Poetry News

2016 Whiting Award Winners Announced

By Harriet Staff


Congratulations to LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Layli Long Soldier, Safiya Sinclair, and Ocean Vuong who were honored with a Whiting Award in the poetry category. The Whiting carries a generous $50,000 honorarium. More about the awards:

The Whiting Foundation (whiting.org) is delighted to announce the names of its ten new Whiting Award winners, honored this evening at a ceremony at the New-York Historical Society with a keynote by poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander, author of the New York Times bestseller The Light of the World.

The Whiting Awards, established by the Whiting Foundation in 1985, remain one of the most esteemed and largest monetary gifts ($50,000) to emerging writers, and are based on the criteria of early-career achievement and the promise of superior literary work to come. More than $6.5 million has been awarded to 310 poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights to date. “Six brilliant judges looked far and read deeply to settle on our ten winners, and we hope the support and encouragement of the award will free them up to do adventurous work,” said Courtney Hodell, Director of Writers’ Programs.

The list of Whiting Award recipients since 1985 includes then-emerging luminaries such as David Foster Wallace, Colson Whitehead, Tracy K. Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lydia Davis, Denis Johnson, Susan-Lori Parks, Mary Karr, Tony Kushner, Michael Cunningham, Alice McDermott, August Wilson, Jorie Graham, Mark Doty, Deborah Eisenberg, Ben Fountain, Justin Cronin, Tobias Wolff, Jonathan Franzen, Terrance Hayes, Ian Frazier, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and more recent talents including Adam Johnson, Elif Batuman, and Anthony Marra. For a complete list of winners, visit whiting.org/awards/winners.

Head here to read up on all the awardees. Congrats to all!