Over the past couple of weeks, Writing Program alumni, faculty, and current students have been busy publishing new work and, in the case of one alumnus, winning a PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.
Sasha Bonét ‘16
Alumna Sasha Bonét writes about the Oscar-winning film Moonlight and the “black male image” for the online literary magazine Guernica. “Moonlight is ultimately a story of redemption,” she writes. “A black man who attempted to barricade his heart is able to get in his car to drive to another state and ask another black man to hold him, to touch him, to hear him the way he had over ten years ago.”
Alan Felsenthal ‘15
Two poems by alumnus Felsenthal were selected by Hyperallergic editor Wendy Xu for publication as part of a monthly poetry series: “The maggots say: / Ye shall be clean. / The poets look dirty as yesterday.”
Kalle Oksari Matila, current student
Matila published a short piece in the New York Times’s Metropolitan Diary about a sleeping train passenger and his precariously positioned takeout: “Some rice began to fall from the box: first a few grains, then a few more.”
Gregory Pardlo, ‘16
Writing Program alumnus and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gregory Pardlo published an essay on the New Yorker website, “The Cost of Defying the President,” about his father’s participation in a 1981 air-traffic controllers strike: “He was prohibited, in essence, from learning; he was mechanized, an arrow in the quiver, a rod in the fasces, proscribed to a bureaucratic engagement with data.”
Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Adjunct
Writing Program adjunct professor Schwartz published a new collection of poems, No Way Out But Through, with University of Pittsburgh Press. Major Jackson says of the book, “Go all in with these poems; you'll reap unknown rewards.”
Joel Whitney, ‘02
Alumnus Joel Whitney, a co-editor of the online magazine Guernica, won the 2017 PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing. Michael Archer, Whitney’s co-editor, shared the award.
Brenda Wineapple, adjunct
Wineapple, an adjunct professor in the Writing Program, writes about A Quiet Passion, a film about Emily Dickinson by Terence Davies, for Artforum: “‘Biography first convinces us of the fleeing of the Biographied,’ Emily Dickinson once observed. She might well have been talking about herself, for she’s the elusive subject par excellence.”