June 4, 2015, New York, NY — The Center for Fiction is pleased to announce that Daniel Halpern, Publisher and President of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the recipient of its 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.
The Center for Fiction is dedicated to celebrating, supporting and furthering the creation and enjoyment of the art of fiction and is the only non-profit literary organization in the United States devoted entirely to this art form. The award will be presented to Mr. Halpern at the Center’s December 8 Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City. Upon the announcement Mr. Halpern said: “It is an honor to be recognized for doing what makes you happiest – for me, publishing fiction by some of the finest writers an editor (and reader) could imagine working with. But to be recognized by The Center for Fiction – an organization that supports and celebrates the art of fiction in so many important ways – is the true honor.”
The Maxwell E. Perkins Award recognizes an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States. It honors Maxwell E. Perkins, of Scribner, one of the most important and admired editors in American literary history. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Ernest Hemingway are three of the many writers he supported over his long career.
Daniel Halpern was born in Syracuse, New York, grew up in Los Angeles and Seattle, and has lived in Tangier, Morocco, New York City and Princeton. He is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Something Shining. For 25 years, Halpern edited the international literary magazine Antaeus, which he founded in Tangier with Paul Bowles.
Halpern has received numerous grants and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the 1993 PEN Publisher Citation. In 2009, he received the first “Editor’s Award,” given by Poets and Writers, which recognizes a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. From 1975 to 1995 he taught in the graduate writing program of Columbia University, which he chaired for many years. He has also taught at The New School for Social Research and Princeton University. And in 1978, with James A. Michener, he founded The National Poetry Series, which oversees the publication of five books of poetry every year.
Halpern is publisher and president of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. He lives in New York and Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife, the writer Jeanne Wilmot, and their daughter Lily. Among the authors he has worked with at both Ecco and Antaeus are Cormac McCarthy, Louise Gluck, Richard Ford, Anthony Bourdain, Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Tan, Tom Robbins, Jorie Graham, Philipp Meyer, Leonard Cohen, Lawrence Durrell, John Fowles, Russell Banks, Robert Stone, Patti Smith, Tobias Wolff, Charles Simic, Italo Calvino, Paul Bowles, Pete Dexter, Gay Talese, Erica Jong, Vendela Vida, T.C. Boyle, Jorge Luis Borges, John Ashbery, William Burroughs, William T. Vollmann, Tennessee Williams, Nell Freudenberger, Mark Strand, Natasha Trethewey, and many others.
The Center for Fiction presented the first Maxwell E. Perkins Award in 2005 to Nan A. Talese of Doubleday. In 2006, the recipient was Gary Fisketjon of Alfred A. Knopf, and in 2007 it was Harcourt editor, Drenka Willen. The 4th Maxwell E. Perkins Award was presented in 2008 to the President of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Jonathan Galassi, and the 2009 recipient was Gerald Howard, Vice President and Executive Director of Doubleday. The 6th Maxwell E. Perkins Award was presented in 2010 to Amanda Urban, Executive Vice President of ICM, and the 2011 recipient was Nan Graham, Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Scribner. The 8th Maxwell E. Perkins Award was presented in 2012 to Deborah Treisman, Fiction Editor of The New Yorker, and the 2013 recipient was Robin Desser, Vice President, Editorial Director of Alfred A. Knopf. Last year’s Maxwell E. Perkins Award, the 10th given, was presented to Nicole Aragi, Agent of Aragi, Inc.
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The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library of New York, is dedicated to celebrating, supporting and furthering the creation and enjoyment of the art of fiction. The Center utilizes all its resources, including its renowned circulating collection and an array of innovative programming, to engage the reading public and build a larger audience for fiction. The Center serves as a vibrant meeting place where prominent and emerging writers come together with readers in conversation, and where writers can work, exchange ideas and share their gifts.
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