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.

Cerulli Award for Excellence in Sports Writing

Established in 2012 by Kurt and Mary Cerulli, the award–which comes with a $5,000 prize–honors excellence in sports writing across genres. The inaugural winner was Ben Fountain for his novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award.


I like your interest in sports… Sports take people out of doors, get them filled with oxygen—generate some of the brutal customs (so-called brutal customs) which, after all, tend to habituate people to a necessary physical stoicism.
— Walt Whitman

Sport is an activity that has captivated the minds of great thinkers and writers for ages, from Aristotle to Walt Whitman to John Updike. The best sports writing transcends the game and reveals the same drama, excitement, and style found in all great literature. Maxwell Perkins said that Chicago sports columnist Ring Lardner was the most talented writer he knew—a nice tribute considering Perkins was the editor of both Hemingway and Fitzgerald.


Making its permanent home in the Press Room at Fenway Park, the Sports Writing Hall of Fame honors writers who have made significant contributions to sports literature. The first class of inductees was unveiled in 2015 in an on-field ceremony at Fenway Park.

The winner of the Cerulli Award for Sports Writing was  All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach, announced and celebrated at an on-field ceremony in Fenway Park where we also dedicated the Sports Writing Hall of Fame and honored the first class of inductees: W. C. Heinz, Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice, and Red Smith.

Watch a video of the event, view photos below, and read James Sullivan's "A Shrine To Celebrated Sportswriter W.C. Heinz" and "Sports Writers  Hall Has Home At Fenway."

About the Winners