It’s been a big week for Palo Alto.
Last night Obama showed up for a $30,000-a-plate dinner at the home of Google VP Marissa Mayer. The Dalai Lama spent two days speaking on altruism at Stanford. And Harrison Ford flew into town to stand next to the biologist E. O. Wilson for a press announcement at the Garden Court.
Of the three events, the Ford/Wilson announcement is the one that speaks most clearly to active writers. The actor and the Harvard biodiversity expert were here to kick off a new literary award–the $10,000 PEN/E.O.Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. The intent of the award is to encourage and support those writers who know how to marry literature with science.
Wilson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction book The Ants, funded the award together with Ford who is an active conservationist. The award becomes another in the prestigious collection offered by the PEN (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors and novelists) American Center, including:
– the PEN/Nabokov Award
– the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction
– the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction
– the PEN/Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
If this is your genre, go for it.