Rona Jaffe Foundation Shutters Writers’ Awards, PEN America Career Achievement Awards, and More

by Staff
3.24.21

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has decided to shutter its Writers’ Awards, citing the “significant cost.” The program, which started twenty-six years ago, annually awarded $30,000 each to six new emerging women writers. The foundation will divert the funding to other projects. “Although the Writers’ Awards was our most public and prominently known program, the foundation has been serving emerging women writers and the literature field through other initiatives for many years,” said executive director Beth McCabe. (Publishers Weekly)

PEN America has revealed the recipients of this year’s career achievement awards. Anne Carson was chosen for the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, which comes with a purse of $50,000. Prairie Schooner editor Kwame Dawes earned the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, and Pierre Joris was selected for the PEN/Manheim Award for Translation.

The finalists for the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards have also been announced. Five works are shortlisted for the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, including Fantasia for the Man in Blue by Tommye Blount and Catrachos by Roy G. Guzmán. Meanwhile, the finalists for the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award, which honors a work from a mid-career poet, include A Treatise on Stars by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Feed by Tommy Pico.

“It is wrenching to know that the occasion for the renewed interest in your work is the murders of Black people and the subsequent ‘listening and learning’ of white people.” Yaa Gyasi critiques how white readers often treat work by writers of color “as though it were a kind of a medicine.” (Guardian)

The Competition and Markets Authority in the U.K. is investigating the pending merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, in order to determine the risk to “competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.” (Guardian)

Four winners and two finalists have been selected for the 2021 J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards, which honor “the best in American nonfiction writing.”

“So much of Black history is focused on exceptional people.” Kaitlyn Greenidge talks to the New York Times about capturing the desire to be ordinary in her latest novel, Libertie.