Category Archives: Foundation News

2019 American Book Award Winners Announced

Download Official Press Release Here

BEFORE COLUMBUS FOUNDATION
The Raymond House • 655 -13th Street • Suite 302 • Oakland, California 94612
www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com

August 19, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Justin Desmangles, 916-425-7916

The Before Columbus Foundation announces the

Winners of the Fortieth Annual

AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS

Ceremonies, November 1, 2019, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Oakland, CA—The Before Columbus Foundation announces the Winners of the Fortieth Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. The 2019 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St., 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 2019 American Book Award Winners are:

Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung (editors)

John Okada: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy

(University of Washington Press)

May-lee Chai

Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories

(Blair)

(continued)

Louise DeSalvo

The House of Early Sorrows: A Memoir in Essays

(Fordham University Press)

Heid E. Erdrich (editor)

New Poets of Native Nations

(Graywolf Press)

Ángel García

Teeth Never Sleep: Poems

(University of Arkansas Press)

Tommy Orange

There There: A Novel

(Knopf)

Halifu Osumare

Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir

(University Press of Florida)

Christopher Patton

Unlikeness Is Us: Fourteen from the Exeter Book

(Gaspereau Press)

Mark Sarvas

Memento Park: A Novel

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Jeffrey C. Stewart

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

(Oxford University Press)

William T. Vollmann

Carbon Ideologies: Volume I, No Immediate Danger, Volume II, No Good Alternative

(Viking)

G. Willow Wilson (author), Nico Leon (illustrator)

Ms. Marvel Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland

(Marvel)

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Nathan Hare

Editor/Publisher Award:

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

Oral Literature Award:

Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa)

The Nation reviews Ishmael Reed’s Play

Reed’s play The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda examines Broadway hit Hamilton‘s misrepresentations of history. From The Nation:

https://www.thenation.com/article/ishmael-reed-haunting-of-lin-manuel-miranda-hamilton-play-review/?fbclid=IwAR1hEi_uhYrk3NgUzAq_IwdYpYFbG5BupwrVw_Tgk-NrFdYFYYqfhMrqsZw

The Knockturnal reviews Ishmael Reed’s latest play

Ishmael Reed’s play “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” premiered at the Nuyorican Poets Café this past Thursday evening. The play aims to provide a historical counterpoint to ‘Hamilton,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway success. Read the review linked below:

https://theknockturnal.com/the-haunting-of-lin-manuel-miranda-review/?fbclid=IwAR3RLJ4n4cctE_PkKPerx0KxNU3v4zl5apt82xEeb-oI1jf4s33kg9GT3Cw

Laila Lalami discusses new novel “The Other Americans”

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. She sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors. Via The Nation’s podcast, Start Making Sense:

Laila Lalami’s “The Other Americans” reviewed by New York Times

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016. She sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s board of directors. The article appears in print today. Read it online here:

Joy Harjo wins Jackson Poetry Prize

The prize is awarded annually by Poets & Writers to an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition, and aims to provide what poets need: time and encouragement to write. There is no application process; poets are nominated by a panel of their peers who remain anonymous.

Joy Harjo’s Crazy Brave received the American Book Award in 2013. She sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Marlon James named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019

Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings received the American Book Award in 2015. James also sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors. Words from Salman Rushdie:

http://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567700/marlon-james/?fbclid=IwAR2AsJrYSECoSQ7D-sxPtjbnrqQhfCZ0zbHr_yq-ehpTe0f6r6iHOjMhPGs

The Guardian reviews Laila Lalami’s “The Other Americans”

Lalami’s The Moor’s Account received the American Book Award in 2016.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/29/the-other-americans-by-laila-lalami-review?fbclid=IwAR2na4nwDhH1dOi2MH35LVHpKDSHbAoIU4OKgcHe8XeJ0gTlR2ao_owRIvI

Ishmael Reed reviews performance of Broadway play “Hamilton”

Ishmael Reed has been critical of the Broadway performance Hamilton since its debut. He summarizes his perspective on a recent viewing of its performance in an article in The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Datebook:

A full production of my play, ” The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” beginning May 23 at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, and directed by the award-winning Rome Neal, will not only present voices that are missing from “Hamilton: The Revolution” — Native Americans, slaves and white indentured servants — but also expose an upheaval that is happening in the American Historical Establishment as women, blacks, Native American and Latinx have their say.

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Archive includes Ishmael Reed in the African Film Festival 2019

Ishmael Reed’s 1980 film Personal Problemsis a black soap opera unfolding in the melancholy of the blues. Enlisting legendary Bill Gunn as director, Reed and producer Walter Cotton sketched out an improvisatory scenario exploring the moody tribulations of a group of Harlem residents. – Steve Seid

See the rest of the program for the African Film Festival on the BAMPFA’s website: https://bampfa.org/program/african-film-festival-2019