Schedule Announced for Cleveland Book Week 2017

Colson Whitehead, Professional Book Nerds Podcast and 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards among events promoting Cleveland as a literary destination

RELEASE DATE: 08.16.17

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation today announced the schedule for the second annual Cleveland Book Week. This year’s showcase, which runs from Sept. 5-9, will celebrate present and past Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners, while offering a number of free literary and literacy themed events for the community.

Cleveland Book Week is presented by the Cleveland Foundation in partnership with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, Brews + Prose, The City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Flea, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Great Lakes Science Center, Karamu House, MOCA, Overdrive and Twelve Literary and Performative Arts. The series of events is bookmarked by the sold-out 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7 at the State Theatre in Playhouse Square.

“The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is the only national prize for the best writing each year that tackles racism and equity,” said Karen R. Long, who manages the awards for the Cleveland Foundation. “Last year’s inaugural Cleveland Book Week enriched our region’s cultural calendar and we’re happy to have expanded the schedule for 2017.”

For more information on Cleveland Book Week (#CBW2017) and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards (#AWBA2017), visit

Events scheduled for Cleveland Book Week include:

Tuesday, Sept. 5

Cleveland Book Week Launch Celebration

11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Public Square, Downtown Cleveland

FREE EVENT – Registration not required

Gather on Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza in Public Square for an afternoon of bookish entertainment in honor of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and Cleveland Book Week. Free books for youth and adults will be available from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank until quantities run out. Connect with local reading and literacy-focused nonprofit organizations, and enjoy your new book alongside live tunes from Roots of American Music. 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, several local library systems will be registering for new cards on-site.

Free Admission at Great Lakes Science Center

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., North Coast Harbor

FREE EVENT: Registration not required (

Great Lakes Science Center – home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center – makes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) come alive! Enjoy it for FREE in honor of Margot Lee Shetterly, Anisfield-Wolf Book nonfiction winner for bestseller Hidden Figures.

“See Me”: A Zine Fest at MetroHealth

2:30 – 5:30 p.m, MetroHealth Main Campus; Rammelkamp R170

FREE EVENT: Registration is not required

“See Me” is a cultural competency event about expressing who you are and understanding others; especially those who seem different to you. Through an artistic lens and with the help of local artists, participants will come together to create alternative, one-of-a-kind artistic publications that incorporate words, found objects, photos and drawings into MetroHealth’s first cultural competency zine.

Wednesday, Sept. 6

Peter Ho Davies (2017 Fiction Winner, The Fortunes)

5 p.m., Baker-Nord Center, Case Western Reserve University

FREE EVENT: Registration recommended (

The Fortunes is a novel “examining the burdens, limitations and absurdity of Asian stereotypes.” CWRU’s Thrity Umrigar and Anisfield-Wolf Scholar Lisa Nielson will be in conversation with Davies about his ground-breaking book.

Colson Whitehead: Writers Center Stage (2002 Fiction Winner, John Henry Days)

7:30 p.m., Maltz Performing Arts Center

TICKETS: $30 (

Whitehead, who wrote last year’s blistering, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad, returns to Cleveland to kick off the new season of the William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage. He is the author of six remarkably distinct books, including John Henry Days, for which he received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2002. 

Thursday, Sept. 7

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards (SOLD OUT)

6 p.m., State Theatre, Playhouse Square

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. 8

Margot Lee Shetterly (2017 Nonfiction Winner, Hidden Figures)

10 a.m., Waetjen Auditorium, Cleveland State University

FREE EVENT: Registration required (

This student-focused event partners with Cleveland Metropolitan School District to present Shetterly in conversation with students, discussing how her 11 years of research into this “unseen” story became a juggernaut, riding atop the bestseller and box-office lists across the nation. The event will feature a performance of Hidden by the Tri-C Creative Arts Dance Academy. As a part of this special event, 750 participating CMSD students received copies of Shetterly’s book courtesy of the Cleveland Foundation.

Isabel Allende (2017 Lifetime Achievement Winner)

The City Club of Cleveland Friday Forum

Noon, The City Club of Cleveland

TICKETS: $20 members/$35 nonmembers (Limited tickets remain, call 216-621-0082 for information.)

Isabel Allende – novelist, feminist and philanthropist – is considered the most widely read writer working in Spanish, having sold more than 67 million books. She will talk about life, work and politics and take questions in the traditional City Club of Cleveland style.

Karan Mahajan (2017 Fiction Winner, The Association of Small Bombs)

The Professional Book Nerds Podcast

1 p.m., Cuyahoga County Public Library, South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch

FREE EVENT: Registration recommended (

Join a live audience and bring your questions for breakout novelist Karan Mahajan as he discusses his incendiary second book with Professional Book Nerds podcast hosts and OverDrive staff librarians Jill Grunenwald and Adam Sockel. The New York Times named The Association of Small Bombs one of the ten best books of 2016.

Clapback: The poetry of Tyehimba Jess unplugged (2017 Poetry Winner, Olio)

5:30 p.m., Karamu House

FREE EVENT: Registration required (

“Using primary documents really helps tell a story in a better way than I could imagine,” Tyehimba Jess said about his book Olio. “I tend to comb through these records and historical documents and start to see a side of the history that needs to have alternating voices, a callback. As one would say a ‘clapback.'” This evening of music, poetry and history is presented in partnership with Karamu House, Brews + Prose and Twelve Literary and Performative Arts.

MOCA presents BOUND: Art Book + Zine Fair – Friday & Saturday

5 – 10 p.m. Fri., Noon – 5 p.m. Sat., Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

FREE EVENT – Registration not required (

BOUND unites artists and indie publishers whose work is a platform for wide ranging topics from pop culture, poetry, and politics to the stories of traditionally marginalized voices. BOUND will include pop-up programs such as DIY demos, readings and book signings, as well as live music and DJ sets.

Saturday, Sept. 9

The Cleveland Flea: #CBW2017 Edition

Saturday, Sept 9th, 2017

9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 3615 Superior Ave.

ADMISSION: $1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., free after 3 p.m. Kids under 17 are always free.


This September, the Flea goes literary in support of Cleveland Book Week. Look for a pop-up bookshop and literary cafe featuring local authors and book sellers, where you can sample coffee and cocktails while browsing rare books and first editions and mingling with Cleveland authors.

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Media Contacts

Alan Ashby, Cleveland Foundation media relations officer,, 216-615-7591

Karen R. Long, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards manager,, 216-685-2018

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 equity. 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. Visit for more information.

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 $2.13 billion and 2016 grants of $93.6 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 Facebook (/ClevelandFoundation), Twitter (@CleveFoundation) and Instagram (@CleveFoundation).