For Immediate Release: March 8, 2011
Further information: Rachel Day (617) 514-1662, rachel.day@jfklfoundation.org

BOSTON, MA – PEN New England today announced that Brando Skyhorse has won the 2011 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction for The Madonnas of Echo Park (Free Press). Patrick Hemingway, the son of Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Mr. Skyhorse on Sunday, March 27, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

The two Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalists are Patricia Engel for Vida (Grove/Atlantic) and Suzanne Rivecca for Death Is Not an Option (Norton). Two writers will receive honorable mention: Danielle Evans for Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (Riverhead Books) and Helen Simonson for Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (Random House).

Judges for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award this year were acclaimed fiction writers Allegra Goodman, Edward P. Jones, and Jayne Anne Phillips.

Brando Skyhorse will receive an $8,000 prize from the Hemingway Foundation and a one week residency in The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series at the University of Idaho’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Mr. Skyhorse and competition finalists and honorable mentions receive Ucross Residency Fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers.

The late Mary Hemingway, the wife of Ernest Hemingway, founded the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in 1976 to honor her late husband and draw attention to first books of fiction. Past recipients of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award include Edward P. Jones, Dagoberto Gilb, Susan Power, Chang-Rae Lee, Ha Jin, Charlotte Bacon, Rosina Lippi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Akhil Sharma, Justin Cronin, Gabriel Brownstein, Jennifer Haigh, Chris Abani, Yiyun Li, Ben Fountain and Joshua Ferris.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis brought the presentation of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award from New York to the Kennedy Library in 1992. The Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library spans Hemingway’s entire career, and contains ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials, making the Kennedy Library the world’s principal center for research on the life and work of Ernest Hemingway.

The ceremony will also honor writers Kermit Moyer, Charles Douthat, and Jerald Walker as recipients of the 2011 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards, given annually to a New England author or a book with a New England setting. Mr. Moyer is being honored in the fiction category for The Chester Chronicles (Permanent Press); Mr. Douthat in the poetry category for Blue for Oceans (New Haven Review Books); and, Mr. Walker in the non-fiction category for Street Shadows (Bantam). Judges for the Winship Awards this year were authors Kurt Brown (poetry), Alan Davis (fiction), and Joe Mackall (non-fiction).

The L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award was established by The Boston Globe in 1975 to honor long-time Boston Globe editor Laurence L. Winship. It has been awarded in the past to E.B. White, Andre Dubus, Susan Cheever, Tracy Kidder, Mary Oliver, Susan Quinn, Jill Ker Conway, Jan Swafford, Anita Shreve, Stanley Kunitz, Leo Damrosch, Jennifer Haigh, K.C. Frederick, Sebastian Junger, Louise Glück, Rishi Reddi, Kristen Laine and Ann Killough.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, PEN New England, Cerulli Associates, the Friends of the Ernest Hemingway Collection, The Boston Globe Foundation, the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/Society, and the Ucross Foundation sponsor the presentation of the awards.

PEN New England provides a focal point for New England’s literary community, sponsors literary events, helps advance the cause of literature and reading, and defends free expression. It is one of five regional branches of PEN American Center, which in turn is part of International PEN, the only worldwide organization of writing professionals.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the world’s repository for the majority of Ernest Hemingway’s papers. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis described Mary Hemingway’s gift of Ernest Hemingway’s papers to the Kennedy Library as helping “to fulfill our hopes that the Library will become a center for the study of American civilization, in all its aspects.” The Hemingway Foundation/Society, PEN New England, The Boston Globe, and the Kennedy Library ensure that the judging and presentation of the award remain in New England. For more information on the Hemingway Collection at the Kennedy Library, visit www.jfklibrary.org

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should call the Kennedy Presidential Library at (617) 514-1643 or register on-line by clicking here to reserve a seat.