Meet the Judges for the 2017 PEN Literary Awards
PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature ($50,000): To a writer of any genre for his or her body of work.
Ayad Akhtar is a playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. His plays have won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2013 and 2015 OBIE Awards, the Outer Critic’s Circle John Gassner Award, and been nominated for the TONY and Evening Standard Awards. Akhtar serves as a Board Trustee at PEN America, Yaddo, and NYTW and is currently the Resident Playwright with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.
Aravind Adiga was born in India in 1974 and attended Columbia and Oxford universities. He is the author of Selection Day, the Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger, and the story collection Between the Assassinations. He lives in Mumbai, India. (Photo credit Fernando Morales)
Robin Coste Lewis is the author of Voyage of the Sable Venus (2015), the winner of National Book Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition, and VIDA. She was a finalist for the International War Poetry Prize, the National Rita Dove Prize, and semi-finalist for the “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize and the Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Prize.
Jessica Hagedorn is the author of four novels: Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Other books include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and Burning Heart: A Portrait Of The Philippines. She was the editor of both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. Her many plays include the stage adaptations of Dogeaters and The Gangster Of Love.
Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found and The Story Hour. She is also the author of the memoir, First Darling of the Morning. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in over fifteen countries. A former journalist, she is a recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and is currently the Armington Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (Photo credit Robert Muller)
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): For a fiction writer whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.
Jami Attenberg is the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. She has contributed essays about sex, urban life, and food to publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Lenny Letter. Her sixth book, All Grown Up, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in March 2017.
Tanwi Nandini Islam is the author of Bright Lines, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. She is a writer, multimedia artist, and founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a handcrafted perfume and skincare line. Her writing has appeared on Elle.com, Fashionista.com, and Billboard.com, and in the Feminist Wire, Open City, and Hyphen magazine. A graduate of Vassar College and Brooklyn College’s MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn. You can visit her website at www.tanwinandini.com. (Photo credit Scott Dunn)
Randall Kenan is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits, two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, and The Fire This Time, and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introduction for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin and The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Writers’ Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize. He is professor of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Hanna Pylväinen is the author of We Sinners, a novel, which received the 2012 Whiting Writers’ Award. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine. She is the recipient of residencies at The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Princeton University, among others. She is on the faculty of the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is working on her second novel, Drum Time.
Akhil Sharma is the author of Family Life (winner of the 2016 Dublin International Literary Prize and the 2015 Folio Prize) and An Obedient Father (winner of the PEN Hemingway Prize). His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. (Photo credit Jack Llewellyn-Karski)
PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History ($10,000): For an unpublished literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement.
Gaiutra Bahadur is the author of the Orwell Prize-shortlisted Coolie Woman, a narrative history. Her essays, reviews and reporting have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, The Guardian, The New York Times Book Review, VQR, The Nation, Dissent, Ms., and Foreign Policy. The Commonwealth Writers Foundation recently published her fiction debut, the story “The Stained Veil.” She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Harvard’s Nieman Foundation, the NJ Council on the Arts and Harvard’s DuBois Institute, where she’s currently in residence.
Helen Epstein is a journalist and author of ten books of nonfiction, including Children of the Holocaust; the biography Joe Papp: An American Life; and Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History. In 2016, she co-wrote Dr. Paul Ornstein’s Looking Back: Memoir of a Psychoanalyst. She co-founded Plunkett Lake Press to reissue international classics of non-fiction in electronic form. She lives in Massachusetts. www.helenepstein.com
Dan Kennedy is the host of The Moth Podcast, as well as a frequent host and performer at Moth live events. His stories have appeared in GQ Magazine, on the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, in McSweeney’s, and in numerous print anthologies. He is the author of three books, Loser Goes First (Random House/Crown 2003), Rock On (Algonquin 2008, a Times of London Book of The Year) and American Spirit (Houghton Mifflin/Little-A 2013, Publishers Weekly starred review). He lives in downtown New York.
PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays that exemplifies the dignity and esteem of the essay form.
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, three essays of which have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On, which can be expected in 2017, both from Scribner. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi.
Paul Steiger was the founding editor-in-chief and CEO of ProPublica from 2008 through 2012. As its executive chairman, he consults with management on business and editorial matters. Steiger was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2007. During his tenure as top editor at each organization, members of the Journal’s newsroom staff were awarded 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and ProPublica’s reporters received two. A Yale graduate, he is a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and treasurer of the Global Editors Network.
PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): For a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective.
Julia Angwin is an award-winning senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom. From 2000 to 2013, she was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Her book, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, was published by Times Books in 2014. She earned a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.
Rich Benjamin is the author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America (Hachette Books), selected as an Editor’s Choice by Booklist and The American Library Association (2009), and now in its second printing. Rich’s cultural criticism appears regularly in public debate, including in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, PBS, and CNN. A venture of deep, years-long research, Rich’s current book-in-progress spans a century in topic, and involves his suing The US State Department to get unduly “classified” documents released in entirety. He is also Senior Fellow at Demos. (Photo credit Sharon Schuster)
Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of several works of history, memoir, and journalism, including State Out of the Union, selected by Publishers Weekly as a Top Ten Social Science book in 2012, and Reckoning at Eagle Creek, winner of the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting and the Delta Prize for Literature. His most recent work is Damnatio Memoriae: A Play, Una Commedia.
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times and the senior editor of live journalism. Mr. Duhigg is also the author of The Power of Habit, which has spent over two years on The New York Times bestseller list, and the recent Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business. Mr. Duhigg is a graduate of Yale University and the Harvard Business School, and a frequent contributor to This American Life, NPR, The Colbert Report, PBS’s NewsHour, and Frontline. He was also, for one terrifying day in 1999, a bike messenger in San Francisco.
PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences.
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her most recent book, Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts, won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books and was longlisted for the 2014 PEN/E.O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her writing has also appeared inThe New York Times, Wired, Nature, Slate, and elsewhere. She is working on a new book about how indoor spaces shape our health, behavior, and well-being.
Amy Ellis Nutt is a science writer on the national team of The Washington Post and the author of three books, including two New York Times’ bestsellers, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family and The Teenage Brain with Frances Jensen. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing in 2011. Nutt has taught at Columbia and Princeton Universities and was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard in 2005-2006.
Robin Marantz Henig is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine who has written nine books, including Pandora’s Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution and The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel. She received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 2010, and since 2013 has been an adjunct professor in the science journalism program at New York University.
Emma Marris has written for many magazines and newspapers, including National Geographic, Discover,The New York Times, Nature, and Slate. In 2011, she published her first book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. In 2016, she gave at TED talk about seeing the hidden nature that surrounds us and won a National Association of Science Writer’s “Science in Society” award for a commentary in Orion about our responsibility to save species—even at the cost of wildness. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, and lives with her husband and two children in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers ($2,000 to 12 writers): Recognizing twelve emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in a literary magazine or cultural website in 2016.
Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas and the story collection Safe as Houses. Awards include the O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, and The Iowa Award for Short Fiction. She is an Editor at Large for Catapult Magazine. For more information, please visit mariehelenebertino.com.
Kelly Link is the author of the collections Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters, and Get in Trouble, which was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She and her husband Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. (Photo credit Sharona Jacobs)
Nina McConigley is the author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which won a 2014 PEN Open Book Award. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, where she was an Inprint Brown Foundation Fellow. She also holds an MA in English from the University of Wyoming and a BA in literature from Saint Olaf College. She currently serves on the board of the Wyoming Arts Council. She is at work on a novel and teaches at the University of Wyoming.
PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Awards for Drama ($7,500 & $2,500): Three awards which honor a Master American Dramatist, American Playwright in Mid-Career, and Emerging American Playwright.
Oskar Eustis has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater since 2005, after serving as the Artistic Director at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI from 1994 to 2005. Throughout his career, Eustis has been dedicated to the development of new work that speaks to the great issues of our time, and has worked with countless artists in pursuit of that aim, from Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks to David Henry Hwang and Lin-Manual Miranda. He is currently a Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University; and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University.
Michael C. Hall currently stars as Thomas Newton in David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s “Lazarus” at London’s King’s Cross Theatre. Broadway: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Realistic Joneses, Chicago, Cabaret. Off-Broadway: Lazarus, Mr. Marmalade, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Henry V, The English Teachers, Corpus Christi, Romeo and Juliet, R Shoman, Skylight. Television: “Dexter,“ “Six Feet Under.” Film: Cold in July, Kill Your Darlings, Christine (current), Felt (forthcoming).
