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Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Eagles are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 BPL Literary Prize.

2021 Nonfiction Winner: New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time by Craig Taylor (W.W. Norton & Company)

2021 Fiction & Poetry Winner: The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser (Graywolf Press)

Each year Brooklyn Public Library, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Eagles, honors outstanding works of nonfiction and fiction/poetry with a prize given in the fall. Selected by librarians and library staff, who draw on their broad knowledge of literature and the many populations they serve, the BPL Literary Prize recognizes writing that captures the spirit of Brooklyn, one of the most socially and culturally diverse communities in the country. The winners are awarded a $5,000 prize during the Brooklyn Classic, the signature fundraising event of the Brooklyn Eagles.


2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Shortlist

Nonfiction Shortlist

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong (Hachette Go)

Pedro's Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land by Marcos Gonsalez (Melville House)

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Bold Type Books)

New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time by Craig Taylor (W.W. Norton & Company)

Fiction & Poetry Shortlist

The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser (Graywolf Press)

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)

Luster by Raven Leilani (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (One World)


2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize Longlist

Nonfiction Longlist

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Birdsong (Hachette Go)

Pedro's Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land by Marcos Gonsalez (Melville House)

We Do This 'til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice by Mariame Kaba (Haymarket Books)

Under A White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert (Crown)

Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story by Talib Kweli (MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Bold Type Books)

Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System by Jed S. Rakoff (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice by Yusef Salaam (Grand Central Publishing)

Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith (Penguin)

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987–1993 by Sarah Schulman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time by Craig Taylor (W.W. Norton & Company)

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House)

Fiction & Poetry Longlist

The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser (Graywolf Press)

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour (Mariner Books)

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (William Morrow)

Love and Other Poems by Alex Dimitrov (Copper Canyon Press)

Un-American by Hafizah Geter (Wesleyan University Press)

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)

Luster by Raven Leilani (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth (Grand Central Publishing)

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (One World)

100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell (MCD x FSG Originals)

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Tor Books)

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton (37 INK)


The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize was established in 2015 by the Brooklyn Eagles, a group of young and engaged Brooklynites who are passionate about Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) and work to engage new patrons, promote the Library as a cultural center, and build a vibrant community around the resources the library offers.

The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize presented by the Brooklyn Eagles is generously underwritten by the Peck Stacpoole Foundation

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