2023 PEN American Literary Awards Longlists Revealed

By: Brandon Williams, January 23rd, 2023 5:01 pm.

The 2023 PEN America Literary Awards longlists are out! The shortlists for each category will be announced next month, with the winners being announced on March 2nd.

The PEN Literary Awards are a set of literary awards given annually by the PEN American Center, an organization that aims to promote literary excellence and freedom of expression. The awards are divided into several categories, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, and translation. The awards recognize both established and emerging writers, and are considered among the most prestigious literary awards in the United States.

We have listed most of the longlists here, with information on the rest of them below.

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award

  • My Pinup by Hilton Als
  • Acting Class by Nick Drnaso
  • If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
  • Dr. No by Percival Everett
  • Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso
  • Milkweed Smithereens by Bernadette Mayer
  • If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga
  • The White Mosque by Sofia Samatar
  • Customs by Solmaz Sharif
  • Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

PEN Open Book Award

  • Golden Ax by Rio Cortez
  • Shutter by Ramona Emerson
  • The Black Period by Hafizah Augustus Geter
  • The Listening Skin: Poems by Glenis Redmond
  • Gorgoneion by Casey Rocheteau
  • All the Flowers Kneeling by Paul Tran
  • The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela
  • Making Love with the Land by Joshua Whitehead
  • Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
  • Solito by Javier Zamora

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection

  • Seeking Fortune Elsewhere by Sindya Bhanoo
  • Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin
  • Is This How You Eat a Watermelon? by Zein El-Amine
  • If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
  • A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times by Meron Hadero
  • A Calm & Normal Heart by Chelsea T. Hicks
  • What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri
  • The Anchored World by Jasmine Sawers
  • Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
  • Manywhere by Morgan Thomas

PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel

PEN/Voelcker Award For Poetry Collection

  • Smoking the Bible by Chris Abani
  • [To] The Last [Be] Human by Jorie Graham
  • Maafa by Harmony Holiday
  • The Hurting Kind by Ada Limon
  • To The Realization of Perfect Helplessness by Robin Coste Lewis
  • Cain Named The Animal by Shane Mcrae
  • Pink Waves by Sawako Nakayasu
  • blood snow by Dg Nanouk Okpik
  • Then The War by Carl Phillips
  • Best Barbarian by Roger Reeves

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction

  • The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees by Matthieu Aikins
  • Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon
  • After the Ivory Tower Falls: How College Broke the American Dream and Blew Up Our Politics–And How to Fix It by Will Bunch
  • The Inheritors: An Intimate Portrait of South Africa’s Racial Reckoning by Eve Fairbanks
  • Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands by Kelly Lytle Hernandez
  • South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
  • The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind by Martin Sixsmith
  • The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide by Steven W. Thrasher
  • The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet by Nell McShane Wulfhart
  • Solito by Javier Zamora

For the remaining categories, the prize attached to each award, and more information on each award, please visit PEN America’s website.

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