The New York State Writers Hall of Fame has added to its august body. The induction ceremony is next month at The Lambs, and more fantastic writers are joining the Hall of Fame. The honorees are chosen by the Empire State Center for the Book. Dorothy Parker was admitted in 2011 and Edna Ferber was named the following year. One of their friends, Don Marquis (1878–1937), is in the Class of 2016.
Rocco Staino, who serves as the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, made the announcement at The Lambs, America’s oldest theatrical club. The Center for the Book is the organization that oversees the Hall of Fame. The four living writers will be in attendance at the induction ceremony and dinner on Tuesday evening, June 7, 2016, at The Lambs, 3 West Fifty-first Street.
The Class of 2016 Living Members:
* Roger Angell (b. 1920) – Essayist, sports writer, and contributor to The New Yorker.
* Roz Chast (b. 1954) – Graphic novelist, cartoonist, and National Book Award finalist.
* Samuel R. Delany (b. 1942) – Science fiction writer, essayist, and literary critic and a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
* Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930) – Composer and lyricist whose recognitions include the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Class of 2016 Deceased Members:
* Maya Angelou (1928–2014) – Poet, author, and memoirist whose 1969 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings brought her international recognition.
* Jean Craighead George (1919–2012) – Naturalist and author of more than 100 books for children and young adults.
* Don Marquis (1878–1937) – Humorist, journalist and creator of the characters of Archy and Mehitabel.
* Grace Paley (1922-2007) – Short story writer and poet.
“This year, our committee decided that it was time for a lyricist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame ranks,” said Mr. Staino. “Who better to lead the way than Stephen Sondheim!” This year will also mark the first time that an inductee will be joining a member of his or her family in the Hall of Fame as E.B. White the stepfather of sports writer and essayist Roger Angell was a member of the Hall of Fame’s 2010 inaugural class.
The full list of all past inductees is here.
From the press release:
This year’s inductees 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, Director of the White Plains Public Library; Stefanie Peters of the Library of America; Kathleen Masterson, Director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts; Ira B. Matetsky Esq., partner at the law firm of Ganfer & Shore, LLP; Christine McDonald, retired director of the Crandall Library in Glens Falls; Bertha Rogers, Executive Director of Bright Hill Press and creator of the New York State Literary Website and Map; Charlene Rue, Brooklyn & New York Public Libraries Book Ops; and Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State Center for the Book.
The Empire State Center for the Book is part of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is currently hosted by the New York Library Association.