Yusuf Ali El
Best Poetry Book
"Verses from Atop the Mountain"
Best Non Fiction Book
"Life is a Journey"
Best Fiction Book
"Ten Years Later"
Lisa Marie Latino
I had the pleasure of attending the 4th Annual Independent Authors Book Expo. It was a great experience, networking with various authors and meeting new readers from the community. it was also a well-organized event that provided a wonderful platform for authors. Thanks Author Renaee Perrier-Smith, job well done. -Tesa Erven, Author of The Loose End Series
Habari gani.The 4th annual Independent Authors Book Expo was well worth the travel from Dover, NH to Rochelle, NJ. The ethnic diversity was the first thing that stood out. It let me know Renaee had extended her reach beyond her ethnicity and had assembled an international gathering of griots. The free exchange of information, the sincerity shown from writer to writer, and the shopping among the authors cemented this as a family affair. The age range of the authors, the genres and the caliber of illustrations and writings impressed. We could have held our own at any literary expo in Accra, Ghana, NYC, or Seville, Spain.
Last but not least, as our literary tour guide segued into the Best Children's Book presentation, I paid no attention until I heard the word Pembroke. I couldn't believe it. I lit up. I knew it was not possible more than one author was from Pembroke, a township of maybe two thousand in rural Illinois. I realized she was talking about me. When Thank You & Please was announced the winner, fireworks went off in me. I tried to maintain my cool, as we used to say. I only hope I managed a degree of decorum as I slowly walked to the microphone to claim my prize. I wanted to turn cartwheels and sprint to the dais.
Author Renaee Perrier-Smith, your IABX made possible the single most prestigious moment in my life as a poet. I, once again, am reminded of Proverbs 18:16. "A mans gift makes room for him and brings him before great men." I am proof your Expo was a grand success and brought me before great men and women. Renaee, thank you for making my. 69th year one to remember. Asante.
Yusuf Ali El, The Moorish Poet
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