It’s that time of year: when the MacArthur Foundation proclaims a new class of “geniuses” who are immensely more talented than any of us onlookers could ever hope to be. Admire this year’s class of 26, which most prominently includes the poet and novelist Ocean Vuong, whose debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, was recently long-listed for the National Book Award for fiction; and iconic Ernie Pook’s Comeek cartoonist Lynda Barry, one of the few comic artists to ever be recognized. They’ll each receive a $625,000 grant distributed over five years recognizing their “extraordinary originality,” and join a class including past recipients such as Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, along with scientists and scholars. This year’s other notable geniuses include guitarist Mary Halvorson, conceptual artist Mel Chin, and theater director Annie Dorsen. Congratulations, and spend wisely!
Lynda Barry and Ocean Vuong. Photo: Getty Images and Shutterstock