Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Though James Hannaham is an award winning author, he is also a performer and visual artist. His novel Delicious Foods was the winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction as well as the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Hannaham’s novel follows three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy their lives. While attending Yale University in 1992, Hannaham worked in the art department of The Village Voice. Creativity and talent in the arts run in his family, as artist Kara Walker is Hannaham’s cousin. Hannaham is now an associate professor in the writing departement at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Joan Silber was this year’s winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for her novel Improvement. The novel revolves around a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them. In addition, Silber’s short fiction, which has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Epoch, and many more, has won her the 2018 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Silber lives in New York, with her dog Lucille, and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear James Hannaham, Joan Silber and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at pfgala.org. It will be a night of literary magic!

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

ZZ Packer was recognized as a talented writer at the early age of 19 for her first significant publication “Sometimes You Get Lucky” in Seventeen magazine. Another of Packer’s short stories, featured  in the Debut Fiction issue of The New Yorker, became a title story in her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. The collection was a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and was personally selected by John Updike for the Today Show Book Club. Packer is currently working on a novel set in the aftermath of the Civil War specifically focused on the Reconstruction and Buffalo Soldiers. In an interview with SuicideGirls, Packer stated, “you don’t hear much about blacks in the West and I became really fascinated by them. I thought to justify my interest I had better write about them.”

Michael Cunningham is the author of seven novels including The Hours. The novel follows the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who goes about her morning, planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, a 1950s housewife, who slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, as she begins to write “Mrs. Dalloway.” By the end of the novel, the stories are intricately intertwined. The novel was awarded the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was adapted into an Academy Award nominated film. His most recent book, A Wild Swan, was an NPR Best Book of the Year in 2015. Cunningham lives in New York City and teaches Creative Writing at Yale University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear ZZ Packer, Michael Cunningham and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at pfgala.org. It will be a night of literary magic!

 

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

David Bradleys novel The Chaneysville Incident won the 1982 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Academy Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The novel was inspired by the discovery of the graves of runaway slaves on a farm near Chaneysville in Bedford County, PA, where Bradley was born. In 1981, the New York Times Book Reviewer Vance Bourjaily stated, “What [Bradley] can do, at a pretty high level of energy, is synchronize five different kinds of rhetoric, control a complicated plot, manage a good-sized cast of characters, convey a lot of information, handle an intricate time scheme, pull off a couple of final tricks that dramatize provocative ideas, and generally keep things going for 200,000 words. That’s about two and a half books for most of us.”

Karen Joy Fowler’s novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was the winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The novel is a story of Rosemary Cooke who grapples with the silence that consumes her after her siblings have vanished from her life. Fowler is most known for her novel The Jane Austen Book Club, which was later adapted into a movie of the same name. Much of Fowler’s work is centered around the lives of women and the theme of alienation. We are excited to see how Fowler could potentially incorporate those themes into an original piece, based on the theme ‘Magic,’ at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala on September 24!

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear David Bradley, Karen Joy Fowler and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at pfgala.org. It will be a night of literary magic!

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s second novel Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist, follows the life of a seventh grade teacher as she grapples with being new to teaching, being new to the school and being newly engaged. Her first novel Madeleine Is Sleeping was a National Book Award Finalist in 2004. A common theme in Bynum’s work is fairy tales, expressing that she loves how “they always walk that line between wonder and darkness.” Get excited to see how Bynum incorporates this year’s theme, ‘Magic,’ into her original piece, written for the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala.

Tobias Wolff is a short story writer, a memoirist and a novelist, and he is primarily known for his memoir This Boy’s Life. The story recounts the details of his adolescence as he moved around the country with his mother and abusive stepfather. Wolff has received several awards for his work, including the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His short stories have established him as a highly acclaimed writer, however he won the 1985 award for his novella The Barracks Thief, a story of three young paratroopers in training during the Vietnam War. He currently lives in Northern California and is a Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Tobias Wolff and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at pfgala.org. It will be a night of literary magic!

Meet the Authors: 2018 Gala Edition

Author and food enthusiast Kate Christensen is the author of seven novels, two food-centric memoirs, anthologies and several essays and articles. Her work has been published in magazines including Vogue, Elle, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Food and Wine. Her novel The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The story focuses on two competing biographers who investigate the secret life of Oscar Feldman, an artist who led an entirely separate life with his longtime mistress.  She writes an occasional drinks column for The Wall Street Journal called “With a Twist” and lives with her husband and dog in Portland, Maine.

