Announcing the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists!

2017 PF Award Finalists

Judges Chris Abani, Chantel Acevedo, and Sigrid Nunez have announced their list of finalists for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 4th. Following the announcement, the 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony & Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Congratulations to our finalists:


Viet Dinh
, author of After Disasters

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Erdrich, author of LaRose

 

 

 

 

 

Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

 

 

 

 

 

Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers

 

 

 

 

 

Sunil Yapa, author of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

 

 

 

March 6th: Class in the Black Community: Margo Jefferson, Angela Flournoy, and Marcus Guillory

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Class in the Black Community: Margo Jefferson, Angela Flournoy, and Marcus Guillory

Monday, March 6th, 2017  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $15

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003 
(map)

Margo Jefferson’s memoir Negroland is a meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the privileged prism of Chicago’s Black elite. Angela Flournoy’s novel The Turner House tells a multi-generational saga through the decline of Detroit’s East Side. Marcus Guillory’s Red Now and Laters gives us a coming-of-age story set in the Creole and cowboy-infused East Texas of the 1980s. These authors write on race and class, privilege and oppression and offer stories—both funny and heartbreaking—that are caught at the intersection.

Join us on at the Folger Theatre on Monday, March 6th, for this important and wide-ranging conversation.


Negroland

Margo Jefferson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic. She has been a staff writer for The New York Times and Newsweek; her reviews and essays have appeared in New York MagazineGrand StreetVogueHarper’s and many other publications. Her book, On Michael Jackson, was published in 2006. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation/Theater Communications Group grant. She has also written and performed two theater pieces at The Cherry Lane Theatre and The Culture Project.

“Jefferson’s candor, and the courage and rigor of her critic’s mind, recall a number of America’s greatest thinkers on race.”
-Tracy K. Smith, The New York Times


the turner house

Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times notable book of the year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and an NAACP Image Award. She is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Honoree for 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.

“An elegant and assured debut.”
–Stacia L. Brown, The Washington Post


red now and laters

Marcus J. Guillory, Houston-born, Los Angeles-based, writer/producer, has worked as a screenwriter for over 10 years and is the first American to have written and produced a Bollywood film. Under the moniker “Mateo Senolia”, Guillory has recently teamed up with LA radio icon/tastemaker Garth Trinidad (89.9 KCRW) to create a fusion of spoken literature and house music called “Lit House” with the intent of introducing non-readers to literature with an upcoming EP “Postcards From Strangers” on house legend Osunlade’s Yoruba Records. His shorts stories and magazine articles can be found on the web and onf newsstands.

“Guillory’s story provides insights—simultaneously provocative, angry, and compassionate—into one of America’s neglected communities.”
–Publishers Weekly

Episode 53 – Louise Erdrich

The PEN/Faulkner Podcast is back!

Louise Erdrich Credit Paul Emmel

Louise Erdrich is the author of fourteen novels, a volume of short stories, several books of poetry, and a series of children’s books. Her novel The Round House won the 2012 National Book Award; she is a former Guggenheim Fellow and has received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. 

In 2015, Erdrich received the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, a lifetime achievement award, presented at the National Book Festival. On May 10th, 2016, Erdrich joined PEN/Faulkner at an event co-hosted by the Library of Congress to read from her novel, LaRose.

“Book by book, over the past three decades, Louise Erdrich has built one of the most moving and engrossing collections of novels in American literature.”
– Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

Play
Thank you to Benedict Kupstas and Field Guides for donating the music used in this episode. Listen here to Field Guides’ album Boo, Forever.

February 21st: Cli-Fi: Nathaniel Rich and Kate Walbert

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Cli-Fi: Nathaniel Rich and Kate Walbert

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $15

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003 
(map)

The latest novels of Nathaniel Rich (Odds Against Tomorrow) and Kate Walbert (The Sunken Cathedral) masterfully portray visions of climate, landscape, and contemporary American life all in a state of flux.Their recent novels press us to more carefully consider our understandings of environmental and climate change, urban life and locations, and the implications of our landscapes edging towards doom. Join us on Tuesday, February 21st for what is sure to be a crucial and timely conversation on environmental disaster and the role fiction plays in the broader debate.


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Nathaniel Rich is the author of two novels: Odd Against Tomorrow and The Mayor’s Tongue. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and his essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Beast. Rich’s novel Odds Against Tomorrow introduces us to an insurance analyst who, after accurately predicting natural disaster, braves the rising tides of a submerged city. Rich currently lives in New Orleans.

“This brilliantly conceived and extremely well-executed novel…is the opposite of a disaster, a knockout book by a young writer to keep your eye on.”
-Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

 

 


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Kate Walbert is the author of A Short History of Women, chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2009 and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, Our Kind, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction in 2004, The Gardens of Kyoto, winner of the 2002 Connecticut Book Award in Fiction in 2002, and Where She Went, a collection of linked stories and New York Times notable book. Her most recent novel The Sunken Cathedral tells the intersecting stories of neighbors in a weather-threatened, flood-prone Manhattan. She currently lives in New York City with her family.

