Black, Gay Poet and Musical Theater Creative Win Pulitzer Prize
Updated: May 5
Winners of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize were announced earlier today, and two of the winners of the prestigious prize are Black gay men. Poet Jericho Brown was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection titled "The Tradition," and Michael R. Jackson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical "A Strange Loop."
Brown's "The Tradition" is described as a "collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence."
In a profile in The New York Times, writer Maya Phillips writes of Brown: "Brown creates poetry that is a catalog of injuries past and present, personal and national, in a country where blackness, particularly male blackness, is akin to illness."
Likewise, Michael R. Jackson left critics and audiences in awe of his artistry brought to life on stage in the award-winning musical "A Strange Loop."
The musical, inspired by Jackson's own experiences, follows a young artist at war with a host of demons—not least of which are the punishing thoughts in his own head—in an attempt to capture and understand his own strange loop.
“It’s about a black, queer man writing a musical about a black, queer man who’s writing a musical about a black queer man who’s writing a musical about a black queer man, etc," Jackson tells the New York Times.
Out actor and "A Strange Loop" cast member, Larry Owens, shed tears of joy on Twitter after learning of Jackson's Pulitzer Prize win.
The Pulitzer Prize, honoring Journalism, Letters, and Music in addition to Drama, comes with a $15,000 cash award.