PEN Out Loud: Rion Amilcar Scott and Vinson Cunningham
PEN America Literary Awards winner Rion Amilcar Scott returns to New York City to launch his sophomore short story collection The World Doesn’t Require You. This highly anticipated collection highlights Scott’s blazing prose as he takes on race, history, and genre, further establishing him as an essential voice in the contemporary literary canon. Scott will read from the book and discuss his creative process and inspirations with cultural critic Vinson Cunningham, New Yorker staff writer and Director of Programming for Jack Jones Literary Arts’ inaugural Culture, Too conference.
Rion Amilcar Scott’s work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, The Washington City Paper, The Toast, Akashic Books, Melville House and Confrontation, among others. A story of his earned a place on the Wigleaf Top 50 (very short) Fictions of 2016 and 2013 lists, and one of his essays was listed as a notable in Best American Essays 2015. He was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland and earned an MFA from George Mason University where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart award and a Completion Fellowship. He is a Kimbilio fellow. His short story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky) was published in August 2016 and won the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and was chosen for The Rumpus’s Book Club. His next collection, The World Doesn’t Require You, is forthcoming Liveright/Norton, summer 2019. Presently, he teaches English at Bowie State University. Find him on twitter: @ReeAmilcarScott.
Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer and co-theatre critic for The New Yorker. His essays, reviews, and profiles have also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, FADER, Vulture, The Awl, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. A former White House staffer, he now teaches an MFA Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.