The Call of a Lifetime
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.
English language writers from anywhere in the world are eligible. This year's recipients are: in drama, Lucas Hnath (US) and Suzan-Lori Parks (US); in nonﬁction, Sarah Bakewell (UK) and Olivia Laing (UK); in ﬁction, John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK); and in poetry, Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) and Cathy Park Hong (US).
Writers from around the world are nominated conﬁdentially and judged anonymously. The call that Prize recipients receive from program director Michael Kelleher is the ﬁrst time that they have learned of their consideration.
“The day I make the call to notify award recipients is the highlight of the year, as each cycle I hear how much of a diﬀerence it will make for them” said Kelleher. “Six years on, we can now to see the impact the prizes have on these writers' lives, careers, and their work. The feeling is magical.”