James Wolcott and Frank Bidart Among 2014 PEN American Winners
The poet Frank Bidart, the critic James Wolcott and the playwright David Rabe are among the winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards, announced today by the PEN/American Center.
Mr. Wolcott won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the art of the essay with his career-spanning collection, “Critical Mass.” Reviewing the book in The Times, Dwight Garner called it “epic, and epically rewarding,” and said Mr. Wolcott was “among the last of the great, garrulous, generalist critics, equally at home writing about TV, movies, literature, music, comedy clubs, you name it.”
Mr. Bidart, whose most recent collection, “Metaphysical Dog,” was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, given for a “distinguished and growing body of work.”
Linda Leavell’s “Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore” earned her the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography, and the neuro-scientist Carl Hart won the PEN/E.O. Wilson literary science writing award for “High Price,” his critical look at the war on drugs.
The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater prizes went to Mr. Rabe in the master dramatist category; to Donald Margulies at the mid-career level; and to Laura Marks for the new designation of emerging playwright.
The $25,000 PEN/Bellwether Prize for socially engaged fiction, which was founded by Barbara Kingsolver, went to “And West Is West” by Ron Childress.
The winner of the other most lucrative prize, the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, will be announced at an awards ceremony at The New School on Sept. 29. Finalists for the Bingham Prize include Anthony Marra (“A Constellation of Vital Phenomena”), Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (“Brief Encounters With the Enemy”) and Hanya Yanagihara (“The People in the Trees”).