"I became a poet in Pittsburgh," says, poet and University of Pittsburgh professor Terrance Hayes, pictured above at his home. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri in central Italy on Sept. 2. Riccardo De Luca/ Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Riccardo De Luca/ Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Amy Clampitt used her award money to buy a house in Stockbridge, Mass., near the home of Edith Wharton, one of her favorite writers. Andrea Shea/WBUR hide caption

itoggle caption Andrea Shea/WBUR