2023 Awards nominations are open August 7, 2023, and close on September 8, 2023.
Nominate your favorite BIPOC Bookseller below!
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It is with our bookselling community's help that this award is made possible. Thank you for your support and for joining in this celebration.
2023 Annual BIPOC Bookseller Award
Duende District & The Word continue with the 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 #MarginsBookselling 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.
2023 BIPOC Bookseller Award Judges
Calvin Crosby, the majority shareholder and co-owner of Salt Lake City's The King's English Bookshop and Executive Director of Brain Food Books, a 501c3 that puts new books into the hands of those without regular access, has been in building community in bookselling for almost 30 years. He is a Binc Board Member, a 2022 Duende-Word BIPOC Leadership Award, and a juror for this year's National Book Award Foundations Fiction Category. Calvin's commitment to building equity around books and reading in communities without libraries, bookstores, or consistent access has been a lifelong mission. As a member of the Cherokee Nation, he believes in Land Back one Independent Bookstore at a time.
Chawa Magaña is the steward of Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, a BIPOC owned and operated community space and bookstore located in central Phoenix that carries books in both the English and Spanish language, with a focus on literature by BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ authors.
As a first generation Mexican American, Chawa is passionate about holding space for historically marginalized communities to be able to share their stories to create and imagine liberated futures and present joy for each other, and ultimately all of us who endure the consequences of a dominantly white supremacist, patriarchal, and capitalist society. Literature is an accessible and very useful tool used in this work at Palabras and Nurture House, the collective literary focused space that Palabras resides in.
Chawa believes in resource sharing and the power of giving one another the space and grace to be vulnerable, allowing for authentic strength, healing, and compassion to inform and lead the work we do in our communities.
When Chawa is not working, you can assume she is doing something related to plant medicine (she’s also an herbalist), books, nature or food.
Corinne Acosta is the Book Floor Manager and Children’s Book Buyer at Lost City Books in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, she leads the Caribbean Book Club at the bookstore, and enjoys spreading her love for Caribbean storytelling.
Before entering the world of bookselling, she was an elementary school teacher where she taught mostly 1st and 2nd grade in DC, LA, and then back home in Trinidad. That experience has made being a children’s book buyer even more meaningful to her.
Aside from reading, Corinne is a lover of food, kettlebells, traveling, the ocean, and spending time with family and her cat, Genki Sudo.
A look back at our 2022 Award 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.