Pitt Magazine

2 Pitt alums are 2024 Pulitzer Prize winners

The Cathedral of Learning


Two alumni from Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences are among the 2024 winners of U.S. literature and journalism’s foremost award: the Pulitzer Prizes.

Brandon Som (A&S ’02G) earned this year’s Pulitzer Prize in poetry for “Tripas,” a collection of poems about his multicultural, multigenerational childhood home. The poems highlight the “dignity of his family’s working lives, creating community rather than conflict,” the Pulitzer Board wrote, and engage with his dual Mexican and Chinese heritage. The book was also a finalist for the 2023 National Book Award for Poetry.

Som is an associate professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego. His first collection of poems, “The Tribute Horse,” won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2015. He earned his MFA in poetry from Pitt and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California.

Brett Murphy (A&S ’13) is part of a team at the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, which won the Pulitzer in the public service category of journalism for a series of articles titled “Friends of the Court.” The series investigated how influential billionaires courted the favor of U.S. Supreme Court justices with gifts and travel. Their “groundbreaking and ambitious” reporting, the Pulitzer Board noted, prompted the court to adopt its first code of conduct.

A reporter at ProPublica since 2022, Murphy previously worked as an investigative reporter at USA Today, where he was a finalist for a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for stories on labor abuses in California’s port trucking industry. Murphy earned his BA in nonfiction writing at Pitt and then went on to earn his master’s in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.