3/10: Don’t Miss Fantastic Women at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation & the National Museum of Women in the Arts present “Fantastic Women.” Tickets on sale now!

Join us in celebrating the work of Lesley Nneka Arimah, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado, women writers who all use elements of the fantastic in their work, often in ways that allow them to explore crucial themes (power, sexuality, identity, the body) without the constraints imposed by strict realism. These authors play with the boundaries of time and space through short stories and novels, and use their writing to push back against the traditional boundaries of women’s fiction.

The conversation, moderated by DC native Amber Sparks, will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing reception. This will be an unforgettable night of engaging dialogue and conversation, and we hope to see you there!

Fantastic Women is presented as a part of PEN/Faulkner’s Literary Conversations series and the NMWA’s Cultural Capital Program.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Black Lives Matter at School

Today kicks off the DC area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in DC public and charter schools across the city. All this week, PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program will be hosting conversations between Black writers and students in schools across four wards of the city, with a special emphasis on how the power of stories and storytelling can improve the school experience for students of color.

Each conversation will be rooted in books about the Black experience and will be led by writers interested in connecting their writing and lived experience to that of young people. A bit about the books and writers:

  • In the illustrated picture book A Card From My Father, Samantha Thornhill writes about a young girl struggling with loss and grief for her incarcerated father.
  • In New Kid, graphic novelist Jerry Craft tells the story of a young man forced to navigate between two worlds: the one in which he grew up and a wealthy private arts school.
  • Local poets Alan King and Terri Cross Davis emphasize the joy found in resistance and the joy family can bring (however individual students define “family”).
  • For the youth writers of Beacon House and Ballou High School, in partnership with Shout Mouse Press, amplifying personal narratives of pain and hope go hand-in-hand in Our Lives Matter and The Day Tajon Got Shot, collective texts sharing powerful messages of resistance.
  • Paul Butler focuses the conversation on the criminal justice system and his experience as a former federal prosecutor in Let’s Get Free.
  • Simba Sana’s memoir Never Stop recounts both his upbringing in DC in the ’70s and ’80s and his navigation of identity, faith, and American culture.
  • Writer William Jones, founder of the Afrofuturism Network, explores that representation of Black superheroes and heroines in comic book history in The Ex-Con, Voodoo Priest, Goddess, and the African King from social, political, and cultural perspectives. 

Writers were asked to reflect on and adhere to the thirteen guiding principles for the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in order to participate: diversity, globalism, Black women, Black villages, loving engagement, restorative justice, collective value, empathy, queer affirming, transgender affirming, unapologetically black, Black families, and fostering intergenerational ties.

Black Lives Matter is a non-violent peace movement that examines injustices that exist at the intersections of race, class and gender, including issues of poverty, mass incarceration, homophobia, unfair immigration laws, and access to healthcare. BLM Week of Action in DC area schools is sponsored by the DC Area Educators for Social Justice and Teaching for Change

Don’t miss our upcoming Literary Conversations!

February 12, 2019
What Was, What Is, and What Will Be: A Cross-Genre Look at Afrofuturism
Featuring: Tananarive Due, NK Jemisin, & Airea D. Matthews
7:30pm at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism” in his essay “Black to the Future,” and its meaning has expanded to encompass alternative visions of the future influenced by astral jazz, African-American sci-fi, psychedelic hip-hop, rock, rhythm and blues, and more. Join us as we delve into the genre with three of its most highly acclaimed writers: Tananarive Due, N.K. Jemisin, and Airea D. Matthews. This Literary Conversation is co-sponsored by Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, and The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book and Poetry and Literature Center.

Tickets can be purchased here! *TICKETS ALMOST SOLD OUT*

Can’t get enough Afrofuturism? The reading at the Folger will be preceded by a moderated conversation with all three writers at the Library of Congress! This event is *free* and will take place at 4pm. More information can be found here.

March 10, 2019
Fantastic Women
Featuring: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado
7pm at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation & the National Museum of Women in the Arts present “Fantastic Women.” Join us in celebrating the work of Lesley Nneka Arimah, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado, women writers who all use elements of the fantastic in their work, often in ways that allow them to explore crucial themes (power, sexuality, identity, the body) without the constraints imposed by strict realism. These authors play with the boundaries of time and space through short stories and novels, and use their writing to push back against the traditional boundaries of women’s fiction. The Fantastic Women event will be an unforgettable night of engaging dialogue and conversation, and we hope to see you there!

Tickets on sale now!

Tickets to Beyond La Frontera On Sale Now!

Don’t miss out on this especially timely conversation featuring award-winning Mexican American writers Jennifer Clement and Luis Alberto Urrea. On January 14th, we will hear from these prolific writers as they discuss relevant issues such as immigrant narratives, the epidemic of gun violence, and the xenophobic sentiment facing Mexican immigrants in the United States today. Both authors have a thread of activism woven through their work, Clement through her writing on hidden women and the far-reaching arm of human-trafficking, and Urrea in his stories of the border, a space where narratives have traditionally been overlooked.

