BOSTON—On Sunday, April 10, PEN/New England and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will honor Chris Abani as the 2005 recipient of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction for Graceland (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
Patrick Hemingway, the son of Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award at the April 10th ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. Ernest Hemingway’s papers are archived at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. 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.
The ceremony will also honor writers Kevin Goodan, Swanee Hunt and Edward J. Delaney as recipients of the 2005 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, given annually to an author from New England or to an author whose writing includes a New England setting. Mr. Goodan is being recognized in the poetry category for In the Ghost House Acquainted, Ms. Hunt is being honored in the non-fiction category for This Was Not Our War, and Mr. Delaney is being honored in the fiction category for Warp & Weft. The L.L. Winship/PEN Award honors long-time Boston Globe editor Laurence L. Winship and is sponsored by the Boston Globe and PEN/New England.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo will serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Richard Russo is the author of five novels: Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody’s Fool, Straight Man and Empire Falls, and a collection of short stories, The Whore's Child. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 10, 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 Library at (617) 514-1643 to reserve a seat.
Finalists in the competition for the 2005 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award were Laurie Lynn Drummond for Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You (Harper Collins); and Samina Ali for Madras on Rainy Days (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Runners-up were Jerome Richard for The Kiss of the Prison Dancer (The Permanent Press) and Hannah Tinti for Animal Crackers (The Dial Press). Abani and competition finalists and runners-up receive Ucross Residency Fellowships at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, PEN New England, the Friends of the Hemingway Collection, The Boston Globe, 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.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is home to the vast majority of Ernest Hemingway’s papers. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis described Mary Hemingway’s gift of Ernest Hemingway’s papers as helping "to fulfill our hopes that the Library will become a center for the study of American civilization, in all its aspects." Mrs. Onassis brought the presentation of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award to the Kennedy Library from New York. 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.
In 2003, the Kennedy Library Foundation was awarded a $150,000 Save America’s Treasures grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to preserve the Kennedy Library and Museum’s Ernest Hemingway Collection. Support from Save America’s Treasures is helping to address the conservation, cleaning, repair, and mitigation needs of the collection. Items in urgent need of conservation work include Hemingway’s first draft of The Sun Also Rises (with a working-title Fiesta); family scrapbooks; Hemingway’s leather briefcase with stamps revealing where and how he traveled; a ring made out of shrapnel from the writer’s World War I injuries; Hemingway’s five military medals; books with the writer’s handwritten notes in the margins from his private library; rare volumes, including Goya’s Los Proverbios – a volume found in only two or three other U.S. libraries; signed, first editions of Ezra Pound’s The Cantos and James Joyce’s Ulysses; manuscripts and correspondence; and more than 7,000 vintage photographic prints. The funding will also provide support for intensive treatment for a number of damaged items, re-housing of the entire collection, the creation of new research copies of Hemingway’s manuscripts and photographs, and microfilming of the collection. The Collection is also supported through the Friends of the Hemingway Collection, which publishes a semi-annual newsletter.
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.
For further information about the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award or the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, contact PEN New England at 617-499-9550. For further information on the award ceremony and reservations, contact 617-514-1643