PEN Awards 2021: Barbara Ehrenreich, Ross Gay, Victoria Chang among winners of coveted literary prize

During a virtual ceremony 8 April night, Gay’s Be Holding: A Poem received the $75,000 Jean Stein Award for a book-length work which has “broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form.”

The Associated Press April 10, 2021 11:38:46 IST
PEN Awards 2021: Barbara Ehrenreich, Ross Gay, Victoria Chang among winners of coveted literary prize

While Barbara Ehrenreich won the PEN award for her collection of essays, Had I Known, Ross Gay was awarded the literary honour for his work, Be Holding: A Poem.

New York: Barbara Ehrenreich, Ross Gay and Michael X Wang are among the winners of prizes from PEN America, the literary and human rights organization.

During a virtual ceremony 8 April night, Gay’s Be Holding: A Poem received the $75,000 Jean Stein Award for a book-length work which has “broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form.” Ehrenreich’s Had I Known won the $15,000 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for essays by a “seasoned writer” and Wang’s Further News of Defeat was given the $25,000 PEN/Robert W Bingham Prize for the best first book of short stories.

PEN Awards 2021 Barbara Ehrenreich Ross Gay Victoria Chang among winners of coveted literary prize

Other winners included Victoria Chang for her work, Obit and Kawai Strong Washburn for Sharks in the Time of Saviours.

Also on 8 April, Kawai Strong Washburn’s Sharks in the Time of Saviors won the $10,000 PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel, Asako Serizawa’s Inheritors won the $10,000 PEN Open Book Award for an outstanding work by a writer of color and Victoria Chang’s Obit received the $5,000 PEN/Voelcker Award for poetry.

Awards for career achievement, previously announced, were presented to Anne Carson, Kwame Dawes, Daniel Alexander Jones, Pierre Joris and George C Wolfe.

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