Young Jean Lee has written and directed ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a PEN Literary Award. Her short film Here Come the Girls was presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest.
PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): For a nonfiction book on the subject of sports.
Jay Caspian Kang is a writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine and was one of the founding editors of Grantland.com. His novel, The Dead Do Not Improve, was published by Random House in 2012. Kang is a correspondent for HBO’s VICE News Tonight, covering civil rights.
Juliet Macur is an award-winning sports columnist for The New York Times and a best-selling author. Her book, Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, a biography of Armstrong, the cancer survivor and disgraced cyclist, was published in 2014. Ms. Macur worked at the Orlando Sentinel and then the Dallas Morning News before joining the Times in 2004. She graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, daughter, and Labrador retriever.
David Owen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor of Golf Digest. He has written more than a dozen books, including several about golf. His most recent book is Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River which will be published in the spring of 2017. (Photo credit Laurie Gaboardi)
PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): For a writer whose body of work represents an exceptional contribution to the field.
Pete Hamill is a novelist, essayist and journalist whose career has endured for more than forty years. He has been a columnist for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Village Voice, New York magazine, and Esquire. He has served as editor-in-chief of both the Post and the Daily News. As a journalist, he has covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland, and has lived for extended periods in Mexico City, Dublin, Barcelona, San Juan and Rome. From his base in New York, he has also covered murders, fires, World Series, championship fights, and the great domestic disturbances of the 1960s, and has written extensively on art, jazz, immigration and politics. He witnessed the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath and wrote about them for the Daily News.
Sally Jenkins is a columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post, and the author of twelve books, including The Real All Americans, a cultural history of the Carlisle Indian School’s role in fashioning modern football. Jenkins is a four-time winner of the Associated Press sports columnist of the year award, and an inductee into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. But most proudly of all, she is the daughter of PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dan Jenkins.
Michael Sokolove has been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine since 2001, where his niche has been the intersection of sports, culture and science. His work has been included in the Best American Sportswriting and Best American Medical Writing anthologies. He has also written for the Times Magazine about politics and a broad range of other topics. He is the author of six books, including Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater (Riverhead, 2013).
PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in the United States.
Evelyn C. White is the author of the acclaimed biography Alice Walker: A Life (W.W. Norton, 2004). A widely published writer, her other works include Chain Chain Change: For Black Women in Abusive Relationships (Seal Press, 1994). Ms. White is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was honored for her Master’s thesis on “The Racial Development of Blind Black Children.” She also holds degrees from Harvard University and Wellesley College.
Joyce Johnson’s most recent books are The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac and the memoir Missing Men. Her previous books include Minor Characters, for which she won a 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award, and the novels In the Night Cafe, Bad Connections and Come and Join the Dance. In 1993, she received an NEA for fiction.
PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional work of literature by an author of color.
Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier & Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel. He is currently completing The Lively Skeletons of Every Season, a novel soon to be published by Riverhead. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and children. www.ishmaelbeah.com @IshmaelBeah
Major Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry: Roll Deep, Holding Company, Hoops, and Leaving Saturn, winner of a Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Among his honors is a Guggenheim Fellowship, Whiting Writers’ Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and been included in several volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson is University Distinguished Professor and Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont. He is the poetry editor of the Harvard Review.
Bich Minh Nguyen, who also goes by Beth, is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Award, the novel Short Girls, which received an American Book Award, and most recently the novel Pioneer Girl. She teaches in and directs the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
Camille Dungy is the author of Smith Blue, Suck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and served as assistant editor for Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade. Her honors include an American Book Award, and two Northern California Book Awards, among others.Trophic Cascade, her newest collection of poems, will be published in February of 2017, and Guidebook to Relative Strangers, her first collection of personal essays, will be appearing in the summer of 2017.
Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers.
Patrick Philips’ third book of poems, Elegy for a Broken Machine, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2015. A past Guggenheim and NEA fellow, he is also the author of Boy and Chattahoochee, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Phillips’ first book of nonfiction, Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, was published by W. W. Norton in 2016. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000): For an author of children’s or young-adult fiction to complete a book-length work-in-progress.
Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN USA Award winner. Her books have received multiple Pura Belpré, Américas, and Jane Addams Awards and Honors, as well as a Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, and International Reading Association Award. Margarita’s newest historical verse novel is Lion Island, Cuba’s Warrior of Words. Margarita lives in central California, where she enjoys helping her husband train his wilderness search and rescue dog. margaritaengle.com
Sharyn November is an editor of books for children and teenagers. She is responsible for many best-selling and award-winning books, including those by Laurie Halse Anderson, John Barnes, S.E. Grove, Diana Wynne Jones, Susan Juby, Ellen Klages, Kelly Link, and Nnedi Okorafor. She was a two-time World Fantasy Award finalist for her creation of and editorial direction of the Firebird Books imprint. Her website is www.sharyn.org, and she is on Twitter as @sn0vember.
Polly Shulman is the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist), its companions The Wells Bequest and The Poe Annex, and Enthusiasm (a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice book). She has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Discover, Newsday, Salon, Slate, Scientific American, and The Village Voice. She majored in math at Yale and grew up in New York City, where she lives in a tall old building guarded by gargoyles.
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English.
Mara Faye Lethem has translated novels by Jaume Cabré, David Trueba, Albert Sánchez Piñol, Javier Calvo, Patricio Pron, Marc Pastor and Toni Sala, among others, and shorter fiction by such authors as Juan Marsé, Rodrigo Fresán, Pola Oloixarac, Teresa Colom and Alba Dedeu. Her translation of The Whispering City, by Sara Moliner, recently received an English PEN Award and two of her translations were nominated for the 2016 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Jeremy Tiang has translated more than ten books from Chinese, including work by Zhang Yueran, Yeng Pway Ngon, Su Wei-chen, Chan Ho-kei and Yu Qiuyu. He received a PEN/Heim Grant for his translation of Zou Jingzhi’s Ninth Building and an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship for Lo Yi-Chin’s Far Away. Jeremy also writes and translates plays. His short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize.
Elizabeth Lowe is a translator of both classical and contemporary Brazilian literature. Her re-translation of the iconic novel by Euclides da Cunha, Os Sertões (1902; Backlands: The Canudos Campaign, 2010), earned her recognition by the Brazilian Academy of Letters. She is the author of The City in Brazilian Literature (1982) and co-author with Earl E. Fitz of Translation and the Rise of Inter-American Literature (2007). She is Adjunct Professor in the New York University M.S. in Translation program.
Annie Tucker translates Indonesian fiction, prose, and poetry. Her work has been recognized by the PEN/Heim Translation Fund and published in The White Review, New York Times Magazine, and Words Without Borders, among others. Her translation of Eka Kurniawan’s debut novel Beauty Is a Wound was included on numerous “Books of the Year 2015” lists, received critical praise from The Guardian, The New Yorker, and others, and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. She lives in Los Angeles.
Dennis Washburn is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies at Dartmouth College. Author of The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction and Translating Mount Fuji, he has also edited several volumes, including most recently The Affect of Difference. An active translator, his recent works include Mizukami Tsutomu’s The Temple of the Wild Geese, for which he was awarded the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize, Tsushima Yuko’s Laughing Wolf, and a new translation of the Japanese classic, The Tale of Genji.
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English.
Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. Also a translator from the French and Polish, her most recent translation is Rochester Knockings, a novel by Tunisian-born writer Hubert Haddad. Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, New York Review of Books, Ploughshares, New England Review, and in four volumes of the Best American Poetry anthology. Director of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, she teaches at the University of Rochester.
Kyoo Lee, Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York, author of Writing Entanglish: Come in Englysshing With Gertrude Stein, Zhuangzi … (2015, Belladonna Chapbook) and Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy, and Bad (2012, Fordham UP), is a theorist and writer working widely in the intersecting fields of the Arts & the Humanities. A longtime member of Poetry Translation Center, London, UK, she also occasionally summer-teaches at Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, seminaring on philopoetics. Currently, she serves on the editorial boards of Derrida Today, Hypatia, and Open Humanities Press.
Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the author of The Ground and Heaven, both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is the recipient of the 2013 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, a 2013 Whiting Award, a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Poetry. He has translated widely from the Catalan; his English-language version of Salvador Espriu’s short-story collection, Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth, was published by Dalkey Achive in 2012.
PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing ($2,500): For a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits.
Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; and the coeditor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande). Formerly Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, he is a professor at Bennington College, where he teaches poetry and editing, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the newly relaunched print literary journal Bennington Review.
PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants ($2,000-$4,000): To support the translation of book-length works into English. Judges will also oversee the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature ($5,000).
Tynan Kogane is an Editor at New Directions.
Edna McCown translates works of fiction and nonfiction from the German, including Aimee & Jaguar by Erica Fischer and Leni Riefenstahl: A Life by Jürgen Trimborn. Among the authors she has translated are Gert Hofmann, Thomas Hürlimann, Lilian Faschinger, Alfred Döblin and Saša Stanišić. She holds a PhD in German literature and has served on the juries of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize and the PEN Translation Prize. In 2014 she was awarded a NYSCA grant for her translation from Ursula Krechel’s Shanghai Far From Where, excerpted in The Hudson Review. She became the Chair of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Advisory Board in September 2016.
Fiona McCrae has been publisher of Graywolf Press since 1994. During her tenure, the Press has expanded its lists of poetry, literary nonfiction and criticism, fiction, and works in translation. Recent authors who have enjoyed notable successes include Jeffery Renard Allen, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Per Petterson, Claudia Rankine, Vijay Seshadri, and Tracy K. Smith. Graywolf won the AWP Best Small Press of the Year Award in 2015. McCrae serves on the boards of Fence and the National Book Foundation.
Canaan Morse Currently a doctoral student in pre-modern Chinese literature at Harvard University, Canaan Morse has been working with Chinese literature as a translator, editor, and promoter for ten years. His translations of Chinese prose and poetry have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Baffler, Chinese Literature Today, and other journals. His translation of Ge Fei’s The Invisibility Cloak, published in October as part of the New York Review of Books Classics series, won the 2014 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. He is also co-editing collections of Chinese literature for PEN America and Grove Press.
Idra Novey is the author of the novel Ways to Disappear, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Brooklyn Eagles Prize. Her poetry collections include Exit, Civilian, The Next Country, and Clarice: The Visitor, a collaboration with the artist Erica Baum. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writers Magazine, the PEN Translation Fund, the Poetry Foundation, and the Poetry Society of America. She has translated the work of several prominent Brazilian writers, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H.
Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant in New York City. Her translation of The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami was nominated for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, and the UK edition (Strange Weather in Tokyo) was nominated for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She has also translated works by Osamu Dazai and Fuminori Nakamura, among others.
Antonio Romani taught Italian literature and history for two decades at several Italian high schools, and was the former owner/manager of an important independent bookstore in northern Italy. He has co-translated the poetry of the Milanese poet Giampiero Neri, and poems by Loris Jacopo Bononi, published in various literary magazines. With his co-translator, he translated Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry, a collection of short stories, published in 2015 by Archipelago Books. He has published an essay on Elena Ferrante and interviews with several contemporary Italian writers in the journal A Public Space. He has finished a historical novel and is working on another one about borders and identity.
Chip Rossetti is Editorial Director of the Library of Arabic Literature book series at NYU Press. He has a doctorate in Arabic literature from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as an acquiring editor at a number of publishers, including Little, Brown; Basic Books; and the American University in Cairo Press. He has translated several works of Arabic fiction, including Beirut, Beirut by Sonallah Ibrahim, Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, and the graphic novel Metro by Magdy El Shafee. He won a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for his translation of a collection of short stories by the Egyptian writer Mohamed Makhzangi.
A Bangladeshi writer and translator, Shabnam Nadiya graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2012. Currently, she is working on her collection titled Pye Dogs and Magic Men: Stories; her translation of Moinul Ahsan Saber’s novel The Mercenary is forthcoming from Bengal Lights Books in November 2016. Her work has appeared in Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton), Law and Disorder (Main Street Rag Publishing), One World (New Internationalist) and journals such as Amazon’s Day One, Wasafiri, Words Without Borders, and Gulf Coast. Website: www.shabnamnadiya.com.
Ross Ufberg is a translator, writer, and cofounder of New Vessel Press, a publishing house specializing in literature in translation. He has translated several books and many shorter works of fiction and nonfiction from Russian and Polish, most recently a few short stories by Russian writer Mikhail Zoshchenko.
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000): For a book length creative work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact.
JUDGES: The five judges for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award will remain anonymous.