The African American Literature and Culture Society is proud to announce the recipients of the Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Prose, and the Darwin T. Turner Award for Excellence in Scholarship in African American Culture and Literature for the year 2019.

WidemanJohn Edgar Wideman, our Henderson Award recipient, needs no introduction. From his first novel A Glance Away to his most recent collection American Histories, Wideman’s writing career spans five decades during which he has asserted himself as one of the most singular voices in American literature. Wideman’s works have been widely celebrated: he has notably won the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice for Sent for You Yesterday (1984) and for Philadelphia Fire (1990), which also won the American Book Award. His novel The Cattle Killing won the James Fenimore Cooper prize for best historical fiction in 1997. In 1993, he was the recipient of a Macarthur Genius Grant, and most recently in 2016 was elected to the American Academy of the Arts and Letters. Wideman founded and chaired the African American Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of Wyoming, the University of Massachusetts and Brown University.


Keith Byerman
, our Turner Award recipient, is Professor in the Department of English at Indiana State University and current president of the John Edgar Wideman Society. He is the author of eight books from Fingering the Jagged Grain: Tradition and Form in Recent Black Fiction (1986) to The Life and Works of John Edgar Wideman (2013). He has been Associate Editor for the African American Review and has notably published in College Literature, ALH, CLA Journal, MELUS. Keith is a founding member of the African American Literature and Culture Society and has been Treasurer of the Society for many years.

Award recipients will be recognized and honored during the AALCS Reception and Reading held at the American Literature Association 30th Annual Conference (Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA) on Friday, May 24, 2019. The reception will feature readings from John Edgar Wideman’s work.


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