We are proud to announce that Jonah Mixon-Webster has won the 2019 PEN/Osterweil Award for his poetry collection Stereo(TYPE)!
Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. PEN America confers over 20 distinct awards, fellowships, grants and prizes each year, awarding nearly $350,000 to writers and translators.
The PEN/Osterweil Award for Poetry recognizes "a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable and accomplished presence in American literature."
Judges Daniel Borzutzky, Ilya Kaminsky, and Airea D. Matthews chose Mixon-Webster "for the high literary character of his debut collection, Stereo(TYPE), which explores the intersection of space and body, race and region, and sexuality and class; and wrestles with the ongoing crisis in Flint, MI."
To take up space in an experimental way, through lyric, sound and conceptual art, this collection activates the contentious trope of "The Real Nigga" as zombie (embodiment of the thing already dead), linguistic substrata (the basis and site of identity through language formation and synthesis), and as precursor for colonizing archetypes (in the Jungian sensean unconscious, collectively inherited idea that develops into socially constructed and consciously typified symbols of human identity and function). He challenges current stereotypes through the character’s experience and through mythology; "Now this nigga Niggaphus was the darkest 'mortal' anybody had ever seen in Greece."
More about the PEN America Literary Awards here