The REAL Women of Journalism and Writing: Pulitzer Prize Winners, 2011-2012

By Cathleen Falsani 6-07-2012

In the last two years, 17 women — journalists, photojournalists, novelists, poets and playwrights — were honored with a Pulitzer Prize for their work.

We know from Sandi Villarreal's post this morning what some folks' idea of what a woman journalist or writer looks like, so we thought we'd show you what a few of the REAL women of journalism and letters actually look like.

Click on any of the images below to launch the slideshow. And below, read a bit more about the important work of each woman honored.


International Reporting, 2011
Awarded to Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry of The New York Times for "their dogged reporting that put a human face on the faltering justice system in Russia, remarkably influencing the discussion inside the country."

Feature Photography, 2011
Awarded to Barbara Davidson of the Los Angeles Times for her "intimate story of innocent victims trapped in the city’s crossfire of deadly gang violence."

Fiction, 2011
Awarded to A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, "an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed."

Explanatory Reporting, 2011
Awarded Mark Johnson, Kathleen Gallagher, Gary Porter, Lou Saldivar and Alison Sherwood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for their "lucid examination of an epic effort to use genetic technology to save a 4-year-old boy imperiled by a mysterious disease, told with words, graphics, videos and other images."

Local Reporting, 2012
Awarded to Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, Penn., for "courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal involving former football coach Jerry Sandusky."

Public Service Reporting, 2012
Awarded to The Philadelphia Inquirer for its "exploration of pervasive violence in the city’s schools, using powerful print narratives and videos to illuminate crimes committed by children against children and to stir reforms to improve safety for teachers and students." Kristin Graham and Sue Snyder were two of the four journalists who reported the violence in schools project.

Breaking News Photography
Awarded to Carol Guzy, Nikki Kahn and Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post for their "up-close portrait of grief and desperation after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti." This was Guzy's FOURTH Pulitzer win. In 1986, she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer for spot news photography.

Drama, 2012
Awarded to Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Alegría Hudes, "an imaginative play about the search for meaning by a returning Iraq war veteran working in a sandwich shop in his hometown of Philadelphia."

Breaking News Reporting, 2012
Awarded to The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News Staff, for its "enterprising coverage of a deadly tornado, using social media as well as traditional reporting to provide real-time updates, help locate missing people and produce in-depth print accounts even after power disruption forced the paper to publish at another plant 50 miles away." Katherine Lee, the paper’s city editor, accepted the award with two of the reporters who worked the story.

Feature Writing, 2011
Awarded to Amy Ellis Nutt of The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., for her "deeply probing story of the mysterious sinking of a commercial fishing boat in the Atlantic Ocean that drowned six men."

Poetry, 2011
Awarded to The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, by Kay Ryan (Grove Press), "a body of work spanning 45 years, witty, rebellious and yet tender, a treasure trove of an iconoclastic and joyful mind." Ryan was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2008-2010.

Commentary, 2012
Awarded to Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune for "her wide range of down-to-earth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city."

Poetry, 2012
Awarded to Life on Mars, by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press), "a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain."

Investigative Reporting, 2011
Awarded to Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for "her examination of weaknesses in the murky property-insurance system vital to Florida homeowners, providing handy data to assess insurer reliability and stirring regulatory action."

Cathleen Falsani is Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners.

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