National award for arts writing

National award for arts writing

The Marfield Prize, also known as the National Award for Arts Writing, recognizes the author of an outstanding nonfiction book about the visual, literary, media, or performing arts first published in the United States during the previous calendar year. This $10,000 prize is designed to recognize excellence in arts writing for a general audience and is one of the highest monetary awards for a single-author book.

Established to generate broader interest in the arts among general readers, the award celebrates prose that is clear and inspiring, creating a strong connection with the arts and artists. First given in 2006, the prize’s endowment was established by longtime Arts Club member Jeannie S. Marfield in honor of Florence Berryman and Helen Wharton.

Publishers, agents, or authors may submit books for consideration for the next award cycle. The deadline is October 15 of each year.


Rachel Corbett Discusses You Must Change Your Life with Grace Cavalieri at the Library of Congress

Listen to Audio Podcast (28:49 minutes)

You Must Change Your Life (W. W. Norton & Company) is a vivid biography of the young and then-unknown poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the notorious sculptor who served as his mentor. The book traces their surprising friendship and heartbreaking rift, having met when a penniless Rilke came to Paris in 1906 to research and write a short biography of Rodin. What resulted was an instant and unexpected synergy about art and creativity during the dawn of modernism in Paris. Written in luminous prose and drawing on extensive research, Corbett provides a glimpse into the origins of some of Rilke’s beloved poems, as well as the risks and rewards of the artistic life.

Michael Riedel Discusses Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway with Grace Cavalieri at the Library of Congress

Listen to Audio Podcast (28:55 minutes)

Razzle Dazzle (Simon & Schuster) is a vivid biography of Broadway itself, told through a history of the venerable Shubert Organization. It is full of larger-than-life characters, like Bernard Jacobs and Jerry Schoenfeld, who took over leadership of the production company in the 1970s, when both Broadway and New York City were at low points. They went on to revitalize Times Square, change the face of New York, and produce many of Broadway’s most iconic productions. Drawing on extensive interviews and research, Riedel creates a comprehensive insider’s look, exposing bitter rivalries, unlikely alliances, and of course, scintillating gossip.

PUBLIC EVENT: Razzle Dazzle Author Michael Riedel  in Conversation with Post Critic Peter Marks

Michael Riedel, recipient of the tenth annual Marfield Prize, discusses his book, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway, in a lively conversation with Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks on May 18, 2016. Following the interview, Riedel answers audience questions and signs copies of his book for $29 (hardcover).

Michael Riedel has been a theater critic for the New York Post since 1998 and is the cohost of Theater Talkwith PBS. His column has been called “a must-read for the city’s theaterati” (Chicago magazine) and “a guilty pleasure” (New York magazine). Razzle Dazzle is his first book.

Peter Marks has been chief theatre critic of the Washington Post since 2002. He spent a decade at the New York Times, where he served as a drama critic, wrote the “On Stage, and Off” column, reported on Long Island news, and covered the 2000 presidential campaign.

Philip Gefter Discusses Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe at the Library of Congress

Listen to Audio Podcast (28:28 minutes)

“The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” is now celebrating 38 years on air, founded and still produced by poet Grace Cavalieri. This recorded program features an interview with 2014 Marfield Prize Winner Philip Gefter who discusses the life of photography collector Sam Wagstaff with selected readings from the winning book Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe.

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