In his opening remarks for the 70th annual ceremony, host Levar Burton spoke about the power of books personally and politically.
During his speech, Burton—television’s most beloved bibliophile—credited his mother with instilling him with a lifelong love of literature, and went on to wax poetic about the power of literacy: “Literature is the birthright of every one of us—if you can read in at least one language, you are in my definition, free. No one can pull the wool over your eyes.”
As for the awards, they went as follows:
The award in the Young People’s Literature category went to 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler.
The poetry award went to Arthur Sze for Sight Lines.
The nonfiction award went to The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom.