Cleveland Foundation Announces Cleveland Book Week 2016

Series of special events to celebrate the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and promote Cleveland as a literary destination

release date: 9.1.2016

CLEBookWeek_Vert_4cHTCLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation today announced plans for Cleveland Book Week – a series of events scheduled from Sept. 10 – 16 that celebrate Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners past and present and showcase Greater Cleveland’s diverse literary and literacy community.

Cleveland Book Week (CBW) is presented in partnership with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, Brews + Prose, The City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Flea and Cuyahoga County Public Library. The inaugural effort coincides with the 81st annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony, scheduled this year for Sept. 15.

“The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards are a vibrant community asset that honor truly great voices addressing the essential issues of racism and social justice through literature,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “Cleveland Book Week extends the spirit of the awards into a week-long community conversation about the importance of literacy and the joy of reading.”

Events scheduled for the first Cleveland Book Week include:

Saturday, Sept. 10

The Cleveland Flea: CBW Edition
Tyler Village, 3615 Superior Avenue E., Cleveland – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

ENTRY FEE: $2 suggested donation

The Cleveland Flea is a creative business incubator that draws thousands of attendees each month to lesser-known Cleveland neighborhoods. This September, the Flea goes literary in support of Cleveland Book Week. Look for a popup bookshop and literary café, and sample coffee and cocktails while browsing rare books and first editions and mingling with some of Cleveland’s authors.

Monday, Sept. 12

1st Annual CBW Public Square Book Swap
Public Square, Downtown Cleveland – 2:30-7 p.m.

FREE EVENT – Registration not required

Entertainment Highlights:

3 p.m. & 6 p.m. – Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers share story performances

4 p.m. – The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word performance

*The first 500 people who present their library card on the Plaza will receive a free scoop of Mitchell’s Ice Cream.

Gather on Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza in Public Square for a book swap and afternoon of entertainment in honor of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and the inaugural Cleveland Book Week. Bring a book or find one there, then mingle with other readers and swap books! Books for youth and adults will be available for free from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and the Kids Book Bank until quantities run out. Throughout the Swap, connect with local reading and literacy-focused nonprofit organizations, and peruse your new book while enjoying live music from the Roots of American Music and Cleveland Foundation Uptown Saturday Nights Festival artists SpYder Stompers and Sugar Pie and Eric Seddon’s Hot Club.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream will be on the plaza to give away free scoops to the first 500 people who present their library card. If attendees don’t have a library card, Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library will be registering for new cards on-site. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Tuesday, September 13.  

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Don DeLillo – Writers Center Stage
Maltz Performing Arts Center, Case Western Reserve University – 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: $30 individual ticket

The 2016-2017 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series opens with Don DeLillo, one of America’s most acclaimed writers whose storied career has spanned more than four decades, in conversation with Cuyahoga County librarian Bill Kelly. DeLillo’s novels include White Noise, for which he won the 1985 National Book Award; Libra, Mao II; Underworld and Zero K. The critic Harold Bloom named DeLillo one of four living American literary giants. 

Wednesday, Sept. 14

Mary Morris (2016 Fiction Winner, The Jazz Palace) with jazz pianist Jackie Warren and trumpeter Kenny Davis
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch, Cuyahoga County Public Library– 4 p.m.

FREE EVENT – Registration required

Mary Morris is the author of The Jazz Palace, the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner for Fiction. A Chicago native, Mary spent almost 20 years drafting and revising the novel set in her hometown to accurately capture the dynamic atmosphere and dazzling music of the Jazz Age.  Local musicians Jackie Warren, jazz pianist, and Kenny Davis, jazz trumpeter, will perform at this event courtesy of the Cleveland Foundation. Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Mac’s Backs – Books on Coventry.

Orlando Patterson (2016 Lifetime Achievement Winner) “What Have We Learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?”
Harkness Chapel, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities – 4:30 p.m.  

FREE EVENT – Registration recommended

Here’s a paradox: black youth are among the most culturally creative and influential groups in America, even as a disproportional number live with racism, poverty, violence, high unemployment, drop-out and incarceration rates. Orlando Patterson, a Harvard University sociologist and recipient of the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Prize, will explore the cultural factors in this paradox.

An Evening with Rita Dove & Friends
Maltz Performing Arts Center, Case Western Reserve University – 7:30 p.m.

FREE EVENT – Registration required

Rita Dove—Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, former Poet Laureate of the United States, Anisfield-Wolf juror and Akron native—is returning home. “An Evening with Rita Dove & Friends” celebrates the publication of Dove’s Collected Poems and the thirtieth anniversary of her Pulitzer-winning volume of poems, Thomas and Beulah. Poet Toi Derricotte, who won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The Black Notebooks in 1998, will introduce her friend to a hometown crowd.

Thursday, Sept. 15

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards – SOLD OUT
Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square – 6 p.m.

Watch the ceremony live via webstream at

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. For more than 80 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds.  

Friday, Sept. 16

Lillian Faderman (2016 Nonfiction Winner, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle) The City Club of Cleveland Friday Forum
The City Club of Cleveland – 12 noon

TICKETS: $20 members/$35 nonmembers

Lillian Faderman, is widely considered a leading scholar on LGBT history. Her most recent book, 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner for nonfiction, The Gay Revolution, was praised as “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement” by The Economist. Join us as she discusses the history of the gay revolution from the 1950s to present day.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips (2016 Poetry Winner, Heaven)
Shafran Planetarium, Cleveland Museum of Natural History – 3:30 p.m.

FREE EVENT – Registration required

Escape the confines of Earth and travel to an otherworldly state of mind with 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award recipient Rowan Ricardo Phillips. The author will read from his poetry collection, Heaven, under stars and imagery in Shafran Planetarium. A brief introduction by Museum Astronomer Jason Davis will set the stage for Phillips’ reading.  Copies of Heaven will be on sale in the Museum Store, and Phillips will sign autographs before the reading, starting at 3 p.m. Phillips, a translator, critic and poet, splits his time between Barcelona and New York City, and also writes about basketball and soccer for The New Yorker.

Brian Seibert (2016 Nonfiction Winner, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing) featuring performances by local artists
Beck Center for the Arts – 5 p.m.

FREE EVENT – Registration required

The New York Times dance critic will parse this rich, uniquely American art form – with music, film and performance. Seibert will present, tap and perform with Beck Center dancers and Chandler Browne, a tapper at Oberlin College.

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 About the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards: Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. Past winners have presented the extraordinary art and culture of peoples around the world, explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice. The Cleveland Foundation has administered the Anisfield-Wolf prize since 1963.

About the Cleveland Foundation: Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2015 grants of $95 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit and follow us on, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation.

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About Brews + Prose: Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery is a monthly literary reading series. Our motto— “Literature is better with beer”—encapsulates our mission to make literature and authors, reading and writing, more accessible and engaging to larger audiences throughout the greater Cleveland area.

About The City Club of Cleveland: The City Club of Cleveland is one the nation’s great free speech forums. A product of the Progressive Era, we were founded in 1912 and are the nation’s oldest continuous independent free speech forum, renowned for our tradition of debate and discussion. For more than a hundred years, all of our speakers, from sitting presidents to community activists, have answered unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience. Our mission is to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond.

About the Cleveland Flea: The Cleveland Flea is a small business incubator that draws thousands of Northeast Ohioans to lesser-known neighborhoods in the city to shop curated vintage, culinary all-stars and the most talented makers in the region.

About Cuyahoga County Public Library: At Cuyahoga County Public Library we are committed to our mission of being at the center of community life by creating an environment where reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement thrive and our vision to be the most convenient library system in the country.