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MacArthur Geniuses
Top: Photo by Malcom Linton. Bottom: Photo Courtesy the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Top: Dr. Jill Seaman crosses a river in southern Sudan. Bottom: Heather McHugh stands in front of the UW's shoe tree.

Geniuses Among Us

Two Huskies have been awarded 2009 "genius grants" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: Poet and English Professor Heather McHugh and alumna Dr. Jill Seaman, '79.

McHugh, the author of eight volumes of poetry, numerous works of translation and a book of essays on poetics, has been a significant voice in American literary life for nearly four decades. Her book of poetry, Eyeshot, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize, and Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 won the Boston Book Review's Bingham Poetry Prize and the Pollack-Harvard Review Prize.

McHugh has served as the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the UW since 1984.

Seaman, a physician, was recognized for her work delivering treatments for infectious diseases in southern Sudan, one of the most remote, impoverished and war-torn regions of the world.Currently, Seaman splits her time between Sudan and Bethel, Alaska, where she provides medical services to Yup'ik Eskimo communities.

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted $500,000 fellowships to artists, scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, social scientists and others of extraordinary promise and originality based on their “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."