The Dorothy Parker Society learned today that Mrs. Parker has been named to the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, and will be inducted in a ceremony on April 1 in Albany at the Empire State Book Festival.
The DPS kind of made a stink last year when Mrs. Parker was passed over in the inaugural group. But perhaps voting by her fans helped her cause, and she has now joined last year’s inductees James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Caro, Frederick Douglass, Mary Gordon, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Isaac B. Singer, Edith Wharton, E.B White and Walt Whitman.
The Hall of Fame was created in 2010 by the Empire State Center for the Book, which also administers the Empire State Book Festival, Letters About Literature and Empire State Big Read. The Empire State Book Festival is part of the mission of the Center for the Book to promote literature, literacy and libraries. The 2011 Book Festival is April 1 and 2 and will feature two keynote speakers, singer/songwriter and author Rosanne Cash and Baby-sitter’s Club author Ann M. Martin.
For the 2011 inductees, Mrs. Parker joins stellar company. Also to be inducted are New York literary heavyweights Willa Cather, Julia DeBurgos, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Madeleine L’Engle and Herman Melville. Two living writers, Pulitzer Prize-winner John Ashbery and Newbery Medal winner Paula Fox also are to be inducted.
The induction ceremony into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame will be the focus of the Empire State Book Festival Gala scheduled from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2011 at the State Room, in Albany, New York. The ticketed event is open to the public. The gala will kickoff the state’s second annual Empire State Book Festival. The Festival will bring together authors, illustrators, librarians, storytellers, publishers and booklovers to celebrate the literary heritage of New York State. It is free and open to the public. It will be held on Saturday, April 2nd from 10 am to 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Rooms 1-7 at the Empire State Plaza, where readings, author signings and special presentations will take place.
During the month of January, The Empire State Book Festival is currently competing for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Challenge Grant. The grant is awarded to the ten programs receiving the most votes from the public. People can vote here.
The nominees into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame were chosen by a selection committee composed of Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation; Barbara Genco, retired librarian from Brooklyn Public Library and Editor of Collection Management at Media Source , Brian Kenney, Editorial Director for Library Journal and School Library Journal; Kathleen Masterson director of the New York State Council on the Arts Literary Program, Bertha Rogers, executive director of Bright Hill Press & creator of the New York State Literary Tree; Rocco Staino, chairman of the Empire State Book Festival and Hong Yao Associate Coordinator Collection Development Queens Library.