Pulitzer Prize recipients... Poet Tyehimba Jess and Lynn Nottage, the playwright


FOUR African Americans are among the list of 21 artists nominated for awards by the Pulitzer Prize Committee.

The categories for the four winners include poetry, criticism, drama and fiction.

Poet Tyehimba Jess has been inducted into this year’s class of Pulitzer Prize winners for his poetry collection titled Olio. Critics have described Jess’ poetry as a “bridge” that merges music and history. Jess, who was born in Detroit won the Whiting Award for Leadbelly, his first poetry book, in 2006. He is currently an Associate Professor of English at the College of Staten Island in New York City.

Lynn Nottage, the playwright who was born in Brooklyn won this year’s Pulitzer Prize in the drama category for her play, Sweat, which has featured on-Broadway. The play is about long-term friends who are pitted against each other after being laid off from their jobs at a factory.

Incredibly, Nottage has won this award twice – which makes her the first female playwright in Pulitzer Prize history to win this award a second time around!

Hilton critic
Hilton Als…theatre critic

Hilton Als acquired this year’s Pulitzer Prize award for his theatre criticism at The New Yorker. Als has been with The New Yorker since 1994. He was a staff writer before being promoted to his current theatre critic role in 2002.

Als also works part-time as an Associate Professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Novelist Colson Whitehead
Novelist Colson Whitehead

Novelist Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for Underground Railroad in the fiction category. The novel narrates the journey of two slaves who escape from their plantation in Georgia and follow the escape route of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad became a New York Times Best Seller soon after its release.