Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The 2019
Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Achievement
Award Winner

The 2019 Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Achievement Award Winner

N. Scott Momaday

“If we are to understand the synthesis of literature and peace, we must first consider that the end of art is the definition of the human condition. In its ultimate realization the human condition is a state of peace. Peace is the objective of human evolution, and literature is the measure of that evolution. The history of human experience is in many ways a history of dysfunction and conflict, and literature, because it is an accurate record of that history, reflects not only what is peaceful but what is the universal hope and struggle for peace. Literature and peace are at last indivisible. They form an equation that is the definition of art and humanity.”

— N. Scott Momaday            

Advancing Peace through Literature

Fiction Winner

What We Owe

Richard Powers
The Overstory

Eli Saslow
Rising Out
of Hatred

Wil Haygood

Statement of Equal Justice

June 19, 2020

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is dedicated to advancing peace through the power of the written word. There can never be peace without justice and equity for all people, but particularly for individuals of color and those who have been historically marginalized.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize stands with all those in the United States and around the world who are lifting up their words and voices to call for justice and an end to oppression and systemic racism. Words educate, inspire, exalt and move us to reflect and change.

The critical movement that’s capturing the minds and hearts of so many can be informed by the written word. We celebrate writers dedicated to peace and justice—their words challenge us to be better. We acknowledge that the light they have shown on racism, violence, prejudice, cruelty, and inequity has gone unheeded too long. We encourage everyone to act on the words of these writers, either by continuing present efforts or by seeking new opportunities to expand and extend actions leading to peace.

Founder and Board of Trustees President
Dayton Literary Peach Prize