JUSFC40: Creative Artist Program Alumnae Sawako Nakayasu and Marie Mockett are 2016 PEN Award Finalists

February 2, 2016 

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is delighted to announce that U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Program Alumnae Sawako Nakayasu  and Marie Mutsuki Mockett  have been shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and the 2016 PEN Open Book Award , respectively. Since 1978, the Commission has worked with the National Endowment for the Arts to implement the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists’ Program. This important bilateral program allows artists to research and experience both the traditional and contemporary artistic milieu of Japan.  The Commission is marking its 40th anniversary through 2016.

The Poetry in Translation award recognizes book-length translations of poetry from any language into English published in 2015. Ms. Nakayasu is shortlisted for The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa, translated from the Japanese. The Open Book Award recognizes exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color, published in 2015. Ms. Mockett is shortlisted for her work Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey.

Sawako Nakayasu is an award-winning poet. Her most recent books are The Ants, and Texture Notes, and recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika, and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Costume en Face.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett is an award-winning author. Her first novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for The New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, Glamour, and has been a guest on Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on NPR.