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MacDowell Fellows Well Represented Among 2014 Pulitzer and Guggenheim Winners

Jonathan Gourlay - April 18, 2014

Type: Artist News

Annie Baker worked in New Jersey Studio in 2009.

Annie Baker worked in New Jersey Studio in 2009.

Pulitzers for poetry and drama, plus 23 Guggenheim fellowships awarded to MacDowell artists.

When the 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships and Pulitzer Prizes were announced earlier this month, numerous MacDowell Colony fellows were among those honored by both the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Pulitzer Prizes were awarded to MacDowell Fellows in the drama and poetry categories, while another was named as a finalist in the fiction category.

Annie Baker (above), who was in residence in 2009, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play The Flick. (She also was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship this month.) The Pulitzer board called the play “a thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters that focuses on three employees of a Massachusetts art-house movie theater, rendering lives rarely seen on the stage.” The two finalists in the category are also fellows: Madeline George – who was at MacDowell in 2004 – for The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, and Lisa Kron – in residence in 1995 and 2014 – for Fun Home (Kron’s collaborator Jeanine Tesori composed the music).

Poet Vijay Seshadri, who was in residence in 1998 and 2004, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection 3 Sections, which was begun at MacDowell and includes four poems written here. In its notes on the selection, the prize committee said the collection examines “human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.”

Philipp Meyer’s novel The Son, which he worked on while in residence in 2010, was listed as a finalist for the top prize in fiction, which went to Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

Finally, The Washington Post and Guardian U.S. were named Pulitzer winners for their reporting based on classified documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden that revealed “widespread” surveillance by the National Security Agency. The New York Times reported that MacDowell Fellow and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras put Snowden in touch with the journalists who broke the story.

The MacDowell Colony also congratulates 23 MacDowell Fellows who won 2014 Guggenheim Fellowships. They are among 178 artists and scholars chosen from among almost 3,000 applicants for the awards.

In its 90th year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation chooses winners based on “prior achievement and exceptional promise.” Among this year’s winners are the following MacDowell Fellows with the years of their residencies indicated:

Chloe Aridjis, writer, 2010
Annie Baker, playwright, 2009
Susan Bee, painter, 2012
Rachel Cohen, writer, 2000, 2002
Nancy Davidson, interdisciplinary artist, 2003
Chris Doyle, interdisciplinary artist, 2005
Denise Duhamel, poet, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2004
Sharon Hayes, interdisciplinary artist, 1999
Mikel Kuehn, composer, 1995, 2006
William Lamson, interdisciplinary artist, 2009
Joshua Marston, filmmaker, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2012
Susan Orlean, writer, 2010
Meghan O’Rourke, poet, 2009, 2011
Julie Orringer, writer, 2005, 2006, 2008
Lynne Sachs, filmmaker, 2006, 2012
Judith Simonian, painter, 2009
Jeffrey Thomas Skinner, poet, 2009
Patricia Smith, poet, 2012
Stacey Steers, filmmaker, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013
Rachel Sussman, photographer, 2005, 2013
Mary Szybist, poet, 2007
Deke Weaver, performance artist, 2007
Marjorie Welish, poet, 1978, 1987