Columbia University School of the Arts Writing Program professor Margo Jefferson was interviewed recently for The Days of Yore. Jefferson, an alumna of the Columbia Journalism School, is a cultural critic whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, New York Magazine and Vogue. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1995, and more recently gained critical acclaim for her 2006 book, On Michael Jackson.In her interview with The Days of Yore, Jefferson discusses her life as a young female journalist in New York in the 1970s and 80s, as well as the importance of breaking boundaries, both on and off the page.
“You know, I always say that you have to keep questioning yourself; if anything makes you uncomfortable when you’re writing, if it makes you feel squeamish about yourself or about the world, that is what you have to go for,” Jefferson says. “That is true, but you also always have to find ways to give yourself real pleasure as a writer.”
The Days of Yore was co-founded by Columbia writing program alumna, Astri Von Arbin Ahlander. The site interviews a wide range of artists about their lives before professional notoriety. Other interviews include writing professors Gary Shteyngart, Sam Lipsyte, Josh Bell, Ben Marcus, Michael Scammell and Lis Harris, as well as Theatre Arts professor Anne Bogart and Visual Arts professor Thomas Roma.