The longlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards include titles by poets Claudia Rankine, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke and Venus Thrash. The poets were longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award that recognizes, "an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2014." A new translation of the revered Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Edith Grossman is one of four titles translated from the original Spanish vying for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2014.
"For some writers, being recognized on PEN's longlist can be a catalytic event, sparking attention and awakening audiences to a new and important voice," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN American Center. "We are proud to welcome all of these works into PEN's long tradition of literary excellence, offering recognition to a panoramic breadth of works by writers both highly decorated and yet undiscovered, from publishers both established and upstart. The PEN Awards become more competitive every year, and we congratulate each author for achieving this distinction."
Earning this distinction in poetry translation are: Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books) translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi; Love Poems by Bertolt Brecht (Liveright), translated from the German by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn; I Am the Beggar of the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold; Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Juana Inés de la Cruz (W. W. Norton & Company), translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman; Where Are the Trees Going? by Venus Khoury-Ghata (Curbstone Books), translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker; Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the German by Pierre Joris; Guantanamo by Frank Smith (Les Figues Press), translated from the Spanish by Vanessa Place; Skin by Tone Škrjanec (Tavern Books), translated from the Slovenian by Matthew Rohrer and Ana Pepelnik; Diana's Tree by Alejandra Pizarnik (Ugly Duckling Presse), translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert and; Autoepitaph by Reinaldo Arenas (University Press of Florida), translated from the Spanish by Kelly Washbourne.
Among the 11 authors longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award are three esteemed poets. Claudia Rankine for Citizen (Graywolf Press), Allison Adelle Hedge Coke for Streaming (Coffee House Press) and; Venus Thrash for The Fateful Apple (Urban Poets and Lyricists).
"PEN's Literary Awards Committee is again pleased to have our roster of prestigious, life-changing awards in the hands of judges who represent the full spectrum of voices and genres in literature today," said Monique Truong, chair of PEN's Literary Awards Committee. "We are indebted to the writers and editors on all of the panels whose impeccable literary discernment is clear from the remarkable titles on the longlist. As a Committee, we remain dedicated to casting the widest possible net when rewarding merit, a commitment that is reflected in our distinguished, diverse, and inclusive roster of judges."
Founded in 1922, PEN American Center is an association of 4,000 U.S writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and the advancement of human rights of such past members as Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck.
For more than 50 years, the PEN Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children's literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN will confer 19 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2015, awarding nearly $150,000 to writers and translators.
The shortlists for 2015 PEN Literary Award book nominations will be released on April 15. The complete list of winners for all 2015 PEN Literary Awards will be announced on May 13, followed by a ceremony honoring the winners on Monday, June 8 at The New School's Auditorium in New York.