Poet and essayist Anne Boyer, a 1996 graduate in English literature from K-State, is the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Undying,” which shares her story of coping with a cancer diagnosis.

Boyer, originally from Topeka, was announced as the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.

Shortly after her 41st birthday, Boyer was diagnosed with breast cancer, plunging her into the world of the cancer industry. Boyer wrote about her struggle for survival while wading through “ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers and fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain ‘dolorists,’ the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism.”

Boyer was the first winner of the 2018 Cy Twombly Award for Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and winner of the 2018 Whiting Award in nonfiction/poetry.

Boyer is a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she’s worked since 2011.

Other Kansans were finalists for Pulitzer awards, including Ben Lerner in the fiction category and Chloe Cooper Jones in the feature writing category. Lerner wrote “The Topeka School,” based in part on his experiences growing up in the state capital. Jones wrote “Fearing For His Life,” a feature story published in The Verge that chronicles the police harassment Ramsey Orta endured after he filmed Eric Garner’s death.