6 Writers Earn 2016 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants

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Gene Luen Yang

Today, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, journalist Sarah Stillman, artist and writer Lauren Redniss, poet Claudia Rankine, writer Maggie Nelson, and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins were named among 23 artists and scientists receiving 2016 MacArthur Fellowships. Nominated by a committee of “external, invited nominators,” MacArthur Fellows are ultimately selected by 12 jurists to receive a stipend of $625,000, paid in quarterly installments over five years. The FAQs section of the MacArthur Foundation website details: “The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their own artistic, intellectual, and professional activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements.”  Last year’s class included Ta-Nehisi CoatesBen LernerLin-Manuel Miranda, and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

 

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PEN Awards Claudia Rankine, Jack Livings 2015 Fiction Awards

Claudia Rankine won the 2015 PEN Open Book Award and $5,000 for "Citizen: An American Lyric." - peoplewhowrite

Claudia Rankine

The full list of 2015 PEN Literary Award winners is now available on PEN.org following a ceremony at the New School held at Manhattan’s New School University. PEN had announced most of the non-fiction winners on May 13th — the John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, then PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing — as well as three playwrighting honors — The American Playwright in Midcareer Award, the Emerging American Playwright Award, and the Master American Dramatist Award. A total of 90 writers were named to the long list in March. A month later, the finalists were revealed. PEN awarded winners over $70,000 in prizes. A few of the 2015 honorees below:

DEBUT FICTION
The Dog by Jack Livings

ESSAY
Theater of Cruelty by Ian Burma

SCIENCE WRITING
War of the Whales by Joshua Horwitz

NON-FICTION
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

OPEN BOOK (for Writers of Color)
Citizen by Claudia Rankine

BIOGRAPHY
The Queen’s Bed by Anna Whitelock

SPORTS WRITING
Boy on Ice by John Branch

POETRY IN TRANSLATION
I Am the Beggar of the World by Eliza Griswold

PROSE IN TRANSLATION
Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt, Denise Newman

Get the full winners list here.

Networking Alert: The National Book Critics Circle Awards Are Free & Open to the Public

Toni Morrison to receive the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Book Critics Circle Awards - peoplewhowrite

Toni Morrison to receive the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Book Critics Circle Awards

The National Book Critics Circle Awards will be held on March 12th with a finalists’ reading the night before, both at the New School University. If you’re available and planning to be in New York on those dates, make sure to attend. In addition to the 2014 finalists on Monday, their agents and editors, you may get a chance to meet Toni Morrison who will be receiving this year’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Below, the full list of contenders:

AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Blake Bailey’s The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait
Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Lacy M. Johnson’s The Other Side
Gary Shteyngart’s Little Failure
Meline Toumani’s There Was and There Was Not

BIOGRAPHY
Ezra Greenspan’s William Wells Brown: An African American Life
S.C. Gwynne’s Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson
John Lahr’s Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
Ian S. MacNiven’s “Literchoor Is My Beat”: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions
Miriam Pawel’s The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography

CRITICISM
Eula Biss’s On Immunity: An Inoculation
Vikram Chandra’s Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty
Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric
Lynne Tillman’s What Would Lynne Tillman Do?
Ellen Willis’s The Essential Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz

FICTION
Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman
Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings
Lily King’s Euphoria
Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea
Marilynne Robinson’s Lila

GENERAL NONFICTION
David Brion Davis’ The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation
Peter Finn and Petra Couvee’s The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book
Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer
Hector Tobar’s Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free

POETRY
Saeed Jones’ Prelude to Bruise
Willie Perdomo’s The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon
Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric
Christian Wiman’s Once in the West
Jake Adam York’s Abide

NONA BALAKIAN CITATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN REVIEWING
Alexandra Schwartz

Finalists:
Charles Finch
B. K. Fischer
Benjamin Moser
Lisa Russ Spaar

IVAN SANDROF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Toni Morrison

JOHN LEONARD PRIZE
Phil Klay’s Redeployment

Get more details on bookcritics.org.