The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation announced the 24 winners of this year’s $500,000 “genius” awards. The 11 men and 13 women selected will each receive $100,000 for the next five years, to do with as they please.
The book world has two winners: short fiction writer and poet Stuart Dybek, author, most recently, of the story collection I Sailed with Magellan; and poet Peter Cole, author of two poetry collections, including Hymns and Qualms, translator of many Middle Eastern authors, and also co-founder and co-editor of the influential press Ibis Editions, which specializes in little known literary works in translation from the Middle East.
Past winners have included the fiction writers Lydia Davis, Cormac McCarthy and Colson Whitehead, and poets John Ashbery, C.D. Wright and Charles Simic. According to the foundation, the grants are awarded to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction."