Viet Thanh Nguyen, James Patterson, Sonia Sanchez, and Sally Kim to be Honored by Poets & Writers

(From left: Viet Thanh Nguyen, James Patterson, Sonia Sanchez, Sally Kim.
Credits, from left: BeBe Jacobs, Stephanie Diani, Jim Alexander, Tom Hallock.)

New York, NY—December 1, 2021—Poets & Writers today announced that Viet Thanh Nguyen, James Patterson, and Sonia Sanchez will receive the 2022 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards, and that Sally Kim of G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will receive the 2022 Editor’s Award. Literary agent Eric Simonoff, a member of the Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors, heads the committee charged with selecting these honorees. Of the 2022 honorees, Simonoff said: “These writers have awed us with their magnanimous spirits. They are leaders and community-builders committed to stewarding a diverse array of literary voices—and to helping these voices reach readers.”

The honors will be presented at the organization’s gala on March 29, 2022 in New York City. Dennis Abboud, CEO of ReaderLink, is the chair of the event; Seth Meyers will host.


The Writers for Writers Award was established by Poets & Writers in 1996 to recognize authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. It is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of the company’s long-standing support of Poets & Writers. Through their philanthropy, generosity, and dedication to writers and readers, this year’s honorees exemplify service and inclusivity.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Sympathizer. His other works include the sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed; a short-story collection, The Refugees; two nonfiction titles; and a children’s book written in collaboration with his six-year-old son. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, he is also the editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. Nguyen is co-founder and supporter of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN), which sponsors and promotes Vietnamese artists and writers. With no budget and voluntary labor, Nguyen created the blog diaCRITICS to share news about Vietnamese diasporic arts and to provide a publishing platform for Vietnamese writers.

James Patterson is the world’s best-selling author. His enduring fictional characters and series include Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, and Ali Cross. An unwavering supporter of writers, booksellers, and literacy programs, Patterson has won numerous awards including the 2019 National Humanities Medal. Through initiatives to champion books, readers, students, educators, librarians, booksellers, writers, and the institutions that serve them, over the past decade he has donated tens of millions of dollars and more than a million books.

Sonia Sanchez is a poet, professor, national and international lecturer on Black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace, and racial justice. The author of more than twenty books, her Collected Poems was published by Beacon Press in 2021. Her multiple honors include the 2021 Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize. A beloved educator across generations, she was among those who developed Black studies as an academic discipline in the mid-1960s. Her generous in-kind and material contributions to other writers and to the literary community are immeasurable in scope and span more than half a century.

The honorees’ biographies can be found here.


The Editor’s Award recognizes a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. This year’s recipient is Sally Kim, Senior Vice President and Publisher of G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Over the course of her career, Sally Kim has demonstrated an uncanny nose for writers whose prose shimmers with specificity and intelligence and whose themes and plots resonate with millions of readers. She has launched and advanced the careers of some of the biggest selling and most acclaimed novelists in recent memory, acquiring and editing celebrated debuts and breakout novels by Robert Jones, Jr. (The Prophets, a finalist for this year's National Book Award), Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age), Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists), Megan Abbott, Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Winman, Cristina Alger, Alma Katsu, Steven Rowley, Courtney Maum, Leah Stewart, Jami Attenberg, Ann Leary, Lisa Unger, and Gillian Flynn.

Ms. Kim’s biography can be found here.


Poets & Writers’ annual gala, In Celebration of Writers, will take place on Tuesday evening, March 29, 2022, at Pier Sixty in New York City. For tickets and additional information, visit


Poets & Writers is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers throughout the United States. Our mission is to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public. We publish Poets & Writers Magazine, offer mini-grants to hundreds of creative writers each year, and sponsor the Jackson Poetry Prize and Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Our website,, offers extensive free resources to help writers navigate the literary marketplace and a lively online community. We are guided by our core values of service, inclusivity, integrity, and excellence and are committed to becoming an antiracist organization. Learn more at

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest retail bookseller in the United States, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The company operates over six hundred Barnes & Noble bookstores in fifty states, as well as the Nook Digital business and one of the Web's premier e-commerce sites, (


ReaderLink is the largest full-service book distributor in America, supporting over 400 chain accounts with more than 100,000 storefronts. ReaderLink’s distribution customer base comprises virtually every U.S. chain retailer, including mass merchants, warehouse clubs, grocery stores, drug stores, bookstores, online sellers, specialty retailers and transportation centers. In addition, ReaderLink supplies retail partners in Canada, the UK, Japan, and Australia, and support U.S. military installations worldwide. ReaderLink sells approximately one out of every three of the most popular books annually sold in the U.S. ReaderLink also owns Printers Row Publishing Group, a substantial trade publisher with thousands of proprietary and published adult and licensed children’s titles. Printers Row’s imprints include Silver Dolphin, Thunder Bay Press, Canterbury Classics, Portable Press, Sorrento, Dreamtivity and Studio Fun International. ReaderLink is based in Oak Brook, Illinois, and Printers Row Publishing Group is based in San Diego, CA. Learn more at

Rachel Schuder
Director, Development & Marketing
Poets & Writers, Inc.