Except when it isn't.

In 2012, the Pulitzer judges didn't bestow a fiction prize, so this year there was extra attention paid to whom might take the honors.

That it would be a McNeese Masters of Fine Arts alumnus is a breathtaking honor for Lake Charles.

That two McNeese MFA's would win the award so close to one another is astounding; the literary equivalent of pulling five "7's" on a slot machine. Add Tony Kushner's Pulitzer for drama to Robert Olen Butler's and now Adam Johnson's prizes for fiction, and Lake Charles finds itself squarely on the world's literary & performing arts map.

It's not luck. These are uniquely talented writers who have made significant contributions to literature and drama and whose view of the world has been shaped in part by living in Southwest Louisiana. In the process they have brought honor and prestige to our city and university.

Words matter. The arts matter. They are part of the fabric of our region. Three Pulitzer Prizes stand as a point of great pride and a reminder of what makes life worth living in a better Southwest Louisiana.>