2001 Jackie Eubanks Memorial Award
The Alternatives In Publication Task Force of ALA/SRRT has announced this year\'s winners of the Eubanks Award. The winners are Franklin Rosemont, Penelope Rosemont, and Carlos Cortez of Kerr Publishing, the nation\'s older surviving radical publisher.
See inside for a report on the award and the acceptance speech, which together make a nice little read.The Jackie Eubanks Award is conferred annually by the
Alternatives-in-Publication (AIP) Task Force of the Social Responsibilities
Round Table (SRRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) (this latter
being a national membership organization of over 60.000 individuals who
work in or with libraries of all kinds). The Eubanks Award, given at the
ALA\'s Annual Conference, is an official prize of the Association. It is
given each year to people who have made especially significant
contributions to promoting/developing the \"alternative press\" .
The award is named for the late Ms. Jackie Eubanks of Brooklyn College, NY,
reference librarian extraordinaire, a remarkable activist library worker,
political/cultural grass roots agitator and a great proponent of getting
the \"alternative press\" out of the ghetto of institutional marginalization
and into the mainstream of the resources and services of librarianship.
The award is generously endowed each year by Sanford Berman of Minnestota,
a close friend of Jackie\'s and himself perhaps the most widely known and
respected spokesperson for democratic, activist and transformative
The Eubanks Award Committee, chaired by Byron Anderson, voted in favor of
committee member Mark Rosenzweig\'s joint nomination of Franklin Rosemont,
Penelope Rosemont and Carlos Cortez for their work in rescuing and
re-charging the ur-alternative publisher of American letters, the Charles
H. Kerr Publishing Company, not only keeping in print many of the most
important titles of the Kerr company\'s catalog of incendiary literature,
but publishing significant new material under the Kerr imprint, material
which continues the radical spirit which always animated Kerr.
All three winners, who are splitting the award this year, are not only
responsible for Kerr Publishing Company, but are themselves writers and
artists of system-challenging work, and so it was entirely a propos that
they suggested that their friend, San Fransisco-based poet Diane di Prima,
a radical author whose life has been among those which have, against the
grain of the canonical, etched, passionately and insistently, the course of
development of the anti-establishment poetry of the post-war period into
the history of American literature and carved out a special place in the
barren cultural landscape of the USA for the Beat, the off-beat, the
downbeat and the beatific, a space where one often finds poetic beauty and
social critique merging in free and fearless expression.
Di Prima, accepting the award on behalf of the Rosemonts and Cortez, read
one of her own poems \"Rant\" -- suggested to her by the Rosemonts as one of
their favorites -- to the delight of the large number of people at the Free
Speech Buffet (6PM-10PM Monday 6/18/01) where, this year once again
librarians and non-mainstrean publishers mingled under the auspices of the
AIP. The Free Speech Buffet attendees were called to order for the award
ceremony by the buffet\'s organizer Rory Litwin at 8PM.
Introduced by the Eubank Committee\'s Mark Rosenzweig, who also offered a
description of the Kerr press and the significance of the award winners
contributions to keeping alternative publishing alive and lively, di Prima
also read a statement, sent to her by Cortez and the Rosemonts for the
occasion, which expressed gratitude that this award will help them make the
Kerr catalog\'s offerings better known among librarians and -- equally
importantly -- promote the subversive work of the literary underground in
attacking the roots of what they described as our \'miserabilist\' society.
The Eubanks Award Committe thanks Ms. di Prima for her appearance at the
affair and offers its heartfelt congratulations to three remarkable people,
the indomitable Carlos Cortez, IWW poet and graphic artist; Franklin
Rosemont, among so many other strange and wonderful things, the editor and
English translator of THE major collection (Pathfinder Press) of the
writings of the magus of surrealism, Andre Breton; and Penelope Rosemont,
the editor of the recently-published, magnificent and revelatory anthology
entitled \"Surrealist Women: An International Anthology (Univ. of Texas
Reported by: Mark Rosenzweig, editor \"Progressive Librarian\", co-founder of
the Progressive Librarians Guild, SRRT Council member, ALA Councilor at
large, member of the Jackie Eubanks Award Committee and of the
Alternatives-in-Publications Task Force.
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
STATEMENT OF CARLOS CORTEZ, PENELOPE ROSEMONT, & FRANKLIN ROSEMONT, for the
CHARLES H. KERR PUBLISHING COMPANY
In today\'s miserabilist social set-up, \"peace\" prizes are frequently given
to war criminals, and \"humanitarian\" awards are presented to
Earth-destroying corporate executive thugs.
The Jackie Eubanks Memorial Award, dreamed up by a bold group of dissident
librarians, has nothing in common with such bourgeois hypocrisy. Unlike the
big celebrity awards, the Jackie Eubanks award recognizes the contributions
of those who, in many and diverse ways, have been doing what they can - in
Joe Hill\'s words - \"to advance Freedom\'s banner a little closer to its
The Charles H. Kerr Company, established in Chicago in 1886, is a
worker-owned, not-for-profit co-operative publishing house devoted to the
Cause of abolishing wage-slavery and creating a new society based on
Freedom, Equality, Poetry, and Solidarity. In its 115 years, the Kerr
Company has published a large number of books that are widely recognized as
classics, but this is the first time the Company has ever received an award.
We are especially honored to receive the Jackie Eubanks Memorial Award, for
Jackie Eubanks was herself a brave crusader for all good causes. She was an
enthusiastic supporter of our publishing program - \"Subversive Literature
for the Whole Family!\" - and retains a fond place in our memory.
We would like to alert our librarian friends to the fact that Charles H.
Kerr books continue to be well-reviewed in Anarchist, Socialist, Feminist,
Pacifist, IWW, Trade Union, Civil Libertarian, Green, Homeless, Punk and
other alternative publications. Almost never, however, are our books
noticed in the major librarians\' periodicals: LIBRARY JOURNAL, CHOICE, or
BOOKLIST. This means many librarians are NOT being informed of our books.
We hope you will help us spread the word about this insidious form of
censorship. An Injury to One Is an Injury to All!
The Charles H. Kerr Company is the oldest anti-Establishment publishing
house in the world, but it is still as young as tomorrow. This is because
radical ideas are always new. They are the like the seed beneath the
snow - just waiting for the proper time to sprout.