Indiana University Creative Writing Program
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Matejka wins 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Award


Congratulations once again to Adrian Matejka for more honors garnered by The Big Smoke.
Last fall, the book was short-listed for a National Book Award; today it was announced as one of the winners of this yearís Anisfield-Wolf Award, presented each year since 1935 by the Cleveland Public Library to celebrate "books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity." This is arguably the countryís foremost literary award specifically keyed to works that highlight issues of social justice. Among the many distinguished winners recognized for individual titles, Adrian joins such figures as Zora Neale Hurston, John Hersey, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Gwendolyn Brooks, Maxine Hong Kingston, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Sandra Cisneros, Jamaica Kincaid, and more recently, Junot Diaz, who will visit here next week. Since 1996, the awards jury has been chaired by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who described Adrianís book as ďa collection of poems on the myth and unapologetic masculinity of the first African-American heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson."