Claudia Rankine, Maggie Nelson and 10 Other Dope Women Just Got a 2016 MacArthur 'Genius' GrantLatest
Last year’s winners of this very prestigious award include Ta-Nehisi Coates, your boyfriend Lin-Manuel Miranda and Michelle Dorrance, a tap dancer who was also in STOMP. This year, women dominated the list. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these women and appreciate what they’ve done and what they will do for the culture.Claudia Rankine is a poet and the author of Citizen, a slim volume of lyrical poetry that presents illuminates the various everyday micro and macro-aggressions that black people face in this country on a daily basis. If none of this rings a bell, you may remember her book as the one being read by this hero at a Trump rally last year. She’s fucking great. Go buy her book; read it now! Here’s Maggie Nelson, critic and author of the beautiful and heartbreaking book The Argonauts. Her work looks at her personal life through a critical lens and is really, really great. Read Maggie Nelson if you haven’t already; start with The Red Parts, move on to Bluets and end with The Argonauts. You’re welcome!!
These women are in some pretty incredible company. There’s geo-biologist Victoria Orphan who studies microbial communities in extreme environments; Dianne Newman, a microbiologist concerned with the role bacteria played in shaping the earth; Julia Wolfe, a post-minimalist whose work deconstructs traditional American genres like folk and rock to create compositions rooted in historical narrative (they’re incredible); Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a bioengineer concerned with global health disparities in areas with little resources; Mary Reid Kelly, a video artist exploring women’s lives and the condition of women throughout history; Laurie Redniss, a visual artist and writer who wrote this beautiful book about weather, of all things; and Sarah Stillman, a journalist reporting on stories about social injustices normally invisible to the mainstream, like this bonkers tale about what happens to juveniles who are found guilty of sexual misconduct.
That’s a lot of really incredible women who will now have a bunch of money to continue to do their very important and inspiring work! The full list of newly-minted geniuses is available here.