In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Prizes in 2016 Humanities Montana is partnering with over a dozen other cultural organizations to explore Pulitzer Prize winning poets and poetry. Two large-scale readings and discussions featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poets will bookend the year, but many of the planned events will involve children and young adults, and rural communities.
2016 programming will include visits from Pulitzer Prize winning poets Vijay Seshadri and Greg Pardlo, workshops in k-12 classrooms across the state, community conversations using poetry to discuss big contemporary issues, and presentations on the work of literary artists like Galway Kinnell, Kay Ryan, and Robert Frost.
This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Council in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.
Poet, essayist, and critic Vijay Seshadri was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his third collection of poems, 3 Sections (2013). The Pulitzer committee described the book as "a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless." Seshadri has worked as an editor at The New Yorker and currently directs the graduate non-fiction writing program at Sarah Lawrence College.
Gregory Pardlo’s poems, reviews, and translations have been widely published. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his second volume, Digest (2014). The Pulitzer judges cited Pardlo’s "clear-voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st Century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private." Pardlo is an associate editor for the literary journal Callaloo and teaches creative writing at Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn.