New York, March 11, 2020 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 19 writers who will receive its 2020 awards in literature. The awards will be presented in New York at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. The literature prizes, totaling $350,000, 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 award committee members were Louise Glück, John Guare, Amy Hempel, Jayne Anne Phillips, Terry Tempest Williams, and Joy Williams.
$100,000 to a writer who has made a significant contribution to American literature.
Eight awards of $10,000 each honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre.
JEREMY O. HARRIS
VIET THANH NGUYEN
$25,000 for achievement in nonfiction.
$20,000 to an exceptional writer.
$20,000 to a young writer from the United Kingdom or Ireland for a stay in the U.S. Award jury: Jhumpa Lahiri, Colum McCann, Paul Muldoon.
of Northern Ireland
$5000 for a work of first fiction (novel or short stories) published in 2019.
for The Parisian
$20,000 to a prose writer whose achievements and dedication to the literary profession have been demonstrated.
$20,000 to an exceptional poet.
$10,000 to a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2019.
for Lost Children Archive
$20,000 to a writer whose work merits recognition for the quality of its prose style.
$20,000 for a significant contribution to the art of literary translation.
$10,000 to a poet of progressive, original, and experimental tendencies.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.
In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.