Vuong and Luiselli awarded MacArthur Foundation 'genius grants'

Vuong and Luiselli awarded MacArthur Foundation 'genius grants'

Poet Ocean Vuong and Booker Prize longlistee Valeria Luiselli are among the recipients of this year’s £505,000 “genius grants” from the MacArthur Foundation.

The fellowships recognise “extraordinary originality” and offer a no-strings-attached grant paid over five years to support creative people.

Vuong, who won the TS Eliot Prize for debut collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon), recently published his first novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Jonathan Cape).

The foundation said he married “folkloric traditions with linguistic experimentation in works that explore the effects of intergenerational trauma, the refugee experience, and the complexities of identity and desire with eloquence and clarity”.

Luiselli, meanwhile, was praised for “challenging conventional notions of authorship in fiction, essays, and inventive hybrids of the two that pose profound questions about the various ways we piece together stories and document the lives of others”. Her novel Lost Children Archive (Fourth Estate) was longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize.

Other writers to receive fellowships included graphic novelist Lynda Barry, cultural historian Saidiya Hartman, historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez, and translator Emily Watson.