The 2014 winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Award, a prize book series initiated by two Ashland English professors and published by University of New Mexico Press, reaped a major PEN literary award at ceremonies in New York City on Monday, March 27. Angela Morales, whose The Girls in My Town was selected by bestselling author Cheryl Strayed as a River Teeth winner from five finalists chosen by AU English Professors Joe Mackall and Dan Lehman, won the 2017 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for Art of the Essay. Morales’s PEN award carries a $10,000 prize.
In citing the River Teeth book series winner, PEN judges stated: “The Girls in My Town is the work of a masterful writer who is adept at the art of implication. The elegantly structured essays in The Girls in My Town illuminate the politics of everyday life with quiet wit and real humanity. Angela Morales writes with nuance, humility, and bold feminism about life and death, love and anger, and striving to find a place to belong.”