PEN Announces 2018 Award Winners

Last night PEN America announced the winners of its 2018 Literary Awards. The annual awards, which this year totaled more than $350,000, are given for books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation published in the previous year. Below are the winners of a select few prizes.

Layli Long Soldier won the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for her debut poetry collection, WHEREAS (Graywolf Press). The award is given for a book of any genre for its “originality, merit, and impact.”

Jenny Zhang won the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction for her story collection, Sour Heart (Lenny). The prize is given for a first novel or story collection. Mia Alvar, Rion Amilcar Scott, Justin Torres, and Claire Vaye Watkins judged.

Alexis Okeowo won the PEN Open Book Award for her nonfiction book, A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa (Hachette). The award is given for book of any genre by a writer of color. Eduardo C. Corral, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and Amy Quan Barry judged.

Len Rix won the PEN Translation Prize for his translation from the Hungarian of Magda Szabó’s novel Katalin Street (NYRB Classics). The prize is given for a book-length translation of prose from any language into English. Eric M. B. Becker, Lisa Hayden, Jenny Wang Medina, Denise Newman, and Lara Vergnaud judged.

The late Ursula K. Le Guin won the $10,000 Pen/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for her essay collection No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Vinson Cunningham, James Fallows, and Gillian Tett judged.

Edmund White received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and Edna O’Brien received the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Both awards are given for a body of work.

Visit the PEN website for a complete list of winners and finalists.

Photos: Layli Long Soldier, Jenny Zhang, Alexis Okeowo