Ta-Nehisi Coates makes PEN Literary Awards longlist

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates attended Poly, but graduated from Woodlawn High School.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Baltimore writer who recently took home a National Book Award, has made the first cut for another prestigious honor: a PEN Literary Award.

The West Baltimore native made the longlist of authors competing for the 2016 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, one of eight categories in the PEN American Center's annual awards.


Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, was recognized for his book "Between the World and Me," which won a National Book Award for nonfiction last month.

The prospect of a PEN Literary Award is the latest honor in a year of accolades for Coates, who was also awarded a $625,000 "genius grant" as a 2015 fellow of the MacArthur Foundation in September. Coates recently won the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice for "The Case for Reparations," his June 2014 cover story in The Atlantic. That piece also won a George Polk Award for commentary.


Coates is one of 10 authors in PEN's essay category, which comes with a $10,000 prize for the winner.

The PEN American Center also announced its longlist for the debut fiction category Monday, will continue to roll out its longlists of 80 authors in eight categories through Dec. 10.

Finalists in each category will be announced Feb. 2, and some of the winners will be announced March 1. The remaining awards for debut fiction, art of the essay, open book, literary science writing and the PEN/Fusion Prize will be named live at the 2016 PEN Literary Awards ceremony April 11 in New York City.