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The 2012 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Awards | Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, Saturday, December 1st, 2-5pm



View photos from this event right now at


PEN Oakland to honor writers
Marta Yamamoto | San José Mercury News
29 November 2012

Melba J. Boyd
, Steve Dalachinsky,
Rafael Jesús González, Jill Nelson, Daniel A. Olivas,
Melinda Palacio, Eugene Redmond

Dubbed “the Blue-Collar PEN” by the New York Times, PEN Oakland announces the 2012 winners of the Josephine Miles Literary Awards.

“Part of the pleasure of receiving the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award for 1996 is that I can now think of myself as an honorary citizen of Oakland, not a sister-city, but a West Coast mate to Brooklyn, my old place.”
Norman Mailer



OCOTILLO DREAMS by Melinda Palacio | Bilingual Review Press (novel)

THE ARMAGEDDON OF FUNK by Michael Warr | Tia Chucha Press (poetry)

SOLITUDE OF FIVE BLACK MOONS by Aurora Harris | Broadside Press/University of Detroit Mercy Press (poetry)

LA NEGRA Y BLANCA: Fugue & Commentary by Deena Metzger | Hand to Hand Press (novel)

FUG YOU by Ed Sanders | Da Capo Press (memoir)

SUGAR ZONE by Mary Mackey | Marsh Hawk Press (poetry)

SALVAGE THE BONES by Jesmyn Ward | Bloomsbury (novel)



Alexander Cockburn wins the 2012 Censorship Award

Q.R. Hand will receive PEN Oakland’s 2012 Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award


Melinda Palacio‘s novel OCOTILLO DREAMS confronts issues of identity, politics and family secrets during the infamous 1997 immigration sweeps in Chandler, Arizona. ||| Michael Warr’s poems in THE ARMAGEDDON OF FUNK form a memoir trekking across international and ideological borders, interconnecting a world of opposites. ||| Aurora Harris’ poems in SOLITUDE OF FIVE BLACK MOONS remap consciousness, examine selfish pursuits and destructive thoughts, re-examine imperialism and global irresponsibility, and consult our universal soul. ||| Deena Metzger’s novel LA NEGRA Y BLANCA explores  relationships between people, historical and imaginary, in the bloody tragedy of the on-going Conquest and US imperialism in Guatemala and Latin America. ||| Ed Sanders’ memoir FUG YOU is his extraordinary personal history of New York lower east side counterculture in the 1960s. ||| Mary Mackey’s poems in SUGAR ZONE confirm the findings of magical realists, crisscrossers of the earth-wise & astral, and interpenetrators of life & death. And hence, heavy with light, sparkle in the “bleeding” throats and ears of language. ||| Jesmyn Ward‘s novel SALVAGE THE BONES, set in a coastal town of Mississippi, tells the story of a family and community bound together as a hurricane hurtles toward them from the Gulf of Mexico.


The 22nd Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Awards will take place
Saturday, December 1, 2012, at
the Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch,
5366 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
from 2 to 5pm


The ceremony is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception and book signings. For further information, please contact Kim McMillon at 510.681.5652 or John Curl at 510. 526.9324

PEN Oakland, founded in 1989, is a chapter of PEN International, founded in 1921. Dubbed “the blue collar PEN” by the New York Times, PEN Oakland annually sponsors the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Book Awards, named for the late poet and faculty member of U.C. Berkeley’s English Department. This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the awards. Each year PEN Oakland presents an award to outstanding book titles published in the previous year. The Awards were created twenty years ago to honor writers of exceptional works often not acknowledged by the mainstream literary community. Judged by respected writers, the awards honor books that both reflect a multicultural or marginalized viewpoint and represent the highest standards of literature. 

Further information, contact
PEN Oakland


2 Responses to “The 2012 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Awards | Oakland Public Library, Rockridge Branch, Saturday, December 1st, 2-5pm”

  1. Kim McMillon Says:

    Dear Al,

    Thank you for posting the information about the PEN Awards on your website. It looks gorgeous! :)

  2. Al Says:

    Hi, Kim — The pleasure’s all mine. I look forward to a lively ceremonial afternoon — with rain of course. Love, Al

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