Dan Jenkins

2011 was the inaugural year of the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing. This award is given to one living American or U.S.-based writer each year to celebrate their body of work and long-time contributions to the field of literary sports writing. Eligible candidates may work in short- or long-form prose. The winner is decided by a panel of three judges, who consider letters of nomination submitted by PEN Members to PEN’s Awards Committee.

Read an excerpt from At the Majors

2012 Judges

Shelby Coffey, Daniel Okrent, and Lesley Visser

From the Judges’ Citation

“Dan Jenkins knows life its own self. In fact, he wrote the book on it – and on love, sex, whiskey, politics, foreigners, teenagers, movies, food, football. He is Texas Christian University’s gift to American sports writing. His byline in Sports Illustrated – more than 500 appeared – was for decades an event in itself. He is the poet of the gridiron, the maestro of the fairways. He has covered more Games of the Century than there have been centuries in Anno Domini. He is the past master of the Texas brag. As his immortal character in the novel Semi-Tough, Billy Clyde Puckett, demonstrates, “In Texas, if you can do it, it ain’t bragging.” Dan Jenkins can do it Big-Time. If any reader needs convincing, just take a look at one of his classic titles and try to resist: The Money-Whipped-Steer-Job Three-Jack-Give-Up Artist. If you don’t want to pick up that book and start reading, we have to ask: ‘What kind of American are you?’ Well…?”

Past Winner

Roger Angell