L.A. Times Book Prizes 2023 winners announced.

L.A. Times Book Prizes 2023 winners announced.

Tananarive Due, Airea D. Matthews, Shannon Sanders, and Amber McBride won in their categories at the L.A. Times Book Prizes 2023 announced on Friday, April 17, 2024.  

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were founded by Art Seidenbaum, a Los Angeles Times book editor from 1978 to 1985, in 1980. They are awarded annually in Best Biography, Best Current Interest winner, Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, Best Graphic Novel/Comics, Best History, Best mystery/thriller, Best Poetry, and Best Science & Technology. Some of the previous winners of African descent have been Namwali Serpell and Marlon James , Deesha Philyaw, Isabel Wilkerson, David Diop, as well as Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam, and Veronique Tadjo.

The finalists for the most current edition were announced on February 21 before the winners were revealed on Friday evening. The writers of African descent who won in their categories were;

Poetry

  • Airea D. Matthews, Bread and Circus: Poems

Airea D. Matthews posted on Instagram afterward, “This happened last night, and I am eternally grateful for my co-finalists and the stellar work they offered the world, the judges and their faith, the LA Times and every reader willing to think, feel, and witness together with me. May we all, those people who believe themselves to be writers, continuously strive to document some process of becoming. Ase. Selah. Ameen. Amen.

Excerpt from speech: Poetry is the way to confront mystery apart from the demand to somehow resolve it, which is inherent in more closed systems. And the mystery inherent in poetry means not everyone will care about it, and I propose that not everyone should. But for those willing and of good faith, they probably come to the poem because it expresses or clarifies something about ourselves and the world around us in a novel way. The poem at once becomes a site of remembrance and an individual articulation of our shared humanity.”

The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

  • Shannon Sanders, Company: Stories

Shannon Sanders said, “Company won its category at the @latimesfob!”

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction

  •  Tananarive Due, The Reformatory: A Novel

Tananarive Due posted on Twitter, “Guys…I won! This was a hugely competitive category with beloved colleagues. No words. This category was full of stellar writers and the judging is tough. I am beyond honored that THE REFORMATORY resonated so much. 🥰🥰”

Young Adult

  • Amber McBride, Gone Wolf

Amber McBride said, “Gone Wolf, the book that was almost not published, won the LA Times Book Award in the YA (Young Adult) category. I would have never kept pushing for this book to get published without the support of my parents (Mario & Debra), my ancestors, friends and baby wolf Shiloh. So grateful to all the judges (for reading so many brilliant books so carefully) & all the finalist (always cheering for all of you) & my editor Liz Szabla (for acquiring the book so many said no to) & everyone at Feiwel & Friends (for supporting so many of my books) & & & GO WOLF.”

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