These three writers just won MacArthur “genius” grants.

Dan Sheehan

October 4, 2023, 3:16pm

Earlier today, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the 2023 class of fellows, often known as recipients of the “genius grant”—an $800,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.

Each of the recipients receives the whopping 800k purse over five years to spend in whatever manner they see fit, though they are selected “for the exceptional work they’ve already done, their ability to do more and their ability to leverage and be enabled by the fellowship itself.”

This year’s crop includes a master Hula dancer, a cellular and molecular biologist, a composer, and a hydroclimatist, to name but a few, but our main interest here at Lit Hub lies with the writers, so here they are, your freshly minted literary geniuses:

Ada Limón, 47, Lexington, Kentucky, a poet (and current U.S. poet laureate) whose work often draws from the wonder of the natural world and who has worked to bring poetry to new audiences.

Manuel Muñoz, 51, Tucson, Arizona, a fiction writer whose stories are rooted in the multifaceted experiences of the Mexican American community in California’s Central Valley.

Imani Perry, 51, Cambridge, Massachusetts, an interdisciplinary scholar and writer who has authored multiple books about the resistance and activism of Black Americans in the face of injustice

You can check out the entire list of 2023 fellows here.

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