My second book won the PEN CENTER USA literary award for Poetry!








PEN Center USA, a literary nonprofit based in Beverly Hills, “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 United States.” This organization hosts “public literary events, a mentorship project, literary awards and international human rights campaigns on behalf of writers who are censored or imprisoned.” PEN Center USA “endeavors to create a world in which freedom of expression is guaranteed for all writers.”

With that vision in mind, I am honored to announce that my second book of poems, from unincorporated territory [saina] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2010) , has been awarded the PEN Center USA 2011 Literary Award for Poetry! To view the full list of winners, click here.

PEN Center USA’s annual awards program was established in 1982 and recognizes literary excellence in eleven categories by writers living west of the Mississippi River. Entries are judged by panels of distinguished writers, critics and editors. Winners receive a $1,000 cash prize, a free year of membership with PEN Center USA and an invitation to the Annual Literary Awards Festival in Los Angeles, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. This gala is attended by more than 400 prominent members of the literary community and also features the presentation of the First Amendment Award as well as the Freedom to Write Award.
I am thrilled to be part of the PEN Center USA vision. Thanks to everyone at the PEN Center USA for fighting for our freedom of expression (I remember the words of Samoan poet Albert Wendt: “Self-expression is a prerequisite of self-respect.”). And special thanks to the poetry judges, Dan Beachy-Quick, Amy Catanzano, and Allison Hedge Coke, for choosing my book.

Also, congrats to all the other winners, the finalists, and the honorees: Robert Pinsky (the Lifetime Achievement Award), Dave Eggers (the Award of Honor), and Charles Bowden (First Amendment Award).

Categories: .

4 thoughts on “My second book won the PEN CENTER USA literary award for Poetry!

  1. Congrats Craig! Would love to be able to read your poetry one day…. heard about this news from Bino Realuyo on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s