Thursday, August 15, 2013

How familiar are you with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize?

Dayton, Ohio hosts the only annual literary award in the United States that recognizes the power of literature to promote peace. Nominations are accepted for both adult fiction and nonfiction for works written in the past year. The purpose of the award is to recognize works that have helped improve the quality of life by bringing attention to and better understanding of different religions, people, cultures, and political viewpoints. The goal is to recognize the role that literature has in fostering peace, then to encourage the reading and discussing of the literature to further the spread of tolerance and understanding.

In addition to the main prizes for fiction and nonfiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Committee (DLPPC) also awards the Richard C. Holbrooke Award. This award has the same criteria as the other prizes, but focuses on an author’s body of work rather than a single text—akin to a lifetime achievement award. Nominated works must have a central theme of peace, can include issues of human rights, must appeal to a large body of readers, and must have enduring value.
On August 12, the DLPPC awarded Wendell Berry with the Richard C. Holbrooke Award. Berry is the author of over 50 works of essays, poetry, and fiction. Berry is a full-time farmer residing in Kentucky with his wife, Tanya. His writing focuses on the relationship between humans, the Earth, and the need for harmony. Berry also espouses the importance of traditional values, community commitment, local farming, and strong local economies for the survival of the human race. His works are varied, impressive, and relentlessly poignant.

Last year’s award recipient, Tim O’Brien, will present the award to Berry on November 3, 2013.

In addition the Richard C. Holbrooke Award, Wendell Berry has been awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award.

For more information on the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, please visit:
For the Library’s holdings of works by Wendell Berry, please check our eCatalog.

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