The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation announced yesterday the ten recipients of this year's Whiting Writers' Awards. The awards, which each carry a $50,000 prize, are given annually to poets and writers in the early stages of their careers, some of whom have not yet published first books, who exhibit "exceptional talent and promise."
The winners are poets Rick Hilles, Douglas Kearney, and Julie Sheehan; fiction writers Mischa Berlinski, Laleh Khadivi, Manuel Muñoz, Benjamin Percy, and Lysley Tenorio; essayist Donovan Hohn; and playwright Dael Orlandersmith. The writers were honored at a ceremony held at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.
"It’s a great pleasure to see what fine work is coming out of this year’s group of award recipients, in all its variousness and vigor," said Barbara Bristol, director of the Writers’ Awards program, in a press release. "These writers are strikingly well-traveled in imagination if not in fact."
The award recipients are selected by a panel of writers, editors, and scholars, from nearly one hundred anonymous nominations made by literary professionals across the country. Past winners include Denis Johnson, Jorie Graham, Jeffrey Eugenides, David Foster Wallace, and Colson Whitehead.
Established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, which also grants fellowships to doctoral candidates in the humanities, has presented the Writers' Awards since 1985.