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January 29, 2019

Dear Readers,

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation is delighted to announce that The Dayton Literary Peace Prize (DLPP) is the recipient of the prestigious Irma Lazarus Award, considered to be the highest of the Ohio Governor’s Awards for the Arts. The Irma Lazarus Award goes to “individuals or organizations who have helped shape public support for the arts through their work as advocates and have brought national and international recognition to Ohio through sustained dedication to artistic excellence.” We would like to thank Ron Rollins, Content Director of Community Engagement for the Cox Media Group, Ohio, and a member of our Advisory Council, for nominating us. We would also like to thank Governor Robert Taft, Chair of the DLPP Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award; Carol Loranger, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University and member of our Advisory Council; Karima Bennoune, professor of international law at the University of California-Davis School of Law and 2014 DLPP Nonfiction Winner for Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here; Gilbert King, 2013 DLPP Nonfiction Runner-up for Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America, and member of the DLPP Honorary Advisory Board; and Christopher Cerf and Katherine Vaz, writers, former judges for the DLPP, and members of our DLPP Honorary Advisory Board, for their letters of support.

The Foundation Board, Advisory Council, and staff of the DLPP are honored and will continue to live up to the spirit of the award. We congratulate our fellow recipients and look forward to celebrating with them in Columbus on May 15. Should you be interested in joining in the celebration, you are welcome to purchase individual tickets for $50 per person when registration opens in March, and tables will be available for purchase for $1,000 (seats 10 people). Those will be available directly through our event partner, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and we will be post details on all of this when tickets go on sale.

We are honored to join the many Individual Artists and Arts Organizations who have won Governor’s Awards in the Arts in the past (including our own Michael Bashaw!). We are proud to continue the awareness throughout the state of the thriving arts scene in Dayton, Ohio, and we are delighted that the literary arts have joined the other arts in the winners’ circle.

We are also announcing our Call for Submissions. This is one of our favorite times of year as publishers, our Nominating Academy, and interested readers nominate 2018 books for this year’s awards. If you have read a book you think fits the DLPP criteria and should be nominated, please follow the directions below.

Thank you and happy reading,

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If you have read a book that was published or translated into English in 2018, please send the title, author, and, if possible, the publisher to Sharon with a brief explanation as to how the book fits the DLPP mission. Nominations are due by March 15, 2019.

Read the press release.


Excerpts from the letters of support

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Governor Robert Taft: "The Dayton Literary Peace Prize promotes both excellent literature and peace in the world, building on the successful Dayton Peace Accords of 1995. During the past 13 years it has won widespread academic and community support and has become a premier artistic showcase, attracting writers of the highest literary quality to Dayton, Ohio year after year, bringing national and international recognition to both the city and the state."

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Carol Loranger: "Each year the DLPP brings luminaries to Dayton for the gala weekend of the award—primarily authors, but also national and international statesmen, journalists, and peace or social justice activists. These prominent figures fan out before and after the award weekend, visiting area schools, libraries, colleges, and universities, meeting with students and the general public in both formal and informal settings to talk about literature, the world of ideas, peace, world affairs, and international culture. For many students and members of the public, this is their first experience meeting an internationally or nationally renowned figure, or their first experience reading a book that stretches them intellectually or stimulates their curiosity about the world. DLPP honorees and special guests are diverse, which means that often students and community members have the opportunity to interact with figures who look or worship or otherwise experience the world as they do. For many, the experience leads to the discovery of lifelong interests; for all, to the realization that the world takes us seriously because we value peace and the literary arts."

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Gilbert King: "The Dayton Literary Peace Prize has been in existence for thirteen years now, and having been a recipient of a prize (runner-up, nonfiction, 2013) and attended the ceremonial weekend for the past five years, I wanted to emphasize the extraordinary prestige of this award. Rattling off a list of previous winners that include recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Man Booker Prize simply wouldn't do it justice. The names of those who have come to Dayton each year read like a who’s who of world literature, including Louise Erdrich, Marilynne Robinson, Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers, Taylor Branch, and Geraldine Brooks, to name but a few.

Any writer who has ever been awarded a Dayton Literary Peace Prize Award and who has attended the ceremonies will readily affirm that this award is not just another literary award. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is a truly special achievement, and writers who have had their work acknowledged and validated in Dayton genuinely come away from the experience with a newly inspired commitment toward continuing their work of writing about the promotion of peace and social justice."

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Karima Bennoune: "A young Tunisian lawyer who helped with my research wrote back the night the award was announced as well: “I have tears in my eyes, I am so happy and proud. Justice is rendered to those who have died, and whose deaths were kept in shadow. We must not despair. We must continue, now more than ever…. There is an alternative, there is hope. And this prize is the proof.” I am filled with gratitude to the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for offering this ray of hope, for finding this way to bring Americans and Muslims together in the struggle for freedom, and to re-commit to continuing that struggle.

I salute the organizers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for their global vision, their commitment to the promotion of literature and peace - in the Midwest and around the world, their work as global cultural ambassadors for Ohio, their support for writers and for the culture of writing which is under threat in our digital age, and for their indefatigable efforts to promote and organize events affiliated with the DLPP which bring together Ohioans and writers from around the world and create lasting cultural bonds."

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Katherine Vaz and Christopher Cerf:
"The father of my husband, Christopher, is Bennett Cerf, who founded Random House, and Christopher has therefore spent a lifetime associated with publishing and writing. He has commented that the Dayton Literary Peace Prize events distinguish themselves as among the strongest, most far-reaching, and most joyful of any he’s known in the arts.

When the annual award ceremony culminates with the moving spiritual “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” there’s a sense that the Literary Peace Prize has brought us to our better selves. With this lingering reminder that we are all world citizens responsible for nurturing peace, it’s hard to imagine any organization doing more to make literature itself into a form of love."


Fly with the Doves Book Circle

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Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph delivering books to Ms. Arijana Zjajo, Administrative Specialist at the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Fly with the Doves Book Circle was formed to allow the DLPP to donate winning and nominated books to schools, universities, and libraries. With memberships beginning at $25.00, supporting members provide the funding to share these powerful works of literature both locally and around the world.

In 2019, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Fly with the Doves Book Circle will complete the collection of DLPP books for the National Library at Sarajevo and provide copies of David Wood’s What have We Done to schools participating in the Author Series in September.

To learn more about the Fly with the Doves Book Circle membership, please visit our website.

DLM Good Neighbor

Support the Dayton Literary Peace Prize when you shop at Dorothy Lane Market through the Good Neighbor Program. Click to sign up.

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