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Suzan-Lori Parks, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Thomas Bradshaw Among Winners of PEN America Literary Awards 2017 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, Moonlight Academy Award nominee Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Thomas Bradshaw are among the winners of the 2017 Poets, Essayists, and Novelists PEN America Literary Awards. The awards honor writers—playwrights included—who explore timely social themes through their work. The 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony, The New School, New York, March 27, 2017.


Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks with an American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) Member, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Tony Awards after party, New York, June 10, 2012. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.

The three playwrights are honored in the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards category, which recognizes writers in three sub categories: a mid-career playwright with an outstanding voice; an emerging playwright who demonstrates great promise; and a master playwright with the presentation of a specially commissioned art object. The awards come with a cash prize ranging from $2,500–$7,500. The winners and their respective categories follow: Master American Dramatist: Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, Father Comes Home From the Wars – Parts 1, 2 & 3). American Playwright in Mid-Career: Tarell Alvin McCraney (In the Red and Brown Water, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue) Emerging American Playwright: Thomas Bradshaw (Intimacy, Job).

Previous PEN Award-winning dramatists include Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Lanford Wilson, Wallace Shawn, Adrienne Kennedy, A. R. Gurney, Richard Nelson, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, David Henry Hwang, Christopher Durang, Larry Kramer, David Rabe, Tina Howe, and Lynn Nottage.

Suzan-Lori Parks is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. Her 2001 play Topdog/Underdog won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002; Parks is the first African American woman to achieve this honor. Her Awards include:

 1990 Obie Award Best New American Play – Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom

1992 Whiting Award

1995 Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Award

1996 Obie Award for Playwriting – Venus

2000 Guggenheim Fellowship Playwriting

2001 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant

2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – Topdog/Underdog

2006 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from the Council for the Arts

2007 Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award

2008 NAACP Theatre Award – Ray Charles Live! A New Musical

2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History – “Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3”

2015 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize


2000 Pulitzer Prize Drama Finalist – In The Blood

2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play – Topdog/Underdog

2002 Tony Award for Best Play – Topdog/Underdog

2015 Lucille Lortel Awards Nomination Outstanding Play – Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

2015 Pulitzer Prize Drama Finalist – Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

NEW YORK–PEN America today announced the winners of its 2017 Literary Awards, including playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose life and play inspired the Oscar-nominated film Moonlight; novelist, essayist, and critic Aleksandar Hemon for his passion-project oral history of Bosnian migrants and their stories of displacement; British novelist Helen Oyeyemi for her first short story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead); and sociologist Matthew Desmond for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, a groundbreaking exploration of the devastating effects of rising housing costs on urban communities.
“Literature’s ability to find common ground for diverse points of view has been the engine of PEN America’s work for nearly a century. As global and national political discourse turn toward exclusion, PEN America continues to uphold the humanities’ place in fostering coherent dialogue,” said PEN America President Andrew Solomon. “Many of this year’s honored books explore the social themes that are at the surface of our nation’s consciousness. The PEN America Literary Awards grant us a critical opportunity to recognize the literary excellence of these works and to celebrate the varied experiences of their creators.”
The winners for all 2017 awards can be found below or on PEN America’s website. Winners of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and will be announced live at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony, to be hosted by actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi at The New School’s John L. Tishman Auditorium in Manhattan on March 27. Given the themes of migration, social justice, and tolerance that permeate this year’s award-winning works, the ceremony will focus on the power of books to foster dialogue between communities. Under the title “The 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony: Books Across Borders,” the evening event will spotlight international and immigrant experiences that infuse and inspire American literature.
The 2017 PEN America Literary Awards will be the biggest yet, conferring 23 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes totaling nearly $315,000 across a broad range of categories including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, translation, and more. Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across a diverse array of genres and styles, celebrating both renowned and emerging authors and translators and helping to advance the careers of many beloved writers, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Joshua Ferris.

Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2017 by in Academy Awards, After Party, Awards, Backstage, Black Broadway, Black History, Black Tie Events, Broadway, Canon, Canon Camera, CD/Book: Release/Signings, Celebrities, Celebrity Photojournalist, History, Journalist, Lisa Pacino, Literature, Literature & Lectures, New York, Photography, Theatre, Theatre (Broadway & Off-Broadway), Tony Awards, Uncategorized, Under The Duvet Productions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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