The 2022 Whiting Awards celebrate 10 emerging writers
The winners of the 2022 Whiting Awards may not yet be known.
But it’s all part of the plan. The winners of the $50,000 prize – one of the largest monetary prizes available to emerging writers – were announced Wednesday evening. The idea is that these authors and future authors will continue to contribute their talents to a world of readers.
The award is designed to present emerging writers with “their first chance to devote themselves full-time to their writing or to take bold new risks in their work,” the Whiting Foundation noted in a press release.
“As the world opens up, these brilliant writers open up our world,” said Courtney Hodell, director of literary programs. “From fresh cultural criticism to poems about place, personality and appetite, to fiction that brings a surreal spirit to compassionate portraits, their work is the springtime thaw of the mind.”
Since the award’s inception in 1985, Whiting winners have won countless awards and fellowships, including Pulitzers, National Book Awards, Tony Awards and Obies, and have become household names in the process. Previous winners have included Ocean Vuong, Colson Whitehead, Mary Karr, Sigrid Nunez, August WilsonDon Mee Choi and many other talented writers.
The ceremony will include a keynote address by MacArthur Fellow and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award Maggie Nelson.
The winners of the 2022 Whiting Awards, with commentary from the Whiting Foundation, are:
Claire Boyle (fiction), author of Site Loyaltywhose work “addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change, land ownership, advances that seem to leave some behind”.
Rita Bullwinkel (fiction), author of belly upwhose stories “glitter like objects in a wunderkammer that change shape when picked up in the hand.”
Ina Carino (poetry), whose “work vibrates with an ancient power like spells or food memories, placing the reader in a fever dream of observation and sensation”. Their poetry appears in Guernica, Diode, Poetry Northwest, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, Waxwing, New England Reviewand elsewhere.
Anthony Cody (poetry), author of Borderland Apocryphawho, through his poems collected from official documents, historical memoirs, guidebooks, maps, and edicts, “expanded what is possible for American poetry”.
Anais Duplan (non-fiction), author of Blackspace: on the poetics of an afrofuture, Take this stallionand Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus, whose writing “is dedicated to the work of others and reveals a writer sensitive to the infinite possibilities of art and human identity”.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs (non-fiction), including the book Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals“offers new methods of feeling and insists with the best of environmental literature that protecting collapsing animal ecologies on the planet is vital to saving what makes us human.”
Megha Majumdar (fiction), author of A burningwhich “brings complex political scenarios to life by showing how ordinary people become entangled in forces greater than themselves”.
Jesse McCarthy (non-fiction), author of Who will pay reparations on my soul? and The Fugitiveswhose “observations on the intersections of history, pop culture, and black personality overwhelm us like a storm of beautiful phrases”.
Nana Nkweti (fiction), author of Walking on cowriesa writer who “makes visible the ebbs and flows of intimacy and captures the noisy experience of a borough”.
Claire Schwartz (poetry), author of Civil service, whose voice “is penetrating, lucid and aphoristic and also poignantly human”.