MFA in Writing Faculty Member Tyehimba Jess Recognized

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing faculty member Tyehimba Jess was recently named as a finalist in the 2017 PEN America Literacy Awards for work on his second novel, Olio

Part fact and part fiction, Jess' second work investigates the lives of African American performers prior to the Civil War leading all the way up to World War I through narrative, song and sonnet. 

Jess will now have a chance to win the Jean Stein Book Award, which recognizes works of a groundbreaking and influential nature, and the $75,000 that accompanies the award. 

The winner of the Jean Stein Book Award will be announced at the 2017 PEN America Literacy Awards Ceremony, which will be held on March 27 at the New School's John L. Tishman Auditorium in Manhattan. 

PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world’s leading international literary and human rights organization. PEN International was founded in 1921 in direct response to the ethnic and national divisions that contributed to the First World War. PEN American Center was founded in 1922 and is the largest of the 144 PEN centers in 101 countries that together comprise PEN International.

Consistently ranked among the top low-residency programs in the world, Pacific University's MFA in Writing program is celebrates writing as an art that has the potential to make a difference in the world.

Friday, March 17, 2017