PEN New England

PEN new england


“Literature is the best thing humanity has. Poetry is the heart of literature, the highest concentration of everything that is the best in the world and in man. It is the only true food for your soul.”  
Lyudmila Ulitskaya



We are a chapter of PEN American Center, part of a global association of writers celebrating literature and defending free expression. We make our home at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

Kevin Powers

2013 PEN/Hemingway Winner

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, VA. In 2004 and 2005 he served with the U.S. Army in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. He studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His novel The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown) was a National Book Award finalist and is this year's Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for debut fiction. Writing for the New York Times, Ben Percy asserts that, with The Yellow Birds,

Kevin Powers has something to say, something deeply moving about the frailty of man and the brutality of war, and we should all lean closer and listen.

The finalists for 2013 were Jennifer duBois for A Partial History of Lost Causes (Dial Press) and Vaddey Ratner for In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree (Simon & Schuster). The honorable mentions were Catherine Chung for Forgotten Country (Riverhead Books) and Peter M. Wheelwright for As It Is On Earth (Fomite Press).

Watch the 2013 Ceremony