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A photograph of author Langston Hughes

The Lawrence Arts Center is proud to partner with the Raven Book Store to provide two awards of $500 – one in the area of poetry and one in the area of fiction- in honor of Lawrence’s own Langston Hughes. Since 1997, the Langston Hughes Award has sought to encourage and support writers in Douglas County, Kansas who are continuing to present their life experiences creatively through poetry, stories, and non-fiction prose.

Growing up in Lawrence prepared Langston Hughes (1902-1967) to understand the difficulties of a racist society as well as the complexities of life itself. He responded by writing in diverse genres and styles, drawing on the rich culture of African Americans and the many voices of American democracy. His writing shifted from the psychological and political to the lyrical, the tragic, and the humorous. His work crossed literary boundaries and sought to express a clearer, more memorable vision of the reality he experienced.

2020 Winners Kate Lorenz // Tracey Lien

2019 Winners Molly Weisgrau // Jameelah Jones

2018 Winners Kim Condon // Rachel Atakpa  

2017 Winners Mercedes Lucero // Chloe Seim  

2016 Winners Kate Russell // Tai Amri Spann-Wilson  

2015 Winners Alyse Bensel // Matthew O’Connell  

2014 Winners Justin Runge // Crystal Boson

2013 Winners Becky Mendelbaum // Brendan Allen

2012 Winners Amy Ash // Callista Buchen // Iris Moulton  

2011 Winners Mary Stone Dockery Beth Reiber  

2010 Winners Jeff Tigchelaar // Amy Stuber

2009 Winners Judy Bauer // Nancy Pistorius

2008 Winners Stephen Bunch // John Mark Connolly

2007 Winners Jean Grant // Douglas M. Crawford-Parker

2006 Winners Mary G. Wharff // Christopher Citro  

2005 Winners Kevin Rabas // Max Keith Sutton  

2004 Winners Tasha Haas // Nedra Rogers  

2003 Winners Kelly Barth // Sarah Kanning

2002 Winners Alice Ann White // Thomas Yeahpau

2001 Winners Katrina Vandenberg // John Reimringer

2000 Winners Joy Clumsky // Daniel Dyer  

1999 Winners Gary Lechliter // Terry Wierman  

1998 Winners Kathleen Johnson // Michele J. Lubbers

1997 Winners Allan Grohe // Barbara Seaman