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Columbus Writer Hanif Abdurraqib Receives MacArthur 'Genius Grant'

Columbus poet and bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib has been named a MacArthur fellow.
Columbus poet and bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib has been named a MacArthur fellow.

Columbus poet, essayist and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant.'

Abdurraqib was one of 25 winners of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship grants. The fellows each receive $625,000 over five years which they can use as they want.

His 2019 book, "Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest," became a New York Times Bestseller. Abdurraqib has written five books including his latest release "A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance," which is a National Book Award nominee.

Earlier this year, Abdurraqib hosted the WOSU-produced podcast Small Joys with Hanif Abdurraqib. The podcast featured conversations between Abdurraqib and creative people of all stripes about what keeps them going in their daily lives.

The last Columbus MacArthur Foundation fellow was late artist Aminah Robinson in 2004. Artist and Ohio State professor emeritus Ann Hamilton was named a fellow in 1993.
Copyright 2021 WOSU 89.7 NPR News. To see more, visit WOSU 89.7 NPR News.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.