By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Von Schilling: To ‘Enrich and Diversify Our Literary Culture’Announced by the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), its new Constellation Award goes to the California-based Nomadic Press.
The new prize, with a purse of US$10,000, takes submissions in English and Spanish, and this year’s finalists are based in Texas, Indiana, and Puerto Rico.
The program is designed to honor an independent literary press led by and/or championing the writing of people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander writers.
The Constellation Award was launched in 2021 by CLMP and is part of Penguin Random House’s social-outreach programming. PRH’s commitment is to underwrite the new award for its first two years.
Nomadic Press: 15 to 25 Books Annually
In a statement for the award’s announcement, Claire von Schilling, PRH’s executive vice-president for corporate communications and social responsibility, is quoted, saying, “In partnership with CLMP, we’re thrilled to support Nomadic Press and their important work championing BIPOC [Black and Indigenous people of color] writers through this well-deserved honor.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with CLMP to bolster the independent presses that enrich and diversify our literary culture.”
Established in 2011, Nomadic Press publishes 15 to 25 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction each year, including books for children. Its intent is to build community among artists and across disciplines through open workspaces and events.
As part of its “safe space statement,” Nomadic writes, “We are works in progress, continually doing the work of internally dismantling white supremacist values that have been inherited by virtue of being in the US. Simultaneous with this internal work, Nomadic Press utilizes a racial equity lens to dismantle white supremacy within publishing and the literary communities in which we work. We are not perfect, and we are always trying to be better.”
This year, the press expects to publish Martian: The Saint of Loneliness by James Cagney, which received the 2021 James Laughlin Award given by the Academy of American Poets. In addition, there are 22 books by authors of color scheduled for release this year.
In a statement on Nomadic’s win of the new award, JK Fowler, the founding executive director of the company, says, “We’re honored to be the recipients of the inaugural Constellation Award and humbled to be in the company of other presses that we admire so much.
“We look forward to continuing to build together in the years to come.”
The judges for this year’s award were Marie Brown, Sandra Guzman, Beena Kamlani, Deborah Paredez, and Clarence Reynolds.
An advisory panel helped establish the Constellation Award and comprised CLMP board members:
- Beena Kamlani, author and freelance editor
- Clarence Reynolds, director of The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College CUNY
- Deborah Paredez, author, co-founder of CantoMundo, and associate professor at Columbia University
The panel also included:
- Ibrahim Ahmed, executive editor at Viking Penguin
- Literary agent and publishing consultant Marie Brown
- Author, editor, and filmmaker Sandra Guzman
- Poet and arts administrator Nicole Sealey
More on CLMP and its work is here.
More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.