Nikki Grimes 2022 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/24/2022


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


CHICAGO – Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2022 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made this morning by the American Library Association (ALA), during LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held virtually Jan. 21 – 24. 

“For four decades, Nikki Grimes has captivated young people with her expressive poetry and prose,” said Award Committee Chair Carolyn L. Garnes. “She has effectively articulated the black experience through authentic stories.”

Grimes has been widely recognized for her distinguished contribution to children’s and young adult literature, winning major awards including: 2020 ALAN Award, 2017

Children’s Legacy Award, a Coretta Scott King author award and five honors. After more than 77 books, she has sealed her legacy by weaving poetry and novels in verse into an impressive body of work. Grimes currently resides in Corona, California, where she continues her powerful writing.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in odd years (i.e., 2023, 2025, 2027…), to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre-K to 12th grade or higher education) or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work, volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books with and/or on behalf of youth is significant and sustained. 

In even years (i.e., 2022, 2024, 2026…), the award is presented to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. 

Virginia Hamilton was an award-winning author of children's books. She wrote more than 35 books throughout her career, including “M. C. Higgins, the Great,” for which she won the 1975 Newbery Medal. During her lifetime, Hamilton received numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Atlanta Globe-Horn Book Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. 

Members of the 2022 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Carolyn L. Garnes, Atlanta, Georgia; Sujin Bernadette Huggins, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois; Chrystal Carr Jeter, Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, Willoughby Hills, Ohio; and Dr. Marguerite Worth Penick, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

For more information on the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit