The PEN/Faulkner Podcast Series
Welcome to the home of the PEN/Faulkner Podcast, a monthly podcast showcasing author events from our annual Reading Series, as well as occasional clips from our archives.
Click on the links below to hear or download the podcast series.
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Episode 25 brings you an installment of the Hill Center PEN/Faulkner literary reading series that took place on January 29th, 2014. This collaboratively produced reading series takes place at Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital in Washington’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The reading featured author Molly McCloskey in conversation with DC writer and PEN/Faulkner board member Lisa Page.
Molly McCloskey is an American writer who has lived in Ireland since 1989. Her fiction has won the RTE Francis MacManus Award (1995) and the inaugural Fish Short Story Prize (1996). Her stories have been included in Faber & Faber’s Best New Irish Short Story anthologies. In 2009, another of her short stories, “This Isn’t Heaven” was selected by Richard Ford as one of the prize-winning stories in the 2009 Davy Byrne’s Irish Writing Award and was anthologized in Davy Byrne’s Stories. Her first work of non-fiction, a memoir concerning her brother Mike, who suffers from schizophrenia, is entitled Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. It was named by The Sunday Times (UK) as its Memoir of the Year for 2011.
Lisa Page is Acting Director of Creative Writing at George Washington University and a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post Book World, Playboy,Washingtonian,Savoy and the Chicago Tribune among other publications. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the anthologies, Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race, Gravity Dancers, and Dream Me Home Safely. She is a regular guest on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show Reader’s Review. She is a member of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s board of directors, and its former president.
You can can also watch a video of this event here.
Episode 24: 2013 PEN/Malamud Award Honoring George Saunders
Episode 24 of the podcast features the 2013 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony and Memorial Reading. Each December, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Malamud Family work to identify a writer who had demonstrated excellence in the short story. The 2013 recipient of the Award was George Saunders, whose most recent collection of short fiction, Tenth of December, was published in January of 2013. This podcast features a reading by Saunders held at the Church of the Reformation here in Washington, DC on December 6, 2013, and was followed by the conferral of the 2013 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story by Janna Malamud Smith.
George Saunders is the acclaimed author of several collections of short stories, including Pastoralia, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, In Persuasion Nation, and Tenth of December, as well as a collection of essays and a book for children. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
Episode 23: Philip Caputo & Kevin Powers
Episode 23 features a reading we called “Blood Lines: The Literature of War,” a reading by Philip Caputo & Kevin Powers in conversation with Elliot Ackerman.
Philip Caputo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including the memoir A Rumor of War and the novels Acts of Faith, The Voyage, Horn of Africa, and Crossers. His most recent work, The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean, was published by Henry Holt & Co. in July.
Kevin Powers joined the army at the age of 17, later serving a year as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. After his honorable discharge, he enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. The Yellow Birds, his acclaimed first novel, was published in 2012 and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Elliot L. Ackerman (moderator) served five tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor and Purple Heart. He spent a year as a White House Fellow and currently splits his time between Washington, DC and Southern Turkey where he is a Senior Fellow with the Syrian Research and Evaluation Organization.
Episode 22: Tom Perrotta & Maria Semple
Episode 22 features a reading we called “The Human Comedy: Serious Humor in the American Novel,” which features a reading and conversation with authors Tom Perrotta and Maria Semple, moderated by Linda Holmes.
The event took place on October 22, 2013 at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre here in Washington, DC.
Tom Perrotta is the author of eight books, most recently The Leftovers and Nine Inches. Two of his novels—Election and Little Children—have been made into award-winning movies. Perrotta grew up in New Jersey and now lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
Maria Semple is the author of the novels Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and This One Is Mine. Before turning to fiction, she wrote for the television shows Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. Her writing has also appeared in the New Yorker. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Moderator Linda Holmes is the editor of NPR’s pop culture blog, Monkey See, and the host of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Her work has also been seen at Television Without Pity, New York Magazine‘s Vulture blog, MSNBC.com, and TV Guide.
25th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala – “Renewal”
Episode 21 brings you the 25th anniversary of the PEN/Faulkner Gala, which was held on Monday, October 7th at 6:30 p.m. The Gala celebrates and supports the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program. Twelve authors joined Master of Ceremonies Calvin Trillin at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre to explore the theme of Renewal through original compositions written for the occasion. The event included our high school essay contest award winner Rachel Page, who read her prize-winning essay from the Folger stage alongside our other guest writers.
The episode features readings by Christopher Castellani, Matt Gallagher & Roy Scranton, Yiyun Li, Anthony Marra, Rachel Page, George Pelecanos, Mona Simpson, Christopher Tilghman, Meg Wolitzer, Tiphanie Yanique, and Mary Kay Zuravleff. Author and humorist Calvin Trillin, served as the Master of Ceremonies.