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Peter Tillou will present the inaugural Peter Tillou-Venture Smith Book Prize to its first recipient, Kwadwo Opoku‐Agyemang, of Ghana, West Africa, Saturday, November 3, 2018, at 2 p.m., at the Connecticut State Library.
November 3 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Peter Tillou-Venture Smith Book Prize was created to recognize an outstanding work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry written in English by an emerging West African author/scholar. It will enable Opoku‐Agyemang to see his work recognized throughout North America, Europe, and Africa. The inaugural Prize includes the printing and distribution of Opoku‐Agyemang’s book, “Wise Eyes: The Anomabo Poems,” and $5,000 for travel to the award ceremony and promotion of the book.
The Prize also creates a new chapter in the saga of Venture Smith, the African slave who purchased his freedom, became a successful Connecticut businessman, and was buried in East Haddam, Connecticut. In 1798, Smith’s own book was published, an autobiography titled, “Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture.”
The free event will be hosted by Robert Pierce Forbes, co-director of the Documenting Venture Smith Project, and followed by a reception. A live simulcast will occur at a corresponding event in Accra, Ghana, hosted by H. E. John A. Kufuor, former president of Ghana, and the Patron of the Prize, and Chandler B. Saint, co-director of the Documenting Venture Smith Project.