Founded in 2020, the CAAPP Book Prize has quickly emerged as a beacon for literary excellence and cultural diversity. This prestigious award is a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) and Autumn House Press, aiming to highlight and promote the voices of writers of African descent. The annual prize is awarded to an outstanding first or second book encompassing a wide array of genres, including poetry, hybrid work, speculative prose, and translation.
At the heart of the CAAPP Book Prize is a commitment to amplifying the diverse experiences and narratives within the African American, African, and African diasporic communities. This initiative goes beyond mere recognition; it celebrates the richness and depth found in the literary expressions of writers from these backgrounds. The prize contributes to a more inclusive and representative literary landscape by providing a platform for emerging talents.
The 2024 CAAPP Book Prize is currently open for submissions, with the reading period commencing on December 15, 2023, and extending until February 15, 2024. Writers are invited to submit manuscripts that fall within the range of 48 to 168 pages, allowing for a diverse exploration of themes and styles. This inclusivity in genre and length ensures that the prize remains a dynamic force in contemporary literature.
One of the distinctive features of the CAAPP Book Prize is the esteemed panel of judges. For the 2024 edition, the final judge is the renowned poet and writer, Aracelis Girmay. Known for her powerful and evocative work that explores themes of identity, displacement, and resilience, Girmay brings a wealth of experience and a discerning eye to the selection process. Her involvement adds a layer of prestige to the prize and underscores its commitment to recognizing excellence in African American literature.
The winning manuscript of the 2024 CAAPP Book Prize will be published by Autumn House Press, a distinguished independent publishing house with a history of promoting exceptional literary voices. Beyond the honor of publication, the winning author will receive a monetary award of $3,000, further supporting and acknowledging their dedication to the craft.