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PEN America Awards 4 Authors, Including 2 Playwrights, With Literary Honors

Tom Stoppard and Tanya Barfield are among this year’s PEN America literary honorees.

NEW YORK CITY: PEN America has announced the winners of their 2020 literary awards, including two playwrights. This year’s winners are playwright Tom Stoppard, author Rigoberto González, playwright Tanya Barfield, and poet, novelist, and essayist M. NourbeSe Philip.

“Fostering and celebrating international literature is central to the mission of the PEN America Literary Awards,” said PEN America director of literary programs Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf in a statement. “We seek to champion original and promising writers of the global community and promote their work to an American audience. This year, we are incredibly proud to honor such urgent and diverse voices, which we know have the power to awaken empathy and redefine public discourse.”

Carey Perloff and playwright Tom Stoppard in 2012.

Four-time Tony winner Tom Stoppard will be awarded with the honorary PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award. The award was created last year in partnership with Lorne Michaels and was presented to Kenneth Lonergan. This year, Lonergan, Cynthia Nixon, and Christine Baranski will present the award to Stoppard. The award also comes with a prize of $25,000.

The PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award will be presented to playwright Tanya Barfield. Past winners include Larissa FastHorse and Tarell Alvin McCraney. Leigh Silverman, who directed the premieres of Barfield’s plays Blue DoorThe Call, and Bright Half Life will present the award at the ceremony.

M. NourbeSe Philip will be awarded with the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The award includes a prize of $50,000 and honors a living author in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or drama.

The PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry will be awarded to Rigoberto González. The award comes with a $5,000 prize. González, a professor in the MFA program for Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark and critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times, will also share a special reading of his poetry at the ceremony.

The awards, which recognize writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, translation, and more, will be presented on March 2 at a ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers at the Town Hall.

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