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PEN Center USA Proudly Presents: The 21st Annual Literary Award Winners and Festival

PEN Center USA, a literary nonprofit based in Beverly Hills, is proud to announce the winners of the organization's 2011 Literary Awards competition. 2011 Festival Honorees named: Robert Pinsky, Dave Eggers, and Charles Bowden.
    BEVERLY HILLS, CA, September 03, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- PEN Center USA, a literary nonprofit based in Beverly Hills, is proud to announce the winners of the organization's 2011 Literary Awards competition. Adam Somers, PEN Center USA's Executive Director, announced winners in eleven categories, which appear below. A distinguished panel of writers, editors, critics, and journalists chose the recipients of the Literary Awards. The Literary Awards, which include a one thousand dollar cash prize and honor the best writing in the western states, will be presented at the 21st Annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Mr. Somers also announced the Festival Honorees: Robert Pinsky will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; Dave Eggers will receive the Award of Honor; and Charles Bowden will receive the prestigious First Amendment Award.

Robert Pinsky, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, published Selected Poems in 2011. His recent anthology, with accompanying audio CD, is Essential Pleasures. His honors include the Harold Washington Award from the city of Chicago and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his translation, The Inferno of Dante. Videos from the Favorite Poem Project, an organization that he founded during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate, can be viewed at www.favoritepoem.org.

Dave Eggers, Award of Honor Honoree, is the author of seven books, including Zeitoun, which has been awarded the American Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Distinguished Honor, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council's Media Award. His novel What Is the What was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France's Prix Medici. His first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house, and the co-founder of 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in San Francisco. Seven cities across the country have since opened 826 centers. In 2004, Eggers and Dr. Lola Vollen co-founded Voice of Witness, a series of books using oral history to illuminate human rights crises. He was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2005, and received the 2007 Heinz Award and the 2008 TED Prize. A native of Chicago, Eggers graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism.

Charles Bowden, First Amendment Award Honoree, is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Sidney Hillman Prize, and United States Artists Fellowship. He is the critically acclaimed author of many books, including Murder City, Down by the River, A Shadow in the City, and co-editor of El Sicario. He is a contributing editor of GQ and Mother Jones magazine, and writes for other magazines, including Harper's Magazine and Aperture. Bowden lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Past PEN Center USA Literary Award winners and honorees include: Woody Allen, Rudolfo Anaya, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ray Bradbury, T.C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, George Clooney, Cameron Crowe, Ariel & Will Durant, Carrie Fisher, Betty Friedan, Matt Groening, Vaclav Havel, Charlie Kaufman, Barbara Kingsolver, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dan Savage, Neil Simon, Oliver Stone, Michael Tolkin, Gus Van Sant, Alice Walker, Billy Wilder, Steven Zaillian, Hugh M. Hefner, Ben Goldhirsh and GOOD, Gloria Steinem, and Gore Vidal.

PEN Center USA has a membership of more than 600 professional writers. PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western states. For more information on the 21st Annual Literary Awards Festival, please contact Hilary McCreery, Program Manager at PEN Center USA: awards@penusa.org

PEN CENTER USA'S LITERARY AWARD WINNERS (2011)

Fiction
James Fleming
Tengo Sed (University of New Mexico Press)

Poetry
Craig Santos Perez
from unincorporated territory [saina](Omnidawn Publishing)

Research Nonfiction
Ian Morris
Why the West Rules--For Now(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Creative Nonfiction
Gregory Boyle
Tattoos on the Heart (Free Press)

Translation
Damion Searls
Jon Fosse's Aliss at the Fire (Dalkey Archive Press)

Children/YA Literature
Pam Munoz Ryan
The Dreamer (Scholastic)

Graphic Lit
Daniel Clowes for his outstanding body of work

Journalism
Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
"The Creativity Crisis" (Newsweek)

Drama
Tom Jacobson
The Twentieth-Century Way

Screenplay
Nicole Holofcener
Please Give (Sony Classics)

Teleplay
David Simon and Eric Overmyer
Treme, Pilot Episode (Do You Know What It Means) (HBO)

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF 21ST ANNUAL LITERARY AWARD FINALISTS AND JUDGES, PLEASE VISIT:

http://penusa.org/2011-literary-awards-finalists-and-judges

PEN Center USA has a membership of more than 600 professional writers. PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western states.


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Michelle Meyering
PEN Center USA

Beverly Hills, CA
USA
Voice: 323-424-4939 ext 203
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