Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady have been named recipients of the Paul Engle Prize, presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization.
The prize, established in 2011, honors an individual who, like Paul Engle, represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts.
Derricotte and Eady become the eighth and ninth winners of the award. This is the first time the award has been presented to two people in one year. Each will be presented with a one-of-a-kind work of art and $10,000 during a special ceremony as part of the Iowa City Book Festival on Tuesday, October 1. The event is at 7:00 p.m. at the Coralville Public Library, and is free and open to the public. Afterwards join us for a reception, sponsored by the Coralville Public Library Foundation.
Derricotte and Eady co-founded Cave Canem in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape. What started as a gathering of 26 poets is now an influential movement with a renowned faculty, high-achieving national fellowship of over 400 and a workshop community of 900.
The Paul Engle Prize is made possible through the generous support of the City of Coralville, which is home to 11 permanent sculptures with artistic and literary ties to Iowa.