This conversation will be moderated by award-winning news anchor and reporter Maria Hinojosa. Use discount code PFFrontera for 20% off tickets! bit.ly/pfbeyond

 

Apply to Join Our Faculty for the Summer Youth Writers Camp!

PEN/Faulkner is hiring faculty for our Summer 2019 Youth Writers Camp!

The PEN/Faulkner Youth Writers Camp is an 8-day intensive creative writing academy for high schools students entering 9th-12th grade and recent graduates. Under the guidance of writing faculty, youth writers participate in a variety of writing activities, workshops, field trips, electives, and craft discussions in a supportive atmosphere that values risk taking as an important part of the writing process. Participants also receive one-on-one personalized feedback from instructors.

We are looking for two types of applicants: current MFA/PhD in Writing students or recent MFA/PhD in Writing graduates who matriculated within the past two years AND non-traditional writers of fiction, prose, and poetry.

Recognizing the institutional and systemic barriers to receiving an advanced degree in the arts, PEN/Faulkner strives to receive applications and to hire from both traditional pathways into a writing career (i.e. the MFA) and non-traditional pathways. We also believe that by providing instructors from a variety of backgrounds and pathways into the field, youth writers will recognize that there is more than one way to pursue a career in the arts.

To view the complete job description, including application instructions, read here.

The application deadline is March 15, 2019. 

 

 

 

PEN/Faulkner’s Spring Season!

PEN/Faulkner’s got an exciting season of Literary Conversations and public events coming up in 2019! Check back here for ticket information!

January 14, 2019
Beyond La Frontera
Featuring: Jennifer Clement & Luis Alberto Urrea
Moderated by: Maria Hinojosa

Join PEN/Faulkner at the Lansburgh Theatre for “Beyond La Frontera”, the first Literary Conversation of 2019. On Monday, January 14th, we will hear from PEN International President Jennifer Clement and American Book Award Winner Luis Alberto Urrea, as they discuss relevant issues regarding immigrant narratives, gun violence, and social justice. Both authors have a thread of activism woven through their work, Clement through her writing on hidden women and the far-reaching arm of human-trafficking, and Urrea in his stories of the border, a space where narratives have traditionally been overlooked. You won’t want to miss this night of compelling conversation and captivating literature!

February 12, 2019
What Was, What Is, and What Will Be: A Cross-Genre Look at Afrofuturism
Featuring: Tananarive Due, NK Jemisin, & Airea D. Matthews

Cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism” in his essay “Black to the Future,” and its meaning has expanded to encompass alternative visions of the future influenced by astral jazz, African-American sci-fi, psychedelic hip-hop, rock, rhythm and blues, and more. Join us as we delve into the genre with three of its most highly acclaimed writers: Tananarive Due, N.K. Jemisin, and Airea D. Matthews. This Literary Conversation is co-sponsored by Folger Shakespeare Library’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, and The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book and Poetry and Literature Center. Tickets can be purchased here!

March 10, 2019
Fantastic Women
Featuring: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation & the National Museum of Women in the Arts present “Fantastic Women.” Join us in celebrating the work of Lesley Nneka Arimah, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado, women writers who all use elements of the fantastic in their work, often in ways that allow them to explore crucial themes (power, sexuality, identity, the body) without the constraints imposed by strict realism. These authors play with the boundaries of time and space through short stories and novels, and use their writing to push back against the traditional boundaries of women’s fiction. The Fantastic Women event will be an unforgettable night of engaging dialogue and conversation, and we hope to see you there!

April 2019
Literature On Screen: The Hate U Give

Image result for angie thomas

Join us for our second installment of Literature On Screen, featuring Angie Thomas, author of the bestselling novel, The Hate U Give. Angie will discuss the translation of her book to the critically acclaimed movie adaptation, starring Amandla Stenberg, as well as the very real events that inspired her novel.

May 4, 2019
PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony
Featuring: Judges Percival Everett, Ernesto Quiñonez, and Joy Williams
And Finalists & Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award (Announced April 2019)

Don’t miss our 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony, held at a new and exciting venue, Arena Stage! Our five finalists will be announced in March, and the winner of the Award will be announced in April. Join us as we celebrate all five authors for their achievements in the world of literature. The Ceremony will feature award citations by this year’s judges, Percival Everett, Ernesto Quinonez, and Joy Williams, as well as readings by our honored writers. The ceremony will be followed by a dinner reception.

 

Announcing PEN/Faulkner’s New Executive Director: Gwydion Suilebhan!

Washington, DC: The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is delighted to announce the selection of Gwydion Suilebhan as the organization’s new Executive Director. Suilebhan, who is currently serving as the Director of Brand and Marketing for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, will be joining the PEN/Faulkner staff on January 15, 2019.

“Gwydion is an inspiring leader with an extensive track record of innovation,” said Tracy B. McGillivary, the President of PEN/Faulkner’s Board of Directors. “He has devoted his entire career to advocating for writers of all ages, and his passion and curiosity are absolutely infectious. His deep understanding of the challenges facing writers in the 21st century, as well as his passion for answering those challenges, thrilled us.”

