The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation announced the recipients of the 2008 Whiting Writers’ Awards, bestowed annually on poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights “of exceptional talent and promise in early career.” This year’s awards, each of which comes with a cash prize of $50,000, go to the the poets Rick Hilles, Douglas Kearney and Julie Sheehan; fiction writers Mischa Berlinski, Laleh Khadivi, Manuel Muñoz, Benjamin Percy and Lysley Tenorio; the essayist Donovan Hohn; and the playwright Dael Orlandersmith. The foundation, which supports the humanities and writing, was established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting, and its writing prize was first awarded in 1985. October 29, 2008
2008 Whiting Writers' Awards Announced
Ten writers were awarded $50,000 Whiting Writers' Awards this evening at a reception in New York and EWN favorite and friend Benjamin Percy was one of them!
From the press release of Camille McDuffie (Goldberg McDuffie Communications):
"The ten writers recognized this year for their extraordinary talent and promise are:
Mischa Berlinski, fiction. His first novel, Fieldwork, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. He is at work on a second novel and living in Haiti.
Rick Hilles, poetry. His first collection, Brother Salvage, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He is an assistant professor in the MFA Program at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Donovan Hohn, nonfiction. His essays have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, Agni, The Bedford Reader, and Internazionale. His first book will be published by Viking in 2010.
Douglas Kearney , poetry. He is the author of Fear, Some  (Red Hen Press, 2006) and the forthcoming collection, The Black Automaton, which will be published by Fence Books in 2009. He has an MFA in writing from the California Institute of the Arts, where he now teaches.
Laleh Khadivi, fiction. Her first book, The Age of Orphans, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2009. She is currently the fiction fellow at Emory University in Atlanta.
Manuel Muñoz, fiction. He is the author of two collections of short stories, Zigzagger (Northwestern University Press, 2003) and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue (Algonquin Books, 2007). He lives in Tucson, where he is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona.
Dael Orlandersmith, plays. Her plays include Yellowman, The Gimmick and her Obie-Award winning Beauty's Daughter, in which she also starred. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College and is at work on a memoir.
Benjamin Percy, fiction. He is the author of two short story collections, The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006) and Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2008). He teaches in the MFA program at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Julie Sheehan, poetry. She is the author of two collections of poems, Thaw (Fordham University Press, 2001), and Orient Point (Norton, 2006). She teaches in the graduate Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton and lives in East Quogue, New York.
Lysley Tenorio, fiction. He has recently completed a collection of short stories and is working on a novel. He lives in San Francisco and teaches at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California."