For more than 50 years, the PEN Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN conferred 18 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2014, awarding nearly $150,000 to writers and translators. All receipients were honored at the Literary Awards Ceremony held on Monday, September 29, 2014 at The New School for Social Research, New York City.
The 2014 PEN Literary Award Winners
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize: To an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2013—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.
Winner: Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest), Shawn Vestal
PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction: To a distinguished living American author of fiction.
Winner: Louise Erdrich
PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Founded by Barbara Kingsolver: To an author of an unpublished novel that addresses issues of social justice. The prize also includes a publishing contract with Algonquin Books.
Winner: And West is West, Ron Childress
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay: For a book of essays published in 2013 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem the essay form imparts to literature.
Winner: Critical Mass (Doubleday), James Wolcott
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award: For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2013.
Winner: High Price (Harper), Dr. Carl Hart
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards: Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright. This is the inaugural year of the Award for an Emerging American Playwright.
Winner, Master American Dramatist: David Rabe
Winner, American Playwright in Mid-Career: Donald Margulies
Winner, Emerging American Playwright: Laura Marks
PEN Open Book Award: For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2013.
Winners: domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press), Ruth Ellen Kocher
Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books), Nina McConigley
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography: For a distinguished biography published in 2013.
Winner: Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Linda Leavell
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing: To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2013.
Winner: League of Denial (Crown Archetype), Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru
PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing: To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2013.
Winner: The King of Little Things (Peachtree Publishers), Bil Lepp
PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry: To a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work to date represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature.
Winner: Frank Bidart
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship: To an author of children’s or young-adult fiction, who has published at least two books, to complete a book-length work-in-progress.
Winner: The Taste of Elephant Tears, Linda Oatman High
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing: To a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.
Winner: Dave Anderson
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation: For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2013.
Winner: Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos (Archipelago), Karen Emmerich & Edmund Keeley
PEN Translation Prize: For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2013.
Winner: Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov
PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature: To a living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature not yet translated into English.
Winner: En Tacumbú (El Lector), Raúl Silva Alonso
PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants: To support the translation of book-length works into English.
Winners: Kurt Beals, Eric M. B. Becker, David Burnett, Janet Hong, Paul Hoover, Andrea G. Labinger, Sergey Levchin, Zachary Ludington, J. Bret Maney, Philip Metres & Dimitri Psurtsev, Sayuri Okamoto, Benjamin Paloff, Miranda Richmond Mouillot, Thom Satterlee, and Sholeh Wolpé