Meet this year’s MacArthur Fellows – talented, accomplished individuals in a variety of fields who were recently awarded $500,000 each to pursue their passions. “There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work” (Fellows program description).

Two 2007 recipients have a Virginia connection: Corey Harris (Charlottesville) is a “guitarist, songwriter, and performer who is leading a contemporary revival of country blues with a fresh, modern hand”; and Marc Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech, is a water quality engineer “playing a vital role in ensuring the safety of drinking water and in exposing deteriorating water-delivery infrastructure in America’s largest cities.”

Another recipient is Peter Cole, a translator who I heard read with poet Taha Muhammed Ali at the 2006 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Watch the video on the festival web site. You’ll also want to check out the work of Yoky Matsuoka, a neurorobiticist.

Amazing people – all 25 of them!

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