Ta-Nehisi Coates, Lin-Manuel Miranda Win MacArthur “Genius” Grants


A little-known comics writer and a musical theater geek were each named recipients of the fellowship, known for its obscure selection process and sizable, no-strings-attached award.

The MacArthur, of course, caps off a landmark year for both writers: Coates is fresh off his latest Atlantic cover story on the legacy of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and mass incarceration, plus the news that the lifelong comics fan will be writing for Marvel’s Black Panther title; Lin-Manuel Miranda, meanwhile, debuted the wildly popular Hamilton on Broadway and released the soundtrack this week to those of us who either don’t live in New York or don’t have hundreds of dollars to drop on an in-demand ticket.

The full list of fellows, available on the MacArthur Foundation’s website, includes several other artists, including 10:04 author Ben Lerner, painter Nicole Eisenman, puppeteer Basil Twist, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, poet Ellen Bryan Voigt, and dancer/choreographer Michelle Dorrance. The list also includes an eclectic mix of scientists, academics, and activists, true to the MacArthur’s history of honoring excellence across disciplines.

Congratulations to all the recipients, to whom the MacArthur Foundation will award a total of $625,000 over five years.