Tag: National Book Awards

Jeffrey C. Stewart, Elizabeth Acevedo and more Authors of Color Sweep National Book Awards

“The Poet X” and “The New Negro: The Life of Alaine Locke” cover art

by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

The National Book Foundation announced Thursday that five literary works by writers of color earned all of its 2018 National Book Awards. Here are the winning novels and collections, as noted on the foundation’s website:

Fiction: “The Friend,” by Sigrid Nunez. The novel explores a woman’s grief after her best friend and mentor dies and leaves her his Great Dane.

Nonfiction: “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” by Jeffrey C. Stewart. The Black studies scholar chronicles the life and relationships of the first African-American Rhodes Scholar and Harlem Renaissance leader.

Poetry: “Indecency,” by Justin Phillip Reed. This collection features several poems of varying forms that explore incarceration, White supremacy, masculinity and other social and racial justice issues.

Translated Literature: “The Emissary,” by Yoko Tawada and translated from original Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani. This novel takes place in Japan, after a major disaster prompts the country to isolate itself from the world. In this society, children like Mumei are born frail, while elderly people like his great-grandfather Yoshiro have the energy to care for the youth. “The Emissary” follows the pair’s day-to-day activities and fun in the face of dystopia.

Young People’s Literature: “The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo. A Dominican-American teenage girl navigates adolescence, crushes, harassment and her Harlem community while finding her voice through slam poetry.

Source: Authors of Color Sweep National Book Awards

Lisa Lucas Named Executive Director of National Book Foundation

Lisa Lucas (photo via nytimes.com)
Lisa Lucas (photo via nytimes.com)

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

Avid reader and magazine publisher Lisa Lucas has been named the new Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. Lucas is only the third executive director and first African American woman in the history of the literary organization which was formally established in 1986.

Its first executive director, Neil Baldwin, served until 2003. His successor, Harold Augenbraum, announced he would be retiring in the spring. Lucas will begin her position on Monday, March 14.

According to the New York Times, a part of Lucas’ initiatives as Executive Director will be overseeing the inclusion of more women and authors of color as recipients of the National Book Awards. The coveted prize has been honoring literary excellence since 1950.

“Readers are everything, readers are everyone. It should be about building one big massive audience that’s reflective of where we live” said Lucas.

Her literary background includes serving as the publisher of Guernica, an arts magazine with an international and often political focus. Prior to that, the 36-year-old worked for several nonprofit cultural institutions, including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.

In an interview with NPR, she shared her excitement for her new position, “It has just been an ecstatic joy to be able to do work in service of readers…it just feels like an extraordinary opportunity to build on the work they’ve done, and to keep figuring out ways to engage readers.”