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Mailer Gala, 2014 News

Today, the Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony announced that Don DeLillo, Billy Collins, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, will be the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Norman Mailer Prize. The awards will be presented at the sixth annual benefit gala on Monday, October 27, 2014, at the historical New York Public Library in New York City. The Norman Mailer Prize has been awarded to some of the world’s most esteemed writers, including, Joyce Carol Oates, Dr. Eli Wiesel, and Dr. Maya Angelou, among others. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies and additional honorees will be announced in the early fall.

The theme for the sixth annual gala will be ‘On the Road with Norman Mailer,’ a reference to the foundation’s signature On the Road writing fellowship and workshop program, which takes emerging writers from all over the world quite literally on the road to a location that inspired Norman Mailer’s writing career. The program recently concluded a three-week trip to Salt Lake City Utah, where Mailer researched and began writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Executioner’s Song.

Luxury Maison Van Cleef & Arpels will return for a third year as the gala’s lead underwriter, continuing their sponsorship of the foundation’s Poetry Fellowship for a fourth consecutive year.  

“We are proud to sponsor the Norman Mailer Center’s Poetry Fellowship and offer our continued support as an underwriter of the Norman Mailer Center Gala,” said Alain Bernard, President & CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, Americas.  “Van Cleef & Arpels has found great inspiration in poetry and literature and applauds the excellent work the Norman Mailer Center has done in cultivating literary talent. We look forward to joining the Center in recognizing and celebrating the literary success of this year’s recipients of the Norman Mailer Prize,” Bernard continued.

The partnership between the Norman Mailer Center and Van Cleef & Arpels was born from a mutual appreciation for the art of poetry and an earnest desire to develop the next generation of writers, and recognize those writers who have provoked important dialogues.  The ability to tell a story and convey the “Poetry of Time” through design has been a hallmark of Van Cleef & Arpels creations.  From Jules Verne to Shakespeare, for over a century the Maison has drawn inspiration from literature for its jewelry and timepiece creations.

Like The Norman Mailer Center and their On the Road program, Van Cleef & Arpels has also committed itself to education with the unveiling of L’École Van Cleef & Arpels in Place Vendôme in 2012. L’École is the first school to shed light on the hidden worlds of jewelry and watchmaking by offering the public an intellectual and emotional understanding of the spirit of these exceptional crafts, encouraging mastery of their techniques through personal experience, and educating the hand, eye and sense of taste. L’École will make its U.S. debut in New York in May 2015.

Don DeLillo will be honored with the Norman Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement. 

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Underworld, Falling Man, White Noise, and Libra. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work, and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Prize. The Angel Esmeralda was a finalist for the 2011 Story Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In October 2012, DeLillo receives the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his body of work. 

Billy Collins will be honored with the Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Poetry.

Billy Collins is an American phenomenon.  No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.”  His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. Billy Collins has published ten collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.   In June 2001, Billy Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003.  In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06. Billy Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. 

Katrina vanden Heuvel will be honored with the Norman Mailer Prize for Magazine Publishing. 

Katrina vanden Heuvel is Editor and Publisher of The Nation.  She is a frequent commentator on American and international politics for ABC, MSNBC, CNN and PBS. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The Boston Globe.  She writes a weekly web column for The Washington Post. Her blog “Editor’s Cut” appears at thenation.com.  She is the author of The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in The Age of Obama (Nation Books, 2011). She is also the editor of Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover and co-editor of Taking Back America—And Taking Down The Radical Right.

The annual gala attracts over 300 distinguished guests from the worlds of literature, culture, business and philanthropy, including Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, and National Book Award winners.  Proceeds from the gala go towards supporting the Center’s programming and fellowships for developing writers.