Select master artists in writing

Edward Albee | Considered one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century, Edward Albee is known for such works as The Zoo Story, The Sandbox, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His numerous honors include three Pulitzer Prizes, a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.

Christopher Beha | Christopher Beha is a deputy editor at Harper’s Magazine. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of BooksThe Believer, Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is the author of two novels, Arts & Entertainments and What Happened to Sophie Wilder, and a memoir, The Whole Five Feet. He is also the co-editor, with Joyce Carol Oates, of the Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction.

Sarah Braunstein | Sarah Braunstein is the author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children, winner of the 2012 Maine Book Award for Fiction. In 2010 she was named one of “5 Under 35” fiction writers by the National Book Foundation, and she received a 2007 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerPloughshares, AGNI, and The Sun, among other places. Braunstein is on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine, and is currently a Faculty Fellow at Colby College.

Eric Bogosian | Eric Bogosian is an accomplished writer and actor known for his comedic monologues and social commentary. Born on the East Coast and educated in the Midwest, he wrote and performed numerous one-man shows around New York during the late '70s and early '80s. In 1988, he teamed with Oliver Stone for the film version of his off-Broadway Pulitzer Prize-nominated show, Talk Radio, in which he starred as D.J. Barry Champlain.  His next major one-man show, Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, was also made into a film. As an actor, he has had numerous television appearances, and supporting roles in films like Dolores Claiborne and Deconstructing Harry. Also the author of three novels, his latest book is a non-fiction effort titled, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide.

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum | 1990 YoungArts Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts | Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The New YorkerPloughsharesTin HouseThe Georgia Review and The Best American Short Stories (2004 and 2009). Sarah, a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” fiction writers.

Adam Falkner | Adam Falkner is Founder of the Dialogue Arts Project, a Founding Curator of Poets in Unexpected Places, and an adjunct instructor in English Education at Columbia University, Teachers College. His work has been published in literary anthologies and journals including Painted Bride Quarterly and Thrush, among others. Falkner was a featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. 

John Guare | John Guare is the author of numerous plays including The House of Blue Leaves which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play in 1971 and went on to win four Tony Awards for its 1986 revival. He also wrote Six Degrees of Separation which won an Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, an Olivier Award for Best Play, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Guare received the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his plays The House of Blue LeavesRich and FamousMarco Polo Sings a SoloLandscape of the Body and Bosoms and Neglect.

Campbell McGrath | Campbell McGrath has published numerous collections of poetry, including Spring Comes to Chicago, which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Seven Notebooks and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys. He has won a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Academy of American Poets Prize, among others. McGrath has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Florida International University.

John Murillo | John Murillo's first poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie was a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and was named by The Huffington Post as one of "Ten Recent Books of Poetry You Should Read Right Now."  Honors include a Pushcart Prize, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Times, and the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing among others.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of publications and he currently teaches creative writing at New York University, and at Hampshire College where he serves as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and African-American Literary Arts.

Adam Rapp | Writer/director Adam Rapp's honors include the Herbert & Patricia Brodkin scholarship, two Lincoln Center Le Compte De Nuoy Awards, the Princess Grace Award, and a Roger L. Stevens Award from The Kennedy Center Fund. He has written the plays Nocturn, Ghosts in the Cottonwoods and Red Light Winter, among others, and his television credits include the HBO series In Treatment. His first feature film, Winter Passing, which he wrote and directed, was released in 2005. 

Jeanine Tesori | Jeanine Tesori won the Tony Award for Best Original Score with Lisa Kron for the musical Fun Home, which was shown on Broadway. She has also written Tony-nominated scores for Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center; Thoroughly Modern MillieCaroline, or Change; and Shrek The Musical. The production of Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her 1997 off-Broadway musical Violet opened on Broadway in 2014 and garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Musical Revival. She has written the music for many plays and operas including A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck at Glimmerglass Opera and The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me at the Kennedy Center. Film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, Every Day, and You’re Not You. A member of the Dramatists Guild, Jeanine is the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center at New York City Center, and is a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University.

Rebecca Walker | Rebecca Walker is a writer and memoirist whose work includes The New York Times bestseller Black, White, and Jewish and Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence. She has also edited a few anthologies, including To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of FeminismWhat Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine the FutureOne Big Happy Family and BLACK COOL. Walker’s writing has appeared in GlamourThe Washington PostBookforumVibe, and Interview, among others. Her first novel, Adé: A Love Story, was published in 2013.

YoungArts would also like to thank our extraordinary group of discipline coordinators, national reviewers and selection panelists in the Writing discipline.