Hanif Abdurraqib Is One of This Year’s MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Recipients

Photo: Joshua Blanchard/2017 Getty Images

There’s a genius in our midst. Hanif Abdurraqib, the critically acclaimed poet, essayist, music writer, and some-time Vulture contributor, is one of this year’s 25 MacArthur-“genius”-grant recipients. In addition to Abdurraqib’s “distinctive style of cultural and artistic criticism,” the MacArthur Foundation honors poet Don Mee Choi for “bearing witness to the effects of military violence and U.S. imperialism on the civilians of the Korean Peninsula,” How to Be an Anti-Racist author Ibram X. Kendi’s advancement of “conversations around anti-Black racism,” Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for “analyzing the political and economic forces underlying racial inequality and the role of social movements in transforming society,” and more leaders in diverse subject areas. “As we emerge from the shadows of the past two years, this class of 25 Fellows helps us reimagine what’s possible. They demonstrate that creativity has no boundaries. It happens in all fields of endeavor, among the relatively young and more seasoned, in Iowa and Puerto Rico,” said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of the MacArthur Fellows, in a statement. “Once again, we have the opportunity for exultation as we recognize the potential to create objects of beauty and awe, advance our understanding of society, and foment change to improve the human condition.”

Each of the recipients wins a $625,000 prize distributed over five years, allowing them to continue being geniuses outside of the confines of capitalism. Notable fellows this year include art curator Nicole Fleetwood, author of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Monica Muñoz Martinez, a public historian shedding light on racial violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, Joshua Miele, who creates adaptive technology enabling visually impaired people to access digital information, novelist and radio producer Daniel Alarcón, and Desmond Meade, a civil-rights activist who has helped restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated. Watch above for a look at each of the prestigious winners and a healthy dose of humbling.

Hanif Abdurraqib Among MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Recipients