Alumni News, Awards and Honors

Bennington Alumni Announced as Pulitzer Prize Finalists

Multimedia artist Nigel Poor ’86 and poet Mary Ruefle '74 have been announced as finalists for the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes.

Pulitzer Prize medallions

Multimedia artist Nigel Poor ’86, who will deliver the Commencement address at Bennington College's 2020 Commencement, is co-creator, co-producer, and co-host of the award-winning podcast Ear HustleAlong with her co-hosts, Earlonne Woods and Rahsaan Thomas, Poor has been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Audio Reporting for season four of Ear Hustle, a "consistently surprising and beautifully crafted series on life behind bars produced by inmates of San Quentin State Prison."

For Dunce, her collection of "poems of wildness and wit that swerve away from the predictable as they balance comedy and melancholy," Vermont Poet Laureate Mary Ruefle '74 has been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in Poetry. 

Poetry at Bennington guest and past Bennington Writing Seminars commencement speaker Jericho Brown has won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for The Tradition, "a collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence."

Benjamin Moser, who last visited Bennington in 2016, has won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for Sontag: Her Life and Work, "an authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities and volatile enthusiasms." A Q&A with Moser about Susan Sontag is featured on the Literary Bennington blog.

Both former Bennington Writing Seminars faculty member George Packer and former visiting faculty member Deirdre Bair were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Packer's Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century is "an inventive, compulsively readable life of a complicated man of considerable talents and personal failings that offers extraordinary insights into the inner workings of Washington's foreign policy establishment." The late Bair's Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, And Me is "a tale of authorial ambition, self-doubt and achievement that offers intriguing insight into the world of two of the 20th century’s literary giants and the art of biography itself."