Harvard Arts Medal recipient Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.

Photo by Jean Malek

Campus & Community

Author Atwood to receive Harvard Arts Medal

2 min read

Medal honors a distinguished graduate and kicks off Arts First

Author, poet, and environmental activist Margaret Atwood, A.M. ’62, is the recipient of the 2014 Harvard Arts Medal, which will be awarded by Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust at a ceremony on May 1 at 4 p.m. at Sanders Theatre. The ceremony, presented by the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, will include a discussion with Atwood moderated by the actor John Lithgow ’67, host of the event. This is the official opening event for Arts First, Harvard’s annual festival showcasing student creativity in the arts.

The Harvard Arts Medal honors a distinguished Harvard or Radcliffe graduate or faculty member who has achieved excellence in the arts and has made a contribution through the arts to education or the public good. Previous recipients include photographer Susan Meiselas, Ed.M. ’71; visual artist and essayist Catherine Lord ’70; saxophonist/composers Joshua Redman ’91 and Fred Ho ’79; composer John Adams ’69, A.M. ’72; playwright Christopher Durang ’71; poets John Ashbery ’49 and Maxine Kumin ’41; cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76; film director Mira Nair ’79; conductor and founder of Les Arts Florissants William Christie ’66; stage director Peter Sellars ’80; composer John Harbison ’60; National Theatre of the Deaf founder David Hays ’52; author John Updike ’54; songwriter/musicians Bonnie Raitt ’72 and Pete Seeger ’40; and actors Jack Lemmon ’47, Tommy Lee Jones ’69, and Matt Damon ’92. Atwood is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her newest novel, “MaddAddam” (2013) is the follow-up to “The Year of the Flood” (2009) and her Giller Prize winner, “Oryx and Crake” (2003). Other recent publications include “The Door,” a volume of poetry (2007); “Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth” (2008); and “In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination” (2011).