Lorraine López’s short story collection Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories was the winner of the Texas League of Writers Award for Outstanding Book of Fiction as well as a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist in 2010. The collection is set in the South and focuses on familial relationships, by birth and by choice. López is currently working on a linked story collection entitled, Postcards from the Gerund State and Other Stories, scheduled for publication in 2019. She is simultaneously working on a novel called What We Have Here. On top of that, she is the Gertrude Conaway Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

Come join us on Monday, September 24 to hear Kate Chistensen, Lorraine López and eight other highly acclaimed authors read original pieces at the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala. Buy tickets at pfgala.org. It will be a night of literary magic!

PEN/Faulkner Seeking New Executive Director

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation seeks a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as its Executive Director.  PEN/Faulkner is a national literary, non-profit organization with deep roots in Washington, D.C.  We work to honor excellence in American fiction, connect writers with their readers, and support the study and love of contemporary literature between teachers and students in public and charter schools.  As the initial public face and voice of the Foundation, the position requires dynamic communication skills in all areas to steward the Foundation’s efforts in Fundraising, Grant-Writing, Strategic Planning, and Public Relations. Exceptional organization skills and management expertise are needed to lead a small team of highly qualified individuals who administer one of the country’s premier literary prizes, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; coordinate public reading events throughout Washington, D.C.; and manage a Writers in Schools program that annually runs hundreds of author-visits across 40 public and charter D.C schools.

This is an extremely exciting position for someone eager to lead a richly storied and historically significant literary organization into a future full of possibility.  All candidates are required to have achieved a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university. Ideal applicants are creative and tactical thinkers with outstanding writing skills.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to oman9@aol.com.  First consideration will be given to applications received by August 20, 2018.

Job Opening: Nuestra Voz Program Associate!

PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program is looking for a Nuestra Voz Program Associate. This is a new role within the organization, and the person in this position will play an important role in helping the foundation develop and expand our bilingual English/Spanish Writers in Schools programming as well as deepen our relationship with Latinx writers, educators, and students, regardless of language background. This is an excellent part-time opportunity to work closely with a small, dedicated team within a nationally renowned nonprofit to help build a program from the ground up.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop a bilingual English/Spanish WinS programming expansion plan with particular attention on writers who identify as Latino/a/x, and that is aligned with department strategy and growth goals.
  • Develop and build relationships with partner educators at bilingual DC public, charter, and Title I parochial schools; Oversee WinS programming at these schools.
  • Develop and build relationships with Latino/a/x authors, both within and outside of the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.
  • Conduct research on books, authors, and publishers for the program.
  • Provide written and verbal translation support to the WinS program, both English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English.
  • Maintain database of educator, school, and author contact information.
  • Coordinate scheduling and booking logistics for bilingual/Latino/a/x author WinS visits.
  • Manage one part-time Spanish Language and Latinx Communities intern per cohort.
  • Support PEN/Faulkner events, including Literary Conversations and awards, as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned, within a reasonable scope for the position

Qualifications:

  • Must be fluent in written and conversational Spanish and English.
  • Experience working with bilingual youth from under-resourced backgrounds, preferably in a classroom setting.
  • Experience working with K-12 literacy, in either English or Spanish, and working knowledge of developmental milestones in reading comprehension.
  • Experience directly supervising interns, volunteers, or staff.
  • Experience with direct outreach to Spanish speaking communities, preferably within the education sector (teachers, administrators, students, parents).
  • Proven attention-to-detail. Database experience a plus.
  • Proven ability to organize and prioritize daily and long-term projects and tasks.
  • Experience with translation from English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English, both orally and in writing.
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite and GSuites.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the complex education landscape and of education policy, especially in DC.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the current world of bilingual publishing in the U.S. and of Latinx authors is a huge plus.
  • Love of reading and creating avenues of accessibility to reading and book ownership among traditionally underserved communities.

To apply, please send an email to applications@penfaulkner.org. Please put “Nuestra Voz Program Associate” in the subject line. Your email application should include:

  • a resume
  • a statement of interest written in both English and Spanish, explaining what qualifies you for this position, what skills you bring to the position, and your experience and background in bilingual literacy education.

Join us for the PEN/Faulkner Anniversary Gala on September 24, 2018


PEN/Faulkner Anniversary GalaTickets and Sponsorships Now Available!

We cordially invite you to attend the PEN/Faulkner Gala on Monday, September 24, 2018. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this special event, a unique evening in Washington, DC, that celebrates important voices in contemporary literature and supports arts education right here at home in our city’s schools. Those who attend will have the opportunity to experience performances of original work written especially for this occasion, preceded by a cocktail hour in the elegant Great Hall and followed by a formal seated dinner in the Reading Rooms of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

In keeping with the historic significance of this anniversary, we are featuring ten writers who are all former finalists and winners of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the PEN/Malamud Award. These acclaimed authors will be joined on stage by two DC students, the winners of our citywide essay contest that is an annual part of our Writers in Schools programming. This year all who take the stage will speak in their own words on the theme of “Magic,” a theme full of exciting possibility, inviting us to look beyond the realities of day-to-day life, or seek out the extraordinary moments that can be found hidden within the everyday.

The writers who will be joining us this year are David Bradley, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Kate Christensen, Michael Cunningham, Karen Joy Fowler, James Hannaham, Lorraine López, ZZ Packer, Joan Silber, and Tobias Wolff.

Every year, PEN/Faulkner furthers its mission of bringing literature to life for diverse communities by honoring American writers of contemporary fiction with its annual awards, including the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the United States; by bringing writers from around the nation and the world to venues across DC to engage in publicly accessible readings and conversations on current issues; and by sponsoring the Writers in Schools program, which donates books and arranges author visits to DC’s public and charter school classrooms as part of our commitment to developing the next generation of readers and writers.

The Gala is our major annual fundraiser, and proceeds from the evening support the vital work we do all year long. Your support means everything in continuing the successful impact of our public and educational programming. Sponsorship and ticketing information can be found on the following page.

Please join us at 6:30 pm on September 24 at the Folger Shakespeare Library for what promises to be a magical and historical evening in support and celebration of the extraordinary power of words!

Please visit bit.ly/PFGALA2018 to purchase tickets or sponsor the Gala online, or contact us by email at rsvp@penfaulkner.org or by phone at 202.898.9063 to make reservations and donations. Donation checks can be mailed to:
PEN/Faulkner Gala
641 S Street, NW
3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20001

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

PEN/Faulkner Anniversary Gala Sponsorship Levels

Premier Partner – $100,000
($97,790 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 6 seats in premier placement (or a table and up to 10 seats) at the Gala
  • Featured prominently on all Gala materials
  • Featured prominently in the Gala printed program
  • Four complimentary tickets to six 2018/2019 Literary Conversation events
  • Featured prominently on 2018/2019 Literary Conversation series printed programs
  • Invitation to four Founding Friends private luncheons with authors
  • Featured prominently on Founding Friends printed programs
  • Featured prominently on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Gold Sponsor – $75,000
($72,890 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 4 seats in premier placement (or a table and up to 10 seats) at the Gala
  • Featured on Gala promotional materials
  • Featured in the printed program at the Gala
  • Four complimentary tickets to five 2018/2019 Literary Conversation events
  • Featured on 2018/2019 Literary Conversation series programs
  • Invitation to two Founding Friends private luncheons with authors
  • Featured on Founding Friends printed programs
  • Featured on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Silver Sponsor – $50,000
($48,140 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 4 seats in premier placement (or a table and up to 10 seats) at the Gala
  • Featured on Gala promotional materials
  • Featured in the printed program at the Gala
  • Two complimentary tickets to five 2018/2019 Literary Conversation events
  • Featured on 2018/2019 Literary Conversation series programs
  • Invitation to two Founding Friends private luncheons with authors
  • Featured on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Bronze Sponsor – $35,000
($33,290 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 2 seats in premier placement (or a table and up to 10 seats) at the Gala
  • Featured on Gala promotional materials
  • Featured in the printed program at the Gala
  • Two complimentary tickets to two 2018/2019 Literary Conversation events
  • Featured on 2018/2019 Literary Conversation series programs
  • Featured on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Faulkner Fellow – $25,000
($23,340 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 2 seats in premier placement (or a table and up to 10 seats) at the Gala
  • Recognition on Gala promotional materials
  • Recognition in the printed program at the Gala
  • Two complimentary tickets to one 2018/2019 Literary Conversation event
  • Recognition on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Literary Lion – $10,000
($8,390 tax-deductible)

  • A table of up to 8 tickets and seated with an author*, or a table of up to 10 tickets to the Gala
  • Recognition on Gala promotional materials
  • Recognition in the printed program at the Gala
  • Recognition on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Benefactor – $5,000
($3,390 tax-deductible)

  • A table of up to 8 tickets and seated with an author*, or a table of up to 10 tickets to the Gala
  • Recognition on Gala promotional materials
  • Recognition in the printed program at the Gala
  • Recognition on the PEN/Faulkner website and donor listings for a full year
Patron – $2,500
($1,695 tax-deductible)

  • Up to 5 tickets to the Gala
  • Recognition on Gala promotional materials
  • Recognition in the printed program at the Gala
Muse – $1,000
($840 tax-deductible)

  • 1 ticket to the Gala
  • Recognition in the printed program at the Gala
Friend – $600
($440 tax-deductible)

  • 1 ticket to the Gala (or 2 tickets for $1000)

LGBTQ+ Book List for June + the other 11 months

Pride Month is drawing to a close, but it doesn’t have to be June to read, enjoy, and celebrate literary works by LGBTQ+ authors! Here’s a list of some award-winning contemporary books by LGBTQ+ writers to drop in your checkout bin.

