Add another award to Mitchell Kaplan’s resume.
ArtesMiami founder Aida Levitan says Kaplan, a Miami native, has benefited Hispanic writers in many ways.
“Not only has he distinguished himself because he owns one of the most successful independent bookstore chains in the country, he also co-founded an event that’s important to Hispanic authors here and around the world, and that’s the Miami Book Fair,” she says. “We’re so grateful for him. We publish local poets, and we’ve been able to present them at Books & Books and the book fair, which has opened the door for us to present them in Spain. He’s done an immense favor to authors here who wish to be known nationally and internationally. ... Mitchell is an example of what makes Miami great.”
The award comes with a $1,000 cash price and ceramic work of art by local artist Rodrigo de la Luz. The luncheon, at Fleming’s in Coral Gables, will be presented by U.S. Century Bank, one of the top 10 Hispanic-owned community banks in the U.S.
Promoting Hispanic literature and authors comes naturally to Kaplan, who was honored with the National Book Foundation’s Literarian award in 2011. Miami Book Fair has a thriving Spanish-language program and sponsors the Paz Poetry Prize, which recognizes a formerly unpublished poetry book written in Spanish by a poet living in the United States.
“From the moment Books & Books opened, we have always tried to celebrate the diversity of Miami; it’s always been a big part of what we do,” Kaplan says. “About a third of programs we do at the bookshop are in Spanish. ... It’s a part of our DNA and certainly a part of the DNA of the book fair as well. This is a very meaningful award to me.”
If You Go
What: ArtesMiami luncheon honoring Mitchell Kaplan
When: Noon, Oct. 14
Where: Flemings, 2525 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables
Tickets: $125 for general public; $95 for Artes Miami benefactors; email@example.com or 305-975-3757