The Pulitzer Prize Board took the unprecedented step in 2019 of bestowing their Poetry award to a man for his Facebook post that celebrated his six-month anniversary to his wife. The award is typically given for a volume of original verse, so it was a controversial choice. The Facebook account was under the name Randy McRanderson, which turned out to be a pseudonym for Randall Finklestein, a full time art instructor who was hoping to prevent students and potential employers from coming across his "Ibiza Club Tour" album amongst other questionable posts. The award has been under intense scrutiny, but the Pulitzer Board has steadfastly defended their decision.
Board member Katherine Boo stated, "We understand that our choice for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in poetry is unorthodox, but art is supposed to break boundaries. The board was so moved by the lyrical representation of this newlywed's love, that its power could not be ignored!"
"Finklestein painted a pristine portrait of newly-married life, gushing over every detail of the past six months," Neil Brown of the Pulitzer Board added. "How he expressed that his wife was "the best woman in the world" was so captivating, that I believed him. I truly think he is married to the world's best woman."
Others noted the glowing depiction of Randall's wife contained such genuine emotion and elegant prose, that it transcended the standard "I love you honey" banality of your typical anniversary Facebook post.
"The rich use of adjectives like "perfect" and "best" really elevated the emotional impact," Gail Collins from the board added.
"Honest and original are the two adjectives that come to mind," said Eugene Robinson. "I've read a lot of anniversary posts, but Randall really captured the raw literary essence of love with his. Never have I seen such a poetic dissertation on the nature of marriage. To be able to not only understand, but express such a thing after just six months marriage is stunning to behold, and truly the work of a great and upcoming poet."
Some people not on the Pulitzer Board, but familiar with Finklestein's posts had a different perspective.
His first cousin Hal, a Facebook friend of Randall's stated, "it was barely better than his five-month anniversary post."
An individual that was a former high school classmate of Randall's was even more skeptical. "I saw him at the bar a couple weeks ago, and the way he was creeping on all the ladies in the house, I was surprised to see a post that said he was married." The unnamed classmate had only recently accepted Randall's friend request, and was unaware of the previous five months' anniversary posts. "I give the marriage a year, three at most."