Mark Twain Award

Each year, the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature presents the Mark Twain Award to a living writer for distinguished contributions to Midwestern literature.

We encourage members to nominate an individual for the award. The Mark Twain honoree need not be a member of SSML.

Nominations can be sent to the SSML email account at by May 1. Please include your name (as nominator) and a brief, 250-word statement regarding the nominee’s qualifications for the award. Only SSML members are eligible to make nominations.

2024 Mark Twain Award

Haki R. Madhubuti Is SSML’s 2024 Mark Twain Award Winner

Haki R. Madhubuti will be the recipient of the 2024 Mark Twain Award. Dr. Madhubuti is a poet, educator, and publisher who founded Chicago’s Third World Press in 1967; as Distinguished University Professor at Chicago State University, he co-founded and served as director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing. He is the author of twenty-eight books; one of his recent books, Taught by Women: Poems as Resistance Language, New and Selected (2020), pays homage to Gwendolyn Brooks, Rosa Parks, Angela Y. Davis, and many other women who have influenced him.

Since 1980, The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature has given the Mark Twain Award annually for distinguished contributions to Midwestern literature. Past recipients include Gwendolyn Brooks, Ted Kooser, Tim O’Brien, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Sandra Cisneros, this year’s recipient. 

Previous Recipients

1980s  |  1990s  |  2000s  |  2010s  |  2020s


The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature exists to support the study and dissemination of work in Midwestern literature, art, film, and scholarly study.

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