Ira Gershwin, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson & Russell Shorto Among Those to be Inducted into NYS Writers Hall of Fame

Submitted by Rocco Staino, Empire State Center for the Book Director

Noted writers Russell Shorto, Colson Whitehead, and Jacqueline Woodson are among the six members of the 2018 Class of Inductees for the NYS Writers Hall of Fame. The three are expected to attend the induction on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at the Princeton Club of New York. Rocco Staino, who serves as the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, made the announcement on January 24 during a Facebook Live event on the center’s Facebook page. The Center for the Book is the organization that oversees the Hall of Fame. In addition, three deceased writers: Ira Gershwin, E. L. Konigsburg, and Jose Marti will be inducted. 

“This year our committee is delighted to include the Cuban National hero Jose Marti, who lived in New York City for many years” said Rocco Staino, Director for the Center of the Book. “In addition, we have a noted lyrist, historian, and children’s authors.”

The full list of the 2018 inductees is as follows:

Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) – American lyricist who created many of America’s best loved songs with his brother George Gershwin

E. L. Konigsburg (1930-2013) – Newbery Award Medalist of children’s books including From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Jose Marti (1853-1895) – Poet, essayist, journalist, and revolutionary philosopher

Russell Shorto (1959) –Author, historian, and journalist known for his book The Island at the Center of the World about the origins of Dutch New York

Colson Whitehead (1969) – Pulitzer and National Book Award winning novelist

Jacqueline Woodson (1963) – Author of both books for children and adults, she has served as the Young People’s Poet Laurate and is currently the National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature.

This year’s nominees into the NYS Writers Hall of Fame were chosen by a selection committee comprised of: Barbara Genco, retired librarian from Brooklyn Public Library and Editor of Collection Management at Media Source; Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute; Brian Kenney, Director of the White Plains Public Library; Stefanie Peters of the Library of America,; Kathleen Masterson, Director of the Literature Program at the New York State Council on the Arts; Ira B. Matetsky Esq., partner at Ganfer & Shore; Christine McDonald, retired director of the Crandall Library in Glens Falls; Bertha Rogers, Executive Director of Bright Hill Press & creator of the New York State Literary website and map; Charlene Rue, Brooklyn & New York Public Libraries Book Ops; Cynthia Shor, Executive Director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association; and Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State Center for the Book.

The Empire State Center for the Book is part of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is housed at the New York Library Association.

For additional information on the Empire State Center for the Book and the Writers Hall of Fame, please contact Rocco Staino at or 914-475-3857.