Writers for Writers Awards, Editor’s Award

Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards

Recipients of the 2015 Writers for Writers Awards are Margaret Atwood, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, and Christopher Castellani. The awards will be presented at Poets & Writers’ annual dinner, In Celebration of Writers, on Monday, March 23, 2015, in New York City. 

Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest work is a book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014). Her most recent novel, MaddAddam (2013) is the third in a trilogy, the second being The Year of the Flood (2009) and the first being the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003). Other recent publications include The Door, a volume of poetry (2007), Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Additional titles include the 2000 Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Robber Bride; Cat’s Eye; The Handmaid’s Tale; and The Penelopiad. Ms. Atwood is being honored for cofounding the Writers’ Trust of Canada, which provides more financial support to Canadian writers than any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. 

Cheryl Boyce-TaylorPoet
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is the founder and curator of the Calypso Muse Reading Series and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: University of Southern Maine, and an MSW from Fordham University. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, and Convincing the Body. She has received support from Poets & Writers through the Readings & Workshops program and has read and taught poetry workshops at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, the louderARTS Project, Poets House, and the New York Public Library. Her poetry has been commissioned by Jacob's Pillow, the Joyce Theater, and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company, and has been published in Callaloo, Mom Egg Review, Caribbean Erotica, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Adrienne, and Pluck!. She is a founding editor of the Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women's Poetry. Ms. Boyce-Taylor is being recognized for founding Calypso Muse and her other efforts to strengthen the community of Caribbean-American poets in New York City.

Christopher CastellaniChristopher Castellani is the author of three novels: All This Talk of Love (2013), a New York Times Editors’ Choice; The Saint of Lost Things (2005); and A Kiss from Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. For the past fifteen years, Castellani has helped build and develop various nationally-recognized programs for Grub Street, one of the country’s leading independent writing centers, where he currently serves as artistic director. In addition to his work at Grub Street, Christopher teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He lives in Boston, where he is working on a novel, Leading Men, for which he won a 2014 Guggenheim fellowship. His next book, The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, a collection of essays on the craft of fiction, will be published by Graywolf in fall 2015. Mr. Castellani is being honored for his service to GrubStreet.

Established in 1996, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards celebrate authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Nominations are solicited from past winners, other prominent writers, members of the publishing community, and Poets & Writers’ Board and staff. Nominations are reviewed and winners selected by a committee comprised of current and past members of the Board of Directors. Title of the award has been given to Barnes & Noble in appreciation of their extraordinary support of Poets & Writers.

The Editor’s Award

The 2015 Editor’s Award will be presented to Barbara Epler

Barbara EplerBarbara Epler is the president and publisher of New Directions, where she began working after graduating from college in 1984. At New Directions, she edited the first English translation of German writer W. G. Sebald, and was the first American editor to acquire Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s work, essentially introducing these two authors to American audiences and to critical acclaim. Other distinguished authors she has worked with include César Aira, Anne Carson, Inger Christensen, Yoel Hoffmann, Susan Howe, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Michael Palmer, Yoko Tawada, and Tomas Tranströmer. Ms. Epler has also helped spur the American revival of writers including Clarice Lispector, Joseph Roth, and Robert Walser.

The Editor’s Award has been given each year since 2009 to a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. Ms. Epler joins a prestigious list of past honorees that includes Chuck Adams, Kathryn Court, Jonathan Galassi, Daniel Halpern, Kate Medina, and Patricia Strachan. As with the Writers for Writers Award, nominations are solicited from past winners, other prominent writers, members of the publishing community, and Poets & Writers' Board and staff; these are reviewed and winners selected by a committee comprised of current and past members of the Board of Directors. 

Photos: Margaret Atwood by Jean Malek; Cheryl Boyce-Taylor by Peter Dressler; Christopher Castellani by wowe; Barbara Epler by Nina Subin.


Ian Frazier
Haki R. Madhubuti
Joyce Carol Oates
Kate Medina (Editor's Award)

Barbara Kingsolver
Sidney Offit
Quincy Troupe 

Steve Berry
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Judith Kelman
Chuck Adams (Editor's Award)
Leonard Riggo (Leadership Award)

Judy Blume
Oakley Hall
Sharon Olds 

David Baldacci
Kwame Dawes
Carol Muske-Dukes
Kathryn Court (Editor's Award)

Bob Holman
Ishmael Reed
Amy Tan 

Maria Mazziotti Gillan
John Grisham
Elizabeth Nunez
Jonathan Galassi (Editor's Award) 

E. Lynn Harris
June Jordan
Wally Lamb 

Junot Díaz 
Maxine Hong Kingston
M. L. Liebler
Pat Strachan (Editor's Award) 

Cornelius Eady
Marita Golden
Scott Turow 

Russell Banks
Robert Caro
Sarah Gambito
Daniel Halpern (Editor's Award) 

Stanley Kunitz
Barbara Goldsmith
Terry McMillan 

Toi Derricotte
A.M. Homes
Peter Straub 

Edward Albee
E. L. Doctorow
Susan Sontag 

E. Ethelbert Miller
Francine Prose
Susan Richards Shreve 

Rita Dove 
Stephen King 
Hilma Wolitzer

Regie Cabico
Bill Henderson
Anna Quindlen 

Mary Higgins Clark 
James A. Michener 
Arthur Miller 
Walter Mosley 
William Styron