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Black Caucus of the ALA Announces 2014 BCALA Literary Awards

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) announced on Friday, February 7, 2014 the winners of the 2014 BCALA Literary Awards during the 2014 American Library Association (A.L.A.) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia late last month. "The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2013, including an award for Best Poetry and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing." The recipients will receive the awards during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

The winner of the 1st Novelist Award is The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore. The publisher is Alfred A. Knopf.

The Fiction category winner is The Good Lord Bird: A Novel by James McBride, the publisher of which is Riverhead. The Honor Book for Fiction is The Residue Years: A Novel by Mitchell S. Jackson, the publisher of which is Bloomsbury.

The winner in the Nonfiction category is Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities by Craig Steven Wilder. The publisher is Bloomsbury.

Honor Books for Nonfiction are Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer (Temple University Press); Kansas City Lightning: The Life and Times of Young Charlie Parker by Stanley Crouch (Harper); and Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time by Adrian Miller (The University of North Carolina Press).

The BCALA Literary Awards Committee presents the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation to Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation by Ahmir "Questlove” Thompson, the publisher of which is Harper Design. You read that right. The drummer and co-frontman of the Grammy award-winning band The Roots is also a writer and a DJ.

The winner for BCALA’s Best Poetry Award is Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid by Nikki Giovanni (William Morrow). The Honor Book for Poetry is Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X. Walker (University of Georgia Press).

Members of the BCALA Literary Awards Jury are: Chairman Gladys Smiley Bell, Hampton University; Jennifer Baxmeyer, Princeton University; Tracy Crawford, Queens Library’s Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center; Carolyn Garnes, Atlanta; D.L. Grant, San Antonio Public Library; John Page, Washington, D.C.; and Apryl Price, Florida State University. BCALA Literary Award Seals are available for purchase and may be displayed on these 2014 winners as well as all previous winners.

Publishers interested in submitting books for the 2015 awards should contact:

Gladys Smiley Bell
Chair, BCALA Literary Awards Committee
(757) 727-5185
gladys.bell [at]

Michelle Harrell Washington
Office for Diversity/OLOS
(312) 280-5295
mwashington [at]

According to the ALA, the BCALA "serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians."

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