Please join us for the Iowa City Book Festival Paul Engle Prize Ceremony at the Coralville Library! Rebecca Solnit has been named the eleventh recipient of the Paul Engle Prize, and at this special event, Solnit will be presented the prize by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, and will talk about her work with Lyz Lenz. Library doors will open at 6:30 pm for this event.
The prize honors a writer who, like 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.
Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist who has written more than twenty books on feminism, environmental and urban history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including Whose Story Is This?, Call Them By Their True Names (Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction), Men Explain Things to Me, The Mother of All Questions, and the recent memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence.
She has received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at the Guardian and a former “Easy Chair” columnist at Harper’s. Speaking about the award, Solnit said she was honored to be recognized.
“Finding out, while still on the first cup of tea, that you’ve won a prize, and it’s named after a poet, editor, and teacher passionately devoted to internationalism and the literary community, is a very good way to start the day,” she said. “To receive a prize that has gone to writers I admire so much—Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay among them—deepens my sense of the honor of being invited into the community of writers, past and present, and it encourages me to keep trying to do the kind of engaged work this prize recognizes.”
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