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MAEV BEATY IN SECRET LIFE OF A MOTHER. | PHOTOGRAPH BY KYLE PURCELL.

Dear Reader:

This month, we’re celebrating our drama prize recipients. Below are some beyond-Broadway highlights to keep in mind for this season and beyond.

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Dear Reader:

Many of you are receiving this letter for the first time, as we accepted more than 500 new sign-ups at our Brooklyn Book Festival booth. Welcome! We'll write every month of so with meaningful news from the world of the Windham-Campbell Prizes and its recipients.

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Reading in the Garden by Henri Lebasque

As temperatures climb in New Haven, we've been delighted to receive notes from friends of the Prizes who are scattered around the globe. They've written to us about their experiences reading works by 2018 prize recipients, and we're hoping their thoughts inspire your own readerly explorations.

Aaliyah Ibrahim on Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's Kintu

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Dear Reader:

The heart of our story is a love story that you may have heard–maybe at Damian Barr's Literary Salon in London, where we celebrated it a few years ago–that started one day in the studio of Paul Cadmus, where Donald Windham met Sandy Campbell, a model for the artist's paintings. (Listen to Prize Director Michael Kelleher tell the story here.)

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Dear Reader:

Thinking of what to pick up next at the bookstore or read with your book club? This month, we're spotlighting Aminatta Forna, 2014 Windham-Campbell Prize recipient, currently on tour with her widely-acclaimed new novel, Happiness. In her own words,

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The Windham-Campbell Prizes announced today that Elizabeth Alexander will give the “Why I Write” opening ceremony keynote at its sixth annual festival (September 12-14), and that Yale University Press will publish an edition of the keynote given by last year’s speaker, Karl Ove Knausgaard, under the title Inadvertent this September 4th.

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L to R: Sandy Campbell, W. H. Auden, and Donald Windham.

Dear Reader,

How are you? Like everyone else on the East Coast, we're scanning the skies for signs of spring, late in coming this year. Of course, as T. S. Eliot reminds us, April is the cruelest month …

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2018 Prize Recipients

The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes recently made the call of a lifetime to eight entirely surprised writers, informing them that they will each be recognized with a $165,000 USD prize to support their writing. Awards will be conferred September 12-14 at an international literary festival at Yale, where the Prizes are based.

Established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes are among the richest and most prestigious literary prizes on earth.

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Time to Write

Dear Reader,
 
Mark your calendars! On March 7, we'll reveal this year's Windham-Campbell Prize recipients.
 
Each year, when we announce the names, the media fills with stories of "the call": the life-changing conversation with Prize Director Michael Kelleher in which eight writers learn that they'll receive an enormous sum of money to support their future work.
 

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