Knees (1995), and is the editor of many anthologies of Asian-American literature, including Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, which helped establish the field. He has been critical to the rise of Asian-American literature in its writing, teaching, and discussion. When Homebase was first published in 1979, it was the only Chinese-American novel in print in America. As a scholar, Shawn Wong pioneered Asian-American studies and co-organized the first Asian-American writer’s conference. In this interview, we discuss these beginnings, the state of Asian-American literature now, as well as his works and teaching.