Canadian Anne Carson, Tony laureate George C. Wolfe win PEN awards

Tony Award-winner George C. Wolfe and Canadian poet-translator Anne Carson are among this year's winners of PEN America awards for career achievement. 

Carson's work honoured for demonstrating 'enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship'

Canadian poet Anne Carson, left, and Tony Award laureate George C. Wolfe are among this year's PEN award winners for career achievement. (Craig Barritt/Getty Images, Evan Agostini/Invision/The Associated Press)

Canadian poet-translator Anne Carson and Tony Award-winner George C. Wolfe are among this year's winners of PEN America awards for career achievement.

Toronto-born Carson, a three-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle poetry award and an acclaimed translator of Greek drama, has won the PEN/Nabokov Award for work of "enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship."

Wolfe, whose credits range from writing the musical Jelly's Last Jam to directing Angels In America, has received the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award for work that "enlightens and inspires audiences."

PEN America is a nonprofit organization that celebrates literature and freedom of speech. Founded in 1922, PEN originally stood for "Poets, Essayists and Novelists," though their name is no longer an acronym. 

Other citations announced Tuesday by PEN America include:

  • The PEN/Laura Pels Award for theatre to the performance artist and playwright Daniel Alexander Jones.
  • The PEN/Nora Magid Award for magazine editing to Prairie Schooner editor Kwame Dawes.
  • The PEN/Manheim Award for translation to Pierre Joris, who has worked on poems by Paul Celan and Jean-Pierre Duprey among others.

"Among this year's winners are revolutionaries, icons, and trailblazers," PEN America's Jane Marchant, director of the Literary Awards program, said in a statement. "By poetry, translation, screenwriting, dramaturgy, performance writing, and the art of editing, these honorees transform the arc of the literary canon and infuse it with striking originality."

The winners will formally receive their awards during an April 8 ceremony.


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