Michael Williamson is a staff photographer at the Washington Post. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for his work in Kosovo. He has won numerous honors, including the 1994 Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism, given by the National Press Photographers Association; this lifetime achievement award was for documenting homelessness, poverty, and hunger in America. In 1995, the association chose him as Newspaper Photographer of the Year out of 1,700 photographers. His latest book, with Michael Wallis, is The Lincoln Highway: The Great American Road Trip (Norton, 2007).
For over 20 years, Williamson has collaborated with writer Dale Maharidge (also a Katrina Media Fellow) on books documenting America's poor and dispossessed.
They were awarded the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction for And Their Children After Them/The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: James Agee, Walker Evans, and the Rise and Fall of Cotton in the South (Pantheon, 1989).
Their first book was Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass (Dial/Doubleday, 1985). For several years, they traveled the nation by freight train and in an old car, living with and documenting job-seeking Rust Bowl refugees. In 1995, Bruce Springsteen was inspired by Journey to Nowhere to write two songs on his Ghost of Tom Joad album, "Youngstown" and "New Timer." Springsteen wrote an introduction to the book's 1996 reissue.
The two men also have published the following:
The Last Great American Hobo (Prima, 1993), which chronicles the last Depression-era hobo who is thrust into modern times and takes a final stand in the face of the police sweeps of the contemporary homeless.
Homeland (Seven Stories Press, 2004), about fear and nationalism in post-9/11 America.
Denison, Iowa: Searching for the Soul of America Through the Secrets of a Midwest Town (Free Press, 2005), about a small Iowa town that is one-third Latino.
For ten years while working at the Sacramento Bee, Williamson and Maharidge teamed up on numerous projects on race, class, and life in America. In addition, they collaborated on stories that appeared in Rolling Stone and George magazine.