April 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. It holds the reputation as the country's most prestigious awards and most sought-after accolades in journalism, letters, and music.
The Prizes are formally announcement each April, these awards are made on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize board. These awards are perceived as a focus for worldwide attention on American achievements in letters and music as well as an incentive to foster high-quality journalism.
Over the decades, the Pulitzer board has been targeted by some critics over awards made or not made. Controversies also have arisen over decisions made by the board counter to the advice of juries. Given the subjective nature of the award process, this was inevitable. The board has stood its ground and not been captive to popular inclinations. Many, if not most, of the honored books have not even been on bestseller lists, and many of the winning plays have been staged off-Broadway or in regional theaters. In these winning books, letters, and music pages are 100 years of setbacks and progress, 10 decades of cultural scrutiny and literary experimentation, a century of audacious assertions and undeniable genius.
As an award or as a symbol, it has had quite the ride. For its readers, it has presented a journey into a patch quilt world of literature.
What better time than now to reflect on the many recipients works. I invite you to peruse a cross selection of the award recipients works and to choose to read, or reread, ponder over and even admire some of these works.
Those of you more active out there, I’d suggest celebrating by reading an award-winning story aloud, and/or partnering with individuals and organizations to host events across the country. Then again creating your own story to present that may end up in the next Centennial of honored writers is not a bad idea either.
A toast to good writing.