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Scholars Among the New Crop of Pulitzer Prize Winners

May 10, 2022

Scholars won a number of the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes, announced Monday. They include:

Criticism: Critic and activist Salamishah Tillet, a New York Times contributor and professor of creative writing and African American and African studies at Rutgers University, who won “for learned and stylish writing about Black stories in art and popular culture.”

Drama: Playwright and actor James Ijames, a theater professor at Villanova University, for Fat Ham, “a funny, poignant play that deftly transposes ‘Hamlet’ to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty.”

History: Nicole Eustace, a history professor at New York University, for Covered with Night (Liveright/Norton), “a gripping account of Indigenous justice in early America, and how the aftermath of a settler’s murder led to the oldest continuously recognized treaty in the United States.” Also Ada Ferrer, a professor of history and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University, for Cuba: An American History (Scribner), “an original and compelling history, spanning five centuries, of the island that became an obsession for many presidents and policy makers.”

Biography: Erin I. Kelly, a philosophy professor at Tufts University, for telling the story of the late artist Winfred Rembert in Chasing Me to My Grave (Bloomsbury), “a searing first-person illustrated account of an artist’s life during the 1950s and 1960s in an unreconstructed corner of the deep South.”

Poetry: Diane Seuss, who taught at Kalamazoo College from 1988 to 2016, for frank: sonnets (Graywolf Press), “a virtuosic collection that inventively expands the sonnet form to confront the messy contradictions of contemporary America.”

Music: Composer and performer Raven Chacon, who has taught at the California College of the Arts, for Voiceless Mass, “a mesmerizing, original work for organ and ensemble that evokes the weight of history in a church setting.”



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