Monday, April 3, 2017
UPK Author Rion Amilcar Scott Wins Pen/America Award
University Press of Kentucky author Rion Amilcar Scott was named the winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction for his book, Insurrections: Stories, during the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony at the New School's John L. Tishman Auditorium. The PEN America Foundation honors writers with more than $300,000 in awards and grants each year.
The theme of the awards ceremony was titled "Books without Borders." Scott's Insurrections centers around the residents of the fictional Cross River, Maryland, a largely black town founded in 1807 after the only successful slave revolt in the United States. From the podium Scott explained why "I write the black stories that I write." He says "as long as they keep distorting and keep flattening our humanity, I want to keep responding with complexity. That's my 'Insurrection.'" He encouraged others to do the same.
Rion Amilcar Scott teaches English at Bowie State University. He earned an MFA at George Mason University, where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and a Completion Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, the Washington City Paper, The Toast and Confrontation. Read the full story.