"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

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal. Lalitree Darnielle/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux hide caption

itoggle caption Lalitree Darnielle/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana. Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design hide caption

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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

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina. Manuel Rodriguez/UniMás hide caption

itoggle caption Manuel Rodriguez/UniMás