2022 Annual BIPOC Bookseller Award
Duende District & The Word continue with the second annual BIPOC Bookseller Awards to celebrate and uplift the BIPOC independent booksellers whose dedication to indie bookstores, and their Black, Indigenous and POC colleagues and communities, have touched and influenced countless lives.
All BIPOC who work in U.S. independent bookstores in any capacity are eligible to be nominated for the three categories (nominations for the same bookseller in multiple categories is allowed). The winning booksellers will be honored during Margins Bookselling Month celebrations, and will receive a plaque and a $1000 prize.
This award is for the bookseller who goes above and beyond to advocate for BIPOC booksellers and literary representation, in their stores and communities.
This award is for the bookseller whose vision, whether entrepreneurial or programmatic, has shown us what the future of the industry should be.
This award is for the bookseller who has dedicated their career to supporting, uplifting, and leading BIPOC booksellers in their stores, communities, regions, and/or nationally, fighting for systemic change for all BIPOC in the bookstore industry.
2022 Award Winners:
Congratulations to our 2022 Winners!
2022 Leadership Winner
Calvin Crosby is the former Executive Director of CALIBA, the co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop, the co-chair of the Mosaic Community, and Executive Director of Brain Food Books (501c3).
In 2021, Calvin returned to his hometown of Salt Lake City; before this, he spent 25 years in the Northern California Indie Bookstore world. He started as a part-time bookseller at Book Passage in Corte Madera. He later opened Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Building, and for over a decade, when he wasn't at Book Passage, he was at Books Inc. (with locations throughout the Bay Area. He later became Executive Director of NCIBA, spending the next few years running the organization, eventually creating a single regional office, California Independent Booksellers Alliance. As E.D. he ensured all the programming represented everyone and started Mosaic to give voice and share best practices with targeted programming for the BIPOC bookseller community.
After purchasing shares from longtime friend Betsy Burton, Calvin became co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop. On TKE’s recent 45th anniversary, they launched Brain Food Books, a 501c3 that puts new books into the hands of kids without regular access.
2022 Innovation Winner
Anada Werner (she/they) is the General Manager of A Room of One's Own Bookstore, a Queer & Trans-owned space located in Madison, WI. She has been, variously, a florist, a bartender, and a library page, but always a booklover through and through. Her debut chapbook is forthcoming in 2023 from Ugly Duckling Presse.
2022 Activism Winner
Pilot Viruet is a journalist, television writer, and bookseller born and raised in New York. Their writing has appeared everywhere from The New York Times and The Atlantic, to Sesame Street and Pinecone & Pony. In 2020, Pilot co-founded The Rolling Library, an abolitionist mutual aid group that believes in education over incarceration and community over capitalism. TRL provides free books and literacy events to the NYC area through free book fairs, pop-ups, and the installation of Little Free Libraries (primarily at NYCHA residences). Pilot also works at their local bookstore, Astoria Bookshop, and is a member of the Astoria Food Pantry team, the 31st Avenue Open Streets Collective, and other mutual aid groups that are fighting for Black and queer liberation. Currently, Pilot lives in Queens with their partner, a very cute dog, and a very cute rabbit.
All of our 2022 nominees are incredible and creative booksellers. Thank you to all of you for all you do!
Arvin Ramgoolan, Ashley Valentine, Christine Bollow, Cris Siqueira, Donya Craddock, Dr. Artika Tyner, Gabriel Moushabeck, Hidden Gems Literary Emporium, Jazmine Cooper, Jeannine Cook, Jordan Hayes, Kaila Boulware Sykes & Raymond Sykes, Luis Correa, Madison Gaines, Marcus Williams, Mariana Calderon, Noëlle Santos, Noura Saif, RootedMKE, Thu Doan, Tonisha Mitchell, and Veronica Johnson.
A big thank you to our 2022 judges!
Melanie Knight is the children’s frontlist buyer for ten Books Inc locations around the northern California area. She has been working in the book industry since 2009, and has worked in everything from event coordination to managing her own store in her time at Books Inc.
She is on the ABA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and was elected to the ABA Board in September 2020.
Head of Operations, The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary
Michelle Malonzo is Chief Operating Officer at The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary. Previously she was a buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore in Arizona after nearly a decade in publishing. Michelle served on the boards of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association and ABA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. She is a 2022 National Book Award Judge for Fiction, a recipient of the 2021 BIPOC Bookseller Award for Leadership, a 2020 Bookselling Without Borders Fellow and 2019 Kirkus Judge for Fiction.
Bookseller at Charis Books and More and Assistant Director of Charis Circle
Dartricia Rollins is a Queer, Black, Southern organizer and cultural worker. She works as a Bookseller at Charis Books and More and Assistant Director of Charis Circle, the nonprofit programming arm of Charis Books and More. She is on the Board of Directors of Access Reproductive Care-Southeast and an individual member of the National Network for Abortion Funds. Dartricia is an organizer with the Atlanta Chapter of the Black Alliance for Peace and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Dartricia’s latest project is Georgia Dusk: a southern liberation oral history project connecting the intersections of Black movement and cultural work in Atlanta, Georgia across generations.
A look back at our 2021 Award Winners!
2021 Activism Award Winner
Bookstore owner and seller Denise Chávez is a Fronteriza writer, bookseller, and activist for sentient life. She is the author of The King and Queen of Comezón, Loving Pedro Infante, A
Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture and Face of An Angel, among other
works and has degrees in Theatre and Creative Writing.
Chávez is the Co-Founder, with Kari Lenander, Executive Director of The Border Servant Corps
(BSC) of Libros Para El Viaje, an ongoing Refugee, Migrant, and Asylum-seeker book initiative
that delivers books to Refugee and Migrant children and families on the U.S./Mexico border.
Casa Camino Real Bookstore, in collaboration with the ABA, collected thousands of
books donated by book sellers, bookstores, and publishers for the Libros program. The Libros program has distributed over 30,000 books in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English to Refugee and Migrant families.
Currently Chávez is co-editing an upcoming anthology WE ARE HERE TO REPRESENT,
which will feature the work of multi-generational writers and artists telling the story of their
service to our Migrant families.
She is a founding member of the American Bookselling Association Committee on Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion.
*photo credit: Daniel Zolinsky
2021 Innovation Award Winner
Dartricia Rollins (pronouns: she/her) is the Assistant Director of Charis Circle, and a bookseller at Charis Books and More. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Social innovation and a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Kennesaw State Univerity. Dartricia is an art and book collector and does research and program coordination for independent artists and scholars.
Dartricia is a cultural worker and community organizer. She serves on the Board of Directors at Access Reproductive Care-Southeast and is a member of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) a people(s)-centered Human Rights project against war, repression, and imperialism.
2021 Leadership Award Winner
Michelle Malonzo is a buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe and Phoenix, AZ. She's on the board of directors of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association (2018-2021) as well as a member of the ABA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Michelle was a 2020 Bookselling Without Borders Fellow, a 2019 Kirkus Judge for Fiction and for nearly 10 years worked in publishing.
All of our 2021 nominees are incredible and creative booksellers. Thank you to all of you for all you do!
Abi Ayala-Oquendo, Alex Rhett, DeAndra Beard, Kathy M. Burnette, Lane Jacobson, Mariana Calderon,
Melanie Knight, Melinda Powers, Pilot Viruet, Read Davidson, Revati Kilaparti, Serena Morales, and
Troy Landrum Jr.