Pulitzer Prize winner Medar De La Cruz

Season 1 | Episode 176
47m | Jun 4, 2024

On this episode, we’re joined by Medar De La Cruz. Medar is a Dominican American cartoonist and illustrator from Miami who currently lives in Brooklyn N.Y.

In May 2023, Medar wrote and drew from his own experience, as a Rikers Island prison library worker through the Brooklyn Public Library. That work done for The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for illustrated reporting and commentary.

Medar shared parts of his life story leading up to getting this job, including how he sold comics he created in Union Square and slept in an art studio. He explained the break he got that led to doing a drawing for The New York Times, one that was seen by an editor at The New Yorker, which eventually led to his Pulitzer-winning series of drawings and an essay.

Medar walked us through the different drawings, explaining his process for several of them. He detailed what it was like to be a library worker in one of the country’s most famous prisons. He also talked about the future, which includes a book about his experience, and described why he finds libraries so appealing.

You can find the Pulitzer-winning article here

Medar’s salute: Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda

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