The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced 21writers who will receive its 2016 awards in literature, which will be presented in New York at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May.
The Arts and Letters Awards in Literature will be presented to eight writers, including playwrights Lynn Nottage (Ruined) and Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Motherf**ker With the Hat). The award comes with a $10,000 prize.
Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon) is the recipient of the Benjamin H. Danks Award, which is given every three years to an exceptional young playwright. This award comes with a $20,000 prize.
The literature prizes, totaling $550,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry. The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners. This year’s committee members were John Guare, Sharon Olds, Anne Tyler, Rosanna Warren and Joy Williams.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was established in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts.”