Yale University recently announced the eight recipients of the 2022 Windham-Campbell Prizes, marking the 10th anniversary of one of the world’s most significant international literary awards.
Administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the awards are conferred annually to eight authors writing in English anywhere in the world. Eighty-three writers representing 21 countries across the globe have received the prizes since they were first awarded in 2013. Each winner receives a $165,000 prize.
Two of this year’s winners are African American women with ties to the academic world.
Margo Jefferson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book and theater critic, and a former staff writer for The New York Times and Newsweek, won in the nonfiction category. She has authored several nonfiction books, including On Michael Jackson (Vintage, 2006) her analysis of how the pop-music superstar’s life and career disrupted conventional understandings of gender, race, and mental illness. Jefferson is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and earned a master degree at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where she is now a professor of professional practice in writing.
Sharon Bridgforth won in the drama category. A writer and theater director, she was associated with Austin Project at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught at Northwestern University and DePaul University in Chicago. Since 2009, Bridgforth has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York.