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LANNAN LITERARY AWARDS BESTOWS $35,000 EACH ON 6 AMERICAN WRITERS

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Six American writers have been chosen to receive the first Lannan Literary Awards, which encourage high-quality contemporary literature in the English language, the Los Angeles-based Lannan Foundation announced.

This is the first year the foundation, established by the late collector and entrepreneur J. Patrick Lannan, has bestowed the award, which offers each winner $35,000.A special award for outstanding literary achievement was awarded to Kay Boyle, a poet, essayist and novelist who founded the San Francisco chapter of Amnesty International.

The award for poetry was given to Cid Cemon, author of more than 60 books, who owns and operates a small homemade ice cream store in Kyoto, Japan.

Environmentalist Wendell Berry, whose works focus on the earth's limited resources and the problems of agriculture, won the award for non-fiction.

Novelist and screenwriter John Berger won the fiction award. For the past 15 years Berger has been living in a village in the French Alps and writing about peasant life.

Two California poets, Peter Levitt and George Evans, won special literary fellowships.