Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright rank among the luminaries of American literature, and both have inspired successive generations of black writers to give voice to the black experience through novels, poems, plays, and essays. So it made perfect sense that local author Marita Golden and cultural historian Clyde McElvene would name a foundation aimed at promoting black writers and black literature after Hurston and Wright.

Now 25 years old, the Hurston/Wright Foundation is as vital as ever to our local and national literary scenes. The Foundation provides resources and training to writers and poets whose work contributes to enriching the canon of black literature. And Hurston/Wright also celebrates the finest works of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction and college writing by contemporary black writers here and abroad with its annual Legacy Awards. This year’s list of 18 finalists constitutes an impressive group.

Politics & Prose is proud to support the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards with two exciting author events at 6:30 p.m. on October 22, the eve of the award ceremony.

First, at our Busboys and Poets location in Brookland, we’ll be presenting four of the nominees: Ishmael Beah (Radiance of Tomorrow), Saladin Ambar (Malcolm X at Oxford Union), Geffrey Davis (Revising the Storm), and Brian Gilmore (We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters). All will read from their works.  

And four other nominees will do readings at our 14th and V Streets NW location: Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning), Laila Lalami (The Moor’s Account), Charles E. Cobb (This Non-Violent Stuff’ll Get You Killed) and Roger Reeves (King Me). 

The winners of the Legacy Awards in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well awards recognizing college writers, will be announced the following night—October 23 at 7:30 p.m.—at a gala at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Poets Nikky Finney and Yusef Komunyakaa will be on hand for special literary salutes, and Edwidge Danticat will receive the North Star Award, given each year to an individual whose work or service to the writing community inspires others. Tickets are available on-line at www.hurstonwright.org.

We hope you’ll be able to attend one of the readings or the award celebration and join in honoring the contributions of some of the world’s finest black writers.

— Brad and Lissa


Children & Teens

New in Hardcover

Mary Wallace
An Inuksuk Means Welcome
(Owlkids, $17.95)


Blast From the Past

Laurie Krebs
We All Went on Safari
(Barefoot, $7.99)

read more about these books.

Music News

Jewish Literary Festival

October 18 to October 28

For ten days, the Jewish Literary Festival comes to the JCC. The Festival opens with Israeli author Etgar Keret, winner of Israel’s Prime Minister Prize, speaking about his most recent release, The Seven Good Years, A Memoir. The festival closes with Shalom Auslander, author and creator of the Showtime series HAPPYish.  Among the nearly 30 authors in between you’ll recognize luminaries such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of America’s best known attorneys, and Michael Pollan, a profound voice in the slow food movement who explores the cross section of agribusiness, the environment and health.

see the books!


Walt Whitman

Saturday, October 31, 12 p.m.

Join Garrett Peck, author of Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet, and Politics & Prose on a guided walking tour of Whitman-related sites in the nation’s capital as we reflect on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Walt Whitman, the poet laureate of the Civil War, lived in Washington for ten remarkable years during that tumultuous period, starting as a hospital volunteer who helped tens of thousands of wounded soldiers.



Rock Creek Park

Sunday, November 8, 9:30 a.m.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Susan Austin Roth, the author and photographer of A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, D.C., for a walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of the park, where the group will witness the last blaze of autumn glory in the trees and learn to identify them by their acorns nuts and other fall fruits.


Just Announced

Monday, November 9, 7 p.m.



Thursday, November 12, 7 p.m.



Coming This Fall

Thursday, October 15, 7 p.m.



Tuesday, October 20, 7 p.m.



Friday, October 23, 7 p.m.



Monday, November 2, 7 p.m.


P&P and PEN/Faulkner Contemporary Fiction Reading Series at Busboys and Poets

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 p.m.



Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 p.m.


Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Contact Kate Shawcross if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.


Saturday, October 10, 9:00 am
at Best Western Plus, 1251 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville, MD
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