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Ucross Fellows Colson Whitehead and Du Yun Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes

Congratulations to two Ucross Foundation Fellows, writer Colson Whitehead and composer Du Yun, who have been awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prizes. Whitehead won in the Fiction category for his novel The Underground Railroad and Du Yun won in the Music category for her composition Angel’s Bone.

The Pulitzer committee calls Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad “a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” Whitehead was in residence at Ucross in the fall of 2001, through a partnership between Ucross and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Debut Fiction.

Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone premiered in January 2016 at the Prototype Festival, 3LD Arts and Technology Center in New York City. The Pulitzer committee said it is “a bold operatic work that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.”  Du Yun was the first composer to come to Ucross through a collaboration with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and its Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers. She was in residence at Ucross in spring 2010.

A total of ten Pulitzer Prize winners have been Fellows at Ucross Foundation, including Ayad Akhtar, Annie Baker, Nilo Cruz, Bruce Norris, Annie Proulx, Paula Vogel, Doug Wright, and Charles Wuorinen.