Two Women Scholars Win Pulitzer Prizes

In addition to multiple awards in the field of journalism, Pulitzer Prizes are awarded in fiction, playwriting, poetry, history, biography, general nonfiction, and music. This year, two of the Pulitzers in these categories were awarded to women with ties to academia.

Tracy K. Smith won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her collection entitled Life on Mars (Graywolf Press). The judges called Life on Mars “a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.”

Smith is an assistant professor of creative writing at Princeton University. She joined the Princeton faculty in 2006.

Smith was raised in northern California. She is a 1994 graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in English and American literature as well as Afro-American studies. She earned a master of fine arts degree at Columbia University.

Quiara Alegria Hudes, visiting writing in the theater department at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for her play “Water by the Spoonful.” The play, which was first staged in Hartford, Connecticut, last fall, is about a Hispanic soldier who was wounded in Iraq and returns home to Philadelphia.

A native of West Philadelphia, Hudes is a graduate of Yale University and holds a master of fine arts degree from Brown University.

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