Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books, Sarah Gorham of Sarabande Books, and Laura Pegram of Kweli Journal To Be Honored by CLMP

New York, NY (July 13, 2022)—The Community of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), the national nonprofit organization supporting the vital work of small literary publishers, will celebrate independent literary publishing and pay tribute to literary luminaries with an in-person benefit on November 2, 2022, returning to the historic Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY. 

Mitchell Kaplan, Owner of Books & Books and Cofounder of the Miami Book Fair, will receive the Energizer Award for Exceptional Acts of Literary Citizenship. Sarah Gorham, Cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Sarabande Books who recently announced her retirement after 29 years, will receive CLMP’s Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Literary Publishing. This year, CLMP has added another award to its roster: the Platinum Review Award for Excellence in Literary Magazine Publishing, which will be given to Laura Pegram, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kweli Journal. To learn more and purchase tickets and sponsorships, visit

“We’re thrilled to be gathering in person to celebrate this year’s distinguished honorees for their unique and significant contributions to the literary publishing field,” said CLMP Executive Director Mary Gannon.

“Despite a remarkably difficult two years, our community continues to thrive, tell necessary stories, and elevate diverse voices,” said CLMP Board Chair Nicole Dewey. “It brings us great joy to gather to honor their remarkable accomplishments and raise money to support their essential work.”



Mitchell Kaplan is the Founder and President of independent bookseller Books & Books, opening the first store in 1982 in Coral Gables, Florida. Now with five South Florida locations, as well as affiliated stores at the Miami International Airport and in Key West, Books & Books hosts over 400 events annually and was named Publishers Weekly’s 2015 Bookstore of the Year. Kaplan also cofounded the Miami Book Fair in 1985 and continues to guide the programming team at the fair, which takes place on the campus of Miami Dade College. Each year the fair presents close to 500 authors over one week in November; programs take place in Creole, Spanish, and English, reflecting the diversity of Miami. In addition, Kaplan has served as president of the American Booksellers Association, received the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation, and established The Mazur Kaplan Company to bring books to the screen. He hosts the podcast The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan and recently accepted an appointment to serve on the Board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Sarah Gorham is the Editor-in-Chief of the nonprofit literary press Sarabande Books, which she founded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1994 to champion poetry, short fiction, and essay. With nearly 300 titles in print, Sarabande Books has earned a dedicated readership and a national reputation as a publisher of diverse voices and innovative forms. The press, which received the inaugural Small Press Publishers Award from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in 2013, creates lasting editions that honor exceptional writing, distributes these works internationally, and serves as an educational resource for readers, students, and teachers of creative writing. Gorham will retire from her current position in December 2022, after which she will begin serving as an editorial advisor and board member to Sarabande Books. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, and more, Gorham is also the author of Alpine Apprentice: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press, 2017) as well as four collections of poetry, most recently Bad Daughter (Four Way Books, 2011) and The Cure (Four Way Books, 2003). 

Laura Pegram is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly online literary magazine Kweli Journal, originally launched as a biannual publication in 2009. Contributors have included acclaimed writers Jeffery Renard Allen, A. Igoni Barrett, Jennine Capó Crucet, Angie Cruz, Nana-Ama Danquah, Camille T. Dungy, Martín Espada, Santee Frazier, Ru Freeman, Cristina García, Nathalie Handal, Charles Johnson, Lorna Goodison, Victor LaValle, Ed Pavlic, Quincy Troupe, Chika Unigwe, Neela Vaswani, Xu Xi, and Tiphanie Yanique. Since it was established, Kweli Journal has expanded, also becoming a community organization of the same name dedicated to nurturing emerging writers of color and creating opportunities for their voices to be recognized and valued, and providing year-long writer fellowships, multi-session workshops, writing retreats, individualized editing, and an annual writers’ conference and international festival. Pegram is an author, educator, jazz vocalist, and painter, and she has worked at Scholastic Productions, Inc., the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center, and the John Oliver Killens Young Writers Program. In 2020, she received the 2020 CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Award.



CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven CLMP ensures a vibrant, diverse literary landscape by helping mission-driven independent literary magazines and presses thrive. Since 1967, CLMP has provided publishers with funding and technical assistance; facilitated peer-to-peer learning and group action; served as a dependable, essential hub for best practices, resources, and nurturing community support; and connected publishers with other groups of literary stakeholders, including readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, educators, presenting organizations, and funders. Along with directly serving 900+ publishers located in almost every state in the country, CLMP administers the Lit Mag Adoption program, which provides educators and students with discounted magazine subscriptions; the annual Indie Lit Fair, in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival; the $10,000 Constellation Award, given to honor an independent literary press that is led by and/or champions the writing of people of color for excellence in publishing; and the Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature, which celebrate magazines and books that make a significant contribution to our literary culture, among other programs.


For press inquiries contact Mary Gannon at [email protected]