Well, they were handing out the $500,000 checks last week, and once again, my mailbox was emptier than an agent’s promises. The news release notes that "award recipients are chosen on the basis of the originality and creativity of their work, according to the foundation. The new MacArthur fellows were told of their selection last week, but the list was not made public until today. They were nominated and chosen through a secret process. There is no way to apply for the awards, and nominees are not interviewed by the foundation . . . "
Now, I wouldn’t complain if it was only scientists and researchers and their ilk getting the sponduliks. But get a load of some of this year’s winners: Lydia Davis, 56, short-story writer and professor at State University of New York, Albany; Osvaldo Golijov, 42, music professor at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.; Angela Johnson, 42, children’s novelist and poet, Kent, Ohio; Tom Joyce, 46, blacksmith and artist, Santa Fe, N.M.; Peter Sis, 54, illustrator, New York City; Sarah Sze, 34, sculptor, New York City; Eve Troutt Powell, 42, history professor, University of Georgia, Athens; Anders Winroth, 38, medieval history professor, Yale University; Daisy Youngblood, 58, ceramicist, Santa Fe., N.M. . .
A blacksmith? A ceramicist?! I’m not asking for much. Just a measly half-a-mil is all, and I could quit my lousy job and turn out a book every two years or so . . .