Last night, the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony took place at the Town Hall in New York City. Staff members Hope Campbell Gustafson, Michaela Olson, and Juliette Neil attended the event. Among the prizes conferred was the PEN Open Book Award, which goes to an exceptional book-length work of any literary genre by an author of color. We are pleased to announce that Hafizah Augustus Geter received the award for The Black Period. Hafizah will become a Fellow at Civitella in 2024, and we look forward to welcoming her to the Castle.

From the judges’ citation: “The Black Period is multiple things at once: an astute reflection of the author as witness and narrator to the universal, a deeply personal and lovingly rendered tome, as well as a mirror of intersectional lives and experiences deserving of joy and visibility. Weighing the past and the present, weaving histories and livelihoods across continents and cultures, Hafizah Augustus Geter’s lyrical prose alongside the realistic portraiture by Tyrone Geter deftly create a book that is brilliant, bold, and genre-defying.” Congratulations, Hafizah!

See the full list of awardees here.