'Genius' Grants Out; This Artist Can Finally Afford a Studio Graphic novelist Gene Leun Yang among 23 winners By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Sep 22, 2016 6:24 AM CDT 6 comments Comments Gene Leun Yank, a graphic novelist. (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)Gene Leun Yank, a graphic novelist. (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) (Newser) – This year's "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation are out, with 23 people receiving a no-strings-attached award of $625,000 over five years, reports the AP. You can see full bios of each at Newsweek, while Jezebel highlights the women on the list. A sample of the new honorees: Gene Luen Yang, an acclaimed graphic novelist whose books include American Born Chinese, which in 2006 became the first novel of its kind to receive a National Book Award nomination. "Practically speaking, I haven't had a studio for a while now," he says. "For the past few years, I've been working at local cafes and from a corner in my bedroom." Claudia Rankine, one of poetry's brightest and most innovative stars. She is best known for her book-length tapestry of poems, prose, and images about racism, Citizen: An American Lyric, a 2014 release that won the National Book Critics Circle prize and several other honors. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, known for plays such as An Octoroon and Neighbors. At 31, he is the youngest of the recipients, notes the New York Times. Anne Basting, a theater professor who, among other things, created a program that employs storytelling and creativity to help seniors with dementia. Bill Thies, a computer scientist who works with low-income residents of India. “In technology, we tend to think of creativity as meaning futuristic, large, expensive things,” he tells the Times. “With my work, it’s the other way around.” Maggie Nelson, a poet and critic best known for the autobiographical The Argonauts. Joyce Scott, a jewelry maker and sculptor. Ahilan Arulanantham, a human rights lawyer. See all the winners here.