15TH ANNUAL HURSTON WRIGHT LEGACY AWARDS
“You never know how a piece of fiction will profoundly affect and live with you. If we don’t celebrate our authors, no one else will.” — Junot Diaz, author
Earnest Gaines who penned Miss Jane Pittman was honored with the North Star Award as a beacon of brilliant accomplishment and Dominican Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz was described by Mistress of Ceremonies Michel Martin as “a disturber of the peace” humbly received the Ella Baker before a packed house at the Washington Plaza Hotel at the 15th Annual Hurston Wright Legacy Awards.
“You never know how a piece of fiction will profoundly affect and live with you. If we don’t celebrate our authors, no one else will”, said Diaz a New Yorker known for his fierce social justice advocacy that moved him to join forces with Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat to protest deportations of Haitian migrants from the Dominican Republic.
The evening’s highlights came from poets Joy Priest’s reading from her ‘New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop’ and first runner up Ross Gay who joyously shared a spontaneous poem he wrote while walking to the hotel about a flower blooming in a crack in the sidewalk!
NPR weekend host Michel martin summed up an award winning evening of brilliant writers and poets by mentioning that the Nobel Awards refer to the recipients as ‘Lauriats’ rather than ‘winners’ because there were no losers in the room this evening.
© 2016 Malcolm Lewis Barnes content and photos.