“A powerful elegy for a fading New York City and for the planet as a whole.”
–Courtney Sullivan, The Boston Globe

PEN/Faulkner is looking for a new Executive Director

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The PEN/Faulkner Foundation seeks a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as Executive Director starting in the summer of 2017.

PEN/Faulkner is a national literary organization with deep roots in Washington, DC. We work to honor excellent American fiction, connect writers with their readers, and support public school teachers and students in studying – and learning to love – contemporary literature.

The Executive Director will oversee a small team of experienced program staffers who administer one of the country’s premier literary prizes, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; coordinate public reading events in Washington, DC; and manage a Writers in Schools program that annually runs hundreds of author visits across 40 public schools in DC and Baltimore.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker and experienced manager with at least 5 years at a director-level position helming an arts non-profit. The ED’s core responsibilities will focus on strategic planning, governance, communications, and fundraising. This is an extremely exciting position for someone eager to shepherd a storied literary organization into a future full of possibility.

Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to applications@penfaulkner.org by Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

January 10th: Urgently Human: Roxane Gay and Morgan Parker in Conversation

Urgently Human: Morgan Parker and Roxane Gay in Conversation

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $15

Lutheran Church of the Reformation (across the street from the Folger Shakespeare Library)
212 East Capitol St., NE
Washington, DC 20003 
(map)

Morgan Parker and Roxane Gay are two of our most incisive cultural observers. Their singular works press us to more carefully consider our understandings of racial and gender identity, movies and magazines, torture and love and joy. Join us on Tuesday, January 10th for what is sure to be a wide-ranging and urgent conversation.

 

otherpeoplescomfort_smallMorgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize and also a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, will come out in February of 2017. She works as an editor for Little A and Day One, teaches creative writing and co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series.

 

“Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night is hilarious and hard-hitting, and it ripples with energy, insight and searing music.
Tracy K. Smith

 

 


 

difficulttRoxane Gay is a fiction writer and essayist whose most recent works are the best-selling essay collection, Bad Feminist, the memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, and the short story collection Difficult Women. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, American Short FictionVirginia Quarterly Review, the New York Times, the Guardian, Bookforum, Time, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los Angeles.

“A strikingly fresh cultural critic.”
–Ron Charles, the Washington Post

December 2: The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story: Joy Williams

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The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story: Joy Williams

Friday, December 2nd, 2016  |  7:30 PM
Purchase a single ticket for $25.

Folger Reading Room – Old Reading Room
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003 (map)


the-visiting-privilege

Given since 1988 in Honor of the late Bernard Malamud, this award recognizes a body of work demonstrating excellence in the art of short fiction. This year we will honor Joy Williams, a writer known for her crisp prose, grim wit, and unsparing explorations of the dark side of hope.

Joy Williams is the author of four novels, two collections of nonfiction, and five short story collections including The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories (2015), and 99 Stories of God (2016).

Her first novel, State of Grace (1973), was a finalist for the National Book Award and her most recent novel The Quick and the Dead was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her collection of nonfiction Ill Nature was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and she was the 1999 recipient of the Rea Award for the Short Story.

“In Williams’s world, we are all wandering interlopers— adrift, trapped, groundless—looking for visitors’ privileges.” – James Wood, The New Yorker


About the Award

Malamud - small with both armsThe PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story was established by Bernard Malamud’s family to honor excellence in the art of short fiction. The basis of the award fund was a gift from the Malamud family. The fund continues to grow through the generosity of friends, supporters, and Reading Series subscribers. The readings and the fund are administered by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. A panel of PEN/Faulkner directors forms the selection committee for the awards.

October 20th: The Inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture: Salman Rushdie

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One Writer’s Beginnings: The Inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture with Salman Rushdie

Introduction by: Natasha Trethewey

Co-sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library

Thursday, October 20th, 2016  |  7:30 PM

Purchase a single ticket for $24

Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016 (map)


 

 

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“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily—perhaps not possibly—chronological. The time as  we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”

Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

 

Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author whose awards include the Best of the Man Booker and a British knighthood, will deliver the inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture at the Washington National Cathedral. Rushdie will speak on his creative origins as a writer, following in the tradition of Eudora Welty’s own best-selling published lectures, One Writer’s Beginnings.

Tickets are $24 and can be purchased on the Cathedral’s website.

 

 

rushdie_book_jacketSalman Rushdie is the author of twelve novels, including the Man Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and, most recently, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. He has also published a significant body of non-fiction, including The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and The Wizard of Oz. In 2008, Midnight’s Children was named the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 40 years of existence. He has won the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature and is a fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In June 2007, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a knighthood.

While Rushdie has written hyped up sagas of worlds colliding before, and always espouses reason over fanaticism, there is something so loopy, so unleashed, about this tale as to make it particularly thrilling.”
Sherryl Connelly, New York Daily News


Natasha Trethewey
is an American poet who served as the United States Poet Laureate, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her 2006 collection  Native Guard. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, where she also directs the Creative Writing Program.

