Playwright Craig Lucas, author of Prelude to a Kiss, Dying Gaul, Missing Persons, Reckless, and Blue Window will receive an Academy Award in Literature from the prestigious, 250-member American Academy of Arts and Letters (AAAL) at the Academy's annual ceremonial on May 17.
Lucas will receive $7,500 in prize money as will the seven fellow award winners who share that category. They are: critic David Bromwich, novelist Ellen Douglas, publisher Jonathan Galassi, novelist and University of Wisconsin-Madison English professor Lorrie Moore, Dissent magazine editor Brian Morton, poet and USC English professor David St. John and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt.
Other prizes and awards will be bestowed by the Academy on May 17, totalling $100,000.
Additional honorees include poet Dana Levin (Witter Bynner Poetry Prize/$2,500), writer Carol Ann Duffy (E.M. Forster Award/$15,000), author Nathan Englander (Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction/$2,500), 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri (Addison Metcalf Award/$5,000), novelist Sigrid Nunez (Rome Fellowship in Literature/one year residence at American Academy in Rome), author Matthew Stadler (Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award/$5,000), author Richard Powers (Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award/$10,000) and writer Edward Said (Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for Fiction/$5,000).
Founded in 1898 to foster an "interest in literature, music and the fine arts," the AAAL honors more than 50 artists annually with cash awards. In addition, the Academy sponsors exhibits, publications on its history and readings and performances of new musicals. -- By Murdoch McBride