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Author/Artist James Hannaham to Host 2015 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony

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James Hannaham, whose second novel Delicious Foods debuted in March to critical acclaim, will emcee the 2015 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on June 8 in New York, PEN American Center announced today.

 Hannaham has risen to literary stardom over the past half-decade since his debut novel God Says No was nominated for the Lambda Book Award in 2010.  In his writing, the Elevator Repair Service co-founder uses dark humor to approach some of the most pressing social issues of our time—homosexuality, racism, human-trafficking, and drug abuse. Hannaham currently teaches creative writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

 Presenters at the Awards Ceremony will also include State Poet of New York Marie Howe, Pulitzer-nominated playwright Theresa Rebeck, 2012 Guggenheim Fellow and translator Damion Searls, New York Times Book Review editor Parul Seghal, and 2004 PEN/ Robert Bingham Fellow Monique Truong.

 All 2015 PEN Literary Awards winners, announced earlier this spring, will be honored at the June 8 ceremony at The New School Auditorium at West 12th Street in New York.  The winners of four awards not yet announced—the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, the PEN Open Book Award, and the PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize—will be revealed live at the event.

For more than 50 years, the PEN Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. With the help of its partners and supporters, PEN will confer 19 distinct awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes in 2015, awarding nearly $150,000 to writers and translators.

Founded in 1922, PEN American Center is an association of 4,000 U.S writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and the advancement of human rights of such past members as Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck. www.pen.org