2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction
Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, VA. In 2004 and 2005 he served with the U.S. Army in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. He studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His novel The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown) was a National Book Award finalist and is this year’s Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for debut fiction. Writing for The New York Times, Ben Percy asserts that, with The Yellow Birds,
“Kevin Powers has something to say, something deeply moving about the frailty of man and the brutality of war, and we should all lean closer and listen.”
The finalists for 2013 were Jennifer duBois for A Partial History of Lost Causes (Dial Press) and Vaddey Ratner for In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree (Simon & Schuster). The honorable mentions were Catherine Chung for Forgotten Country (Riverhead Books) and Peter M. Wheelwright for As It Is On Earth (Fomite Press).