O. My. Fucking. God.
The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation announced the recipients of the 2008 Whiting Writers’ Awards, bestowed annually on poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights “of exceptional talent and promise in early career.” This year’s awards, each of which comes with a cash prize of $50,000, go to the fiction writers Mischa Berlinski, Laleh Khadivi, Manuel Muñoz, Benjamin Percy and Lysley Tenorio; the essayist Donovan Hohn; the poets Rick Hilles, Douglas Kearney and Julie Sheehan; and the playwright Dael Orlandersmith. The foundation, which supports the humanities and writing, was established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting, and its writing prize was first awarded in 1985.
And for those who don't know what the Whiting is, and what a monumental feat this is for this young man? This is the Whiting. Earlier this year Douglas was also one of the five poets in the country named a 2008 National Poetry Series winner for his upcoming book, The Black Automaton, coming out in 2009. Here's another link about Douglas. Here's a video interview. And what the hell, one more, with more inside. And if you search the site you'll find more entries about him around here.
So! LA residents! On Nov. 3 @ The Geffen you will be able to see Saul Williams and 2009 WHITING WRITER'S AWARD WINNER DOUGLAS KEARNEY in performance! For cheap, which is even better. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! I already have mine.