Author Roxane Gay receives 2015 'Freedom to Write' award

November 6, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The PEN Center USA is honoring Roxane Gay with the 2015 Freedom to Write Award.

Gay, a Purdue University associate professor of creative writing, will receive the award at the 25th Annual Literary Awards Festival Nov. 16 in Beverly Hills, California.

"Roxane Gay is one of our nation's most insightful writers and a thought leader," said David Reingold, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts. "I applaud the PEN Center's bold tradition of recognizing people who challenge the status quo."

The award is given to individuals and organizations that have produced notable work in the face of extreme adversity or demonstrated exceptional courage in the defense of free expression.

"The freedom to write has been one of my life's greatest blessings and it is a freedom that should be available to everyone who wants or needs to share their voice. I am thankful that organizations like PEN Center USA are doing the necessary work to ensure that such freedom is protected. It is humbling to be considered worthy of such an award. I am thrilled and honored," Gay said.

Gay is the author of the novel "An Untamed State" and the story collection "Ayiti." She is best known for her New York Times best-selling collection of essays in "Bad Feminist." Gay's work has appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review among other places, and she also is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

PEN Center USA is a literary arts and human rights organization based in Beverly Hills. In October, it announced additional honorees for 2015, including filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; John Kiriakou, who will receive the First Amendment Award; and independent nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, which will receive the Award of Honor. 

Writer: John Hughey, 765-494-2432,

Source: David A. Reingold, 765-494-3661, 

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