Suilebhan currently serves as a member of the senior staff of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, one of the most important, critically-acclaimed theaters in the United States producing new plays. As Woolly’s brand steward, he’s responsible for connecting the theater’s rousing, visceral, enlightening work to an increasingly diverse and demanding modern audience. Suilebhan also holds a second position as the Project Director of the New Play Exchange—the world’s largest digital library of scripts by living writers—for the National New Play Network. As the platform’s chief architect and evangelist, he has radically transformed the ways in which writers and producers share and discover work.

“To lead the PEN/Faulkner Foundation—an organization that’s deeply committed to the beautiful notion of writers both celebrating and educating other writers—is a profound and meaningful opportunity for me,” said Suilebhan. “I cannot wait to build on four decades of literary history, both national and local, and to ensure that the PEN/Faulkner mission stays relevant and vital.”

In addition to his work as an administrator, which has included stints in both publishing and academia, Suilebhan is an accomplished writer. A member of the Dramatists Guild Council and a co-founder of The Welders—a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwrights collective—Suilebhan writes and devises new work for both stage and screen. Earlier in his career, after earning his M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, he wrote poetry and served as the poetry editor of Barrelhouse magazine.

“Gwydion is the right person to lead our organization for several reasons, not least of which is because he already understands the significance of the work we do,” said novelist and PEN/Faulkner board member H.G. Carrillo, who serves as the chair of the Foundation’s Awards and Human Resources committees. “We ran a thorough search process to find our new Executive Director, and we’re incredibly lucky to have found a leader with a rare combination of experience and credentials. He has tremendous insight, and he’s going to do great things.”

—————

GWYDION SUILEBHAN, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, is an American writer, innovator, and arts advocate. A playwright, screenwriter, and poet, Suilebhan has served as a Council member of the Dramatists Guild of America since 2017. He is the architect of the New Play Exchange for the National New Play Network and a founding member of The Welders, a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwrights collective in Washington, DC. Suilebhan previously served as the Director of Brand and Marketing for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

As a writer, Suilebhan’s work has been noted for its “dexterous theatricality and unexpected pleasure” (Washington Post). He is the author of several plays, including The Butcher, Reals, Abstract Nude, Let X, and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated Transmission, among others. His work has been commissioned, developed, and produced by Centerstage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, Forum Theatre, Theater J, and Theater Alliance, among others. Suilebhan is also the author of Anthem, a short film directed by Hal Hartley, and a forthcoming (2019) web series called All Souls.

Earlier in his career, Suilebhan primarily wrote poetry and non-fiction. He served as the poetry editor of Barrelhouse from 2004 to 2006 and taught creative writing as an adjunct member of the faculty of the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Two of his plays—Abstract Nude and Cracked—have been published by Original Works. Suilebhan has received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, two from the Montgomery County Arts Council, and one from the Maryland State Arts Council. He was also the recipient of a Larry Neal Writers Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Suilebhan earned a Master of Arts in poetry in 1993 from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Allen Grossman and Peter Sacks. In 1990, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in writing from Northwestern University, where he studied with essayist Joseph Epstein and poets Mary Kinzie and Alan Shapiro.

Tickets On Sale Now For The 2018 PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony!

Don’t miss out on attending the 30th Annual PEN/Malamud Award Ceremony on Saturday, December 8, 2018. This ceremony will be held at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue at 7:30pm. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at bit.ly/penmalamud.

The PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story was established in 1988 by Bernard Malamud’s family to honor the best published collections of short fiction. This year’s winners, Amina Gautier and Joan Silber, will be honored in a ceremony at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, where they will read from their work and be presented with the $5,000 prize.

Books by the honored writers will be available for sale, and the ceremony will be followed by a book signing onstage.

*This event is not sponsored by Sixth & I

Get tickets now for Finding Home!

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation & GWU’s Institute for Middle East Studies invite you to delve into the intricacies of Arab American identity through the individual experiences of some of today’s most celebrated literary voices.

Join notable Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam as she sits down with Osama Alomar, Susan Darraj, and Laila Halaby to discuss what “Finding Home” looks like for an Arab American, especially in today’s political climate.

Tickets are on sale now! Don’t miss out on PEN/Faulkner’s second Literary Conversation of the year!

Last Chance for Literary Horror Night Tickets! 10/29 at 7pm

Join us on Monday, October 29 at Penn Social for our first Literary Conversation of the season. A night filled with horror and incredible literature to prepare you for Halloween! Get tickets now before they sell out!

Dan Chaon, (Ill Will), Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves), and Brian Evenson (A Collapse of Horses) will read from their work and engage in conversation about what horror fiction as a genre says about the very real horrors we face on a daily basis. This evening will be moderated by bestselling and award-winning author, Elizabeth HandYou won’t want to miss these critically-acclaimed authors at our pre-Halloween celebration!

Tickets include a free drink upon entry (THIS EVENT IS 21+), and the onstage discussion will be followed by a book signing. Books will be onsale before and after the readings!