Her Body and Other Parties (2017) by Carmen María Machado. In Her Body and Other Parties, a National Book Award finalist, Carmen María Machado traverses genre boundaries to make a strange and unforgettable debut story collection. The ways Machado explores violence against women in her stories are, by turns, experimental, queer, funny, horrific, and absurd.

Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls (2016) by Lindsay King Miller. Having written the advice column “Ask a Queer Chick” since 2011, Lindsay Miller brings us a compilation of her best and most interesting advice, à la Cheryl Strayed, for LGBTQ women. Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls is her first book.  

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family (2015) by Amy Ellis Nutt. A remarkable true story that follows the journey of a transgender girl, her identical brother, and the family that adopted them as they learn to understand, nurture, and celebrate their daughter’s transformation.

The Teahouse Fire (2006) by Ellis Avery. Set in late nineteenth century Japan, this historical novel tells the story of the Japanese tea ceremony and how Aurelia, an American orphan, enters this world. Aurelia is taken in by the Shin family and ends up falling in love with the family’s daughter, Yukako.

Juliet Takes a Breath (2016) by Gabby Rivera is a coming of age novel about Inga Muscio, a Puerto Rican girl living in the Bronx, and her journey about coming out to her family. After receiving a less-than-warm response to her sexuality, she decides to go to Portland, Oregon to find herself.

Less (2017) by Andrew Sean Greer. Arthur Less, a failed novelist about to turn fifty, skips town in order to avoid his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Running away from his problems is the only thing he can do.  When the wedding invitation arrives in the mail, Less can’t say yes – it would be too awkward – and he can’t say no – it would look like defeat. Instead of accepting the invitation, he accepts a series of invitations to half-baked literary events that take him all around the world. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Black Deutschland (2016) by Darryl Pinckney. Jed, a young, black, gay man fresh out of rehab, flees his city and travels to Berlin as an expatriate to escape white America. While Reagan and the AIDS crisis dominate national news back in the US, Jed explores the troubled city of his nostalgic fantasies, falling in with a range of people on the margins of Berlin society, and finding that there are some aspects of his life back in America that follow him despite the distance.

I Am J (2011) by Cris Beam. In her debut novel, Cris Beam shows us the inner life of J, a teenager on the ever-elusive path to self-acceptance. As J decides to stop hiding his true identity, he grapples with the varying degrees of approval from the people closest to him, even facing abandonment from his best friend. More than just a crucial elevation of trans voices in YA fiction, I Am J gives us a magnetic protagonist whose life is affected, yet not entirely defined, by gender and expression.

Mundo Cruel (2010) by Luis Negrón. In this debut short story collection, Luis Negrón explores some of the most transgressive and intimate aspects of gay life in Puerto Rico. In nine monologue-style stories, Negrón introduces us to the eccentric and compelling characters that comprise this small but dynamic community, and writes beautifully of its highs, lows, humor, and incredible heart.

The Tower of the Antilles (2017) by Achy Obejas. Achy Obejas’s protagonists in The Tower of the Antilles, a 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist, deal with what it means to leave home through a distinctly Cuban lens. As Obejas weaves themes of borders, separation, and belonging through the 10 stories of the collection, she explores complicated visions of Cuba from the perspectives of people who can no longer call it home. While The Tower of the Antilles is Obejas’s most recent work, she has been an important voice in the Latina lesbian literary community for decades.

WinS Summer Programming!

Únete con nosotros para un programa gratis de verano para estudiantes que entran al séptimo/octavo/noveno grado el proximo año escolar. Estaremos hablando con poetas que han contribuido al la colección Knocking on the Doors of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, DC . Hablaremos de sus vidas como creadores y escritores. Los estudiantes serán animados a hacer algún proyecto creativo. El programa dura 4 semanas, con reuniones los miércoles.

 

Apúntate aqui!
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Join us for a FREE summer program for rising 7th – 9th graders who want to read, write, and create. We will be meeting Latino/Latina poets who have contributed to the collection Knocking on the Doors of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, D.C. to discuss their lives as writers and creators. Students will be encouraged to pursue their own creative project throughout the 4 week program (meeting once a week on Wednesdays)!

 

Register here!