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Wolcott, Bidart among winners of PEN awards

James Wolcott, author of the essay collection

James Wolcott, author of the essay collection "Critical Mass" (Doubleday, 2013), has won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the art of the essay. Photo Credit: Gasper Tringale

Playwright David Rabe, journalist and critic James Wolcott and poet Frank Bidart are among this year's winners of awards given out by the PEN American Center, the literary and human rights organization.

Ron Childress' "And West is West" won the $25,000 PEN/Bellwether Prize for socially engaged fiction. Wolcott received a $10,000 "Art of the Essay" prize for his collection "Critical Mass." Rabe won the $7,500 "Master Dramatist" prize. He's known for "Hurly Burly" and "Sticks and Bones," among other plays.

Bidart was awarded $5,000 for his "distinguished and growing body of work." His books include "Desire" and "Metaphysical Dog."

The honors were announced Wednesday by PEN.

Among other winners, Donald Margulies received $7,500 for best midcareer playwright and Laura Marks was awarded $2,500 for best emerging playwright.

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