Fil-Am author Randy Ribay wins Spalding Prize for Peace and Justice in Literature

Randy Ribay Peace and Justice in Literature
Randy Ribay and his award-winning book. Photo from Good River Review website.

Fil-Am author Randy Ribay has won the 2022 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his young adult novel, Patron Saints of Nothing.

The Philippine-born US-raised Ribay was named this year’s winner for his powerful coming-of-age story about a Filipino-American teenager who tries to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines.

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The Spalding Prize awarded by the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, was established to honor a work of literature that exemplifies the university’s mission and its “community’s core commitment to compassion.” The prize includes a cash award of $7,500 and a residency invitation as a distinguished visiting writer.

“Patron Saints of Nothing is one of the most satisfyingly complex narratives I’ve had the pleasure to read lately,” writes Kathleen Driskell, chair of the Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing in Good River Review, the literary journal of the graduate school at Spalding University.

The book follows Jay, a Filipino-American teenager who comes to the Philippines to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in the country.

“Part mystery, part thriller, and part identity novel, Ribay’s lyrical story is set in present-day Philippines and interrogates the justice of Duterte’s war on drugs,” Driskell adds.

In 2019, “Patron Saints of Nothing” was selected as a Freeman Book Award winner. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award, LA Times Book Prize, Edgar Award for YA, International Thriller Writers YA Award, Amelia Walden Award, CILIP Carnegie Medal, and 17 state awards.

Born in the Philippines, Randy Ribay was raised in the Midwest. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Ribay is also the author of “After the Shot Drops” and “An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes.” He currently teaches English and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Patron Saints of Nothing” is available on Penguin Random House and Fully Booked.

Filipino writers gaining overseas acclaim for their work include Gina Apostol, who has been awarded the 2022 Rome Prize in Literature, and Filipino American author Lysley Tenorio whose award-winning debut novel will soon be adapted into a comedy series at Amazon.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino-American writer Randy Ribay for winning the 2022 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his young adult novel, Patron Saints of Nothing.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.