Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Charlottesville, VA—Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) has received $125,000 in support of a series of VFH programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes in 2016 through Pulitzer’s Campfires Initiative. The series will include a two-part program during the Virginia Festival of the Book featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poets and authors, a special Centennial-edition trio of poetry broadsides produced at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center (VABC), eight nationally-broadcast episodes of the With Good Reason radio program featuring Pulitzer Prize winners, and a special live event in Washington, D.C,. by BackStory with the American History Guys on the history and impact of the Prizes.

“We are delighted to commemorate the historic Pulitzer Centennial with VFH programming that will reach audiences near and far, through large-scale public events, one-of-a-kind broadsides, and radio broadcasts and podcasts,” said VFH president Robert C. Vaughan. “This exciting national initiative will inspire new generations to make connections and discoveries as together we explore the values represented by Pulitzer Prize-winning work.”

The 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book events celebrating the Pulitzer Centennial, outlined below, will continue the festival’s commitment to recognizing outstanding writing and poetry. Both events are free, although tickets are required for the Culbreth Theatre. Additional details and ticket reservations are available at

WhatA Celebration of Pulitzer Authors: Ayad Akhtar, Rick Atkinson & Lawrence Wright

Where: Piedmont Virginia Community College’s V. Earl Dickinson Building in Charlottesville, VA

When: Wednesday, March 16, 8:00 – 9:30 PM

Who: Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced), Rick Atkinson (The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945), and Lawrence Wright (Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace) will discuss their Pulitzer-winning works as well as their current writing. More information is online.

WhatA Celebration of Pulitzer Prize Poets: Rita Dove, Gregory Pardlo & Vijay Seshadri

Where: UVa’s Culbreth Theatre in Charlottesville, VA

When: Friday, March 18, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Who: Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Rita Dove (Sonata Mulattica), Greg Pardlo (Digest), and Vijay Seshadri (3 Sections: Poems) read and discuss their work. More information is online. A special-edition trio of VABC broadsides featuring poems by Dove, Pardlo, and Seshadri will also be unveiled at the event and available for purchase.

Throughout 2016, the With Good Reason radio program will air eight half-hour episodes featuring individual Pulitzer Prize winners in conversation with host Sarah McConnell, each interwoven with sound-rich audio clips. The first episode will feature Rick Atkinson, who has won three Pulitzer Prizes for works he has written or contributed to over his long career as a journalist and historian. It will air the week of March 12-18 and be available online. With Good Reason airs on 65 radio stations in 32 states across the country.

Additional details about the With Good Reason Pulitzer Centennial series and the live BackStory event will be announced in forthcoming releases. 

About the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative: To prepare for the centennial, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the Campfires Initiative, which aims to ignite broad engagement with the journalistic, literary, and artistic values the Prizes represent. To inspire yearlong programming throughout the country, the board partnered with the Federation of State Humanities Councils on the initiative. After a review of grant proposals, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded more than $1.5 million to forty-six state humanities councils.

The programs will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning work in journalism, arts and letters, and music. The goal of the board and the Federation of State Humanities Council is to engage American communities in discussion about the values these disciplines represent. “We look forward to bringing the centennial to life next year with a diverse array of council programming that reconnects Americans with the nation’s amazing cultural production of the last 100 years,” said Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

The Federation and the Pulitzer Prize Board, which is headquartered at Columbia University, developed this initiative together.  It is supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Pulitzer Prize Board.

To learn more about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, visit

To learn more about the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial, visit