Claudia Rankine Leads This Year’s Class of MacArthur Genius Grant Recipients

Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

[Pushes glasses all the way up nose] The official list of this year's talented smarty-pants has been released, with Claudia Rankine heading the 2016 class of MacArthur "genius" grant recipients. The Citizen author is joined by The Argonauts scribe Maggie Nelson, as well as playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, composer Julia Wolfe, and journalist Sarah Stillman, all of whom are just some of the class of 23 fellows. MacArthur fellows are chosen for "originality, insight and potential," and given a grant of $625,000 that's distributed over the course of five years. The grant is meant to be given to the recipient at the moment that it "will make a difference," according to the New York Times. Upon learning of the honor, Jacob-Jenkins says, "I thought I was having a psychotic breakdown." Yeah, $625,000 is definitely better. See the full list of fellows below.

Ahilan Arulanantham

Daryl Baldwin

Anne Basting

Vincent Fecteau

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Kellie Jones

Subhash Khot

Josh Kun

Maggie Nelson

Dianne Newman

Victoria Orphan

Manu Prakash

José A. Quiñonez

Claudia Rankine

Lauren Redniss

Mary Reid Kelley

Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Joyce J. Scott

Sarah Stillman

Bill Thies

Julia Wolfe

Gene Luen Yang

Jin-Quan Yu