Three playwrights -- including one Yale School of Drama grad -- will receive one of the most lucrative prizes in their field Tuesday at Yale when they receive the inaugural Donald Windham — Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes, which include $150,000 each in unrestricted funds to support the authors’ writing.
Naomi Wallace, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Tarell Alvin McCraney (the Yale School of Drama grad) are among those to be honored during a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. in Sprague Hall, 98 Wall St.
The event is free and open to the public. The ceremony also kicks off the inaugural Windham Campbell Festival, to take place Sept. 10-13.
The honorees, originally announced in March, also include fiction writers James Salter, Zoë Wicomb, and Tom McCarthy; and non-fiction writers Jonny Steinberg, Adina Hoffman, and Jeremy Scahill.
Yale President Peter Salovey will confer the awards.
Writers will also participate in a broad range of public events, such as master classes, talks, readings, and master’s teas. The Yale School of Drama will host daily master classes in playwriting at the Iseman Theater. These classes will include a staged reading from the work of that day’s featured playwright, followed by a “Talkback” with the writer and director.
Playwrights McCraney, Wallace, and Guirgis; journalists Scahill and Steinberg; and fiction writer Wicomb will take part in a panel discussion moderated by students at New Haven's Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School on Sept. 11. The award-winning writers will revisit the school on Sept. 13 to participate in workshops for aspiring writers.
Festival highlights include:a group reading by all prizewinners at the Yale University Art Gallery; a screening of “Dirty Wars,” based on the book of the same name by Scahill, who will introduce the film and answer audience questions; Salter’s only solo public event: a master’s tea at Jonathan Edwards College;“Writing After Apartheid,” a conversation with Steinberg and Wicomb; “Novelists and the Avant Garde,” a conversation with McCarthy; “Writing out of the Archive,” a conversation with Hoffman, Steinberg, and Scahill.
The award is administered by the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library, where The Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell Collections are housed. The Beinecke also sponsors the Eugene O’Neill playwriting program at Co-Op High School.