For more information about the Eudora Welty Foundation, click here.

Fall Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

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INTERN:

PEN/Faulkner Award Fall Intern

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is a national prize which honors the best published works of fiction by American citizens in a calendar year.

This internship position will assist with the coordination of the annual awards submission process. The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the largest peer-juried award in the country, and is adjudicated free of commercial considerations. The intern will assist in logistical coordination of the submission process, as well as conduct research into American fiction published during 2016.

The internship will begin in mid-September and run through December. However, if an intern is interested in extending his/her internship into the spring semester, this can be coordinated. We expect a commitment of 7-10 hours per week, though the intern will have the flexibility to design his or her own schedule. Interns will:

  • Conduct research on contemporary authors & texts
  • Communicate with publicists & awards coordinators at publishing houses
  • Help track submissions

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to applications@penfaulkner.org by Friday, September 16th, 2016. Please use the subject line “Awards Internship.”

 

VOLUNTEER:

Teen Parent Book Club Discussion Leader

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is currently seeking volunteer discussion leaders for their Teen Parent Book Club program. Discussion leaders will lead group discussions of contemporary novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry with groups of participating teen parents at local high schools. Discussion leaders will then host local authors of those works to meet with students and engage in discussions about literature and the writing life.

The program meets bi-weekly for hour-long sessions at lunchtime in on-site drop-in centers for teen parents and will run throughout the 2016-2017 school year. PEN/Faulkner is asking for a total time commitment of 5 hours/month. Volunteers will:

  • Lead bi-weekly book club discussions at one of three DC Public High Schools
  • Coordinate book club selections in consultation with participating students
  • Design discussion activities for each book club meeting
  • Engage contemporary authors in discussions of their work

Interested volunteers should have:

  • Classroom experience, preferably working with non-traditional students
  • Interest in contemporary fiction, poetry or literary non-fiction
  • A desire to engage diverse audiences in discussions about literature
  • Patience
  • Intellectual flexibility
  • Daytime availability during the week

*Candidates fluent in Spanish should make a note of this in their cover letter. However, Spanish fluency is not a requirement for this position.

If you are interested, please send a résumé́ and a brief cover letter (no more than 1 page) explaining your interest to Writers in Schools Program Coordinator Greg Langen (applications@penfaulkner.org).


WRITERS IN SCHOOLS VOLUNTEER

Writers in Schools (WinS) is a FREE literary arts outreach program that brings copies of contemporary works of literature into DC high schools, and arranges for the authors of those works to visit classrooms and discuss literature and the writing life. PEN/Faulkner provides resources to aid teachers in preparing students for author visits that will be enriching experiences for all involved. Volunteers help escort authors on their WinS visits, and assist the organization in providing feedback for our program.

Reasons to become a WinS volunteer:

• Help facilitate a connection between authors and young readers in DC
• Get a first-hand look into DC Area Schools
• Meet local authors and engage in discussions about their work!
• Become a part of the PEN/Faulkner literary community

Interested? Email Greg Langen, PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools Program Coordinator, at glangen@penfaulkner.org, or call at 202-898-9063.

Subscribe to the 2016-2017 PEN/Faulkner Reading Series!

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Join us this year at the Folger Shakespeare Library and partake in one of Washington’s most unique and provoking literary series

  • Hear a diverse set of acclaimed authors read
  • Guarantee your seat
  • Save 20% off single ticket prices, including the PEN/Faulkner Award Ceremony & Dinner
  • Enjoy book-signing receptions at the Folger Shakespeare Library

How To Subscribe

To subscribe, call the Folger Shakespeare Library’s box office: 202-544-7077. You can also subscribe online. Simply visit http://www.folger.edu/subscribe-penfaulkner.

2016-2017 Reading Series Events

October 20th, 2016 | 7:30 p.m. ($24.00)
The Eudora Welty Lecture: Salman Rushdie
Presented by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Eudora Welty Foundation. This inaugural lecture will be held at the National Cathedral.

December 2nd, 2016 | 7:30 p.m. ($25.00)
The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story: Honoring Joy Williams

January 10th, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
What Culture We Consume: Hilton Als and Roxane Gay in Conversation

February 21st, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Cli-Fi: Nathaniel Rich and Kate Walbert

March 6th, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Class in the Black Community: Angela Flournoy, Marcus Guillory, and Margo Jefferson

March 13th, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
We Wear the Masks: Manuel Gonzales and Gary Jackson
Presented by PEN/Faulkner and the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series

April 7th, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
The Displaced: An Evening with Laila Lalami, Shobha Rao and Luis Urrea

May 6th, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. ($100)
The 37th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Unless otherwise noted, individual tickets are $15, with discounts for
students and seniors, and readings take place at the Folger Shakespeare
Library, located at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC
(one block east of the U.S. Capitol). Seating is general admission.