Poet-critic Hanif Abdurraqib among 8 winners of $175,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Poet-critic Hanif Abdurraqib, fiction writers Deirdre Madden and Kathryn Scanlan and playwright Christopher Chen are among this year’s recipients of Windham-Campbell Prizes, for which winners each receive $175,000 cash awards.

The prizes are designed to enable artists to “focus on their creative practice independent of financial concerns,” prize officials announced Tuesday. The other winners are cultural critic Christina Sharpe, dramatist Sonya Kelly and poets M. NourbeSe Philip and Jen Hatfield.

“Each year, I feel incredibly honored to call the eight recipients: to be the messenger delivering the entirely unexpected and life-changing news that they have been awarded $175,000. It is clear — now, more than ever — how challenging working in the creative industries, around the world, can be,” prize director Michael Kelleher said in a statement.

The awards were established in 2011 at Yale University endowed by the estates of writer Donald Windham and actor Sandy Campbell. Previous honorees include playwright Michael R. Jackson, critic-novelist Stanley Crouch and novelist Percival Everett.

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