Writing Roundup: February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, School of the Arts alumni, faculty, and current students have been busy publishing stories, poems, essays and, in the case of one adjunct faculty member, a new book. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.

Jenessa Abrams, current student
Current Writing Program student Jenessa Abrams published a story on the Tin House website, as part of the magazine’s Flash Friday series, entitled, “At the Shiva, people tell me I’m lucky”:  “Think about Marlene. All mothers get old. All mothers get grey. You’ve only lost your past, what if your present went away?”

Raluca Albu, current student
Current student and an instructor in the undergraduate writing department, Raluca Albu published an essay in theVillage Voice about how Muslim comedians are responding to the election of Donald Trump, and, more generally, to sea-changes in American culture: “A minute into her set, and she'd already covered sex, consumerism, and global politics. Afridi is as American as it gets.”

Sasha Bonét ‘16
Alumna Sasha Bonét published an essay in the Village Voice about an artist, Sadie Barnette, whose latest project centers on the FBI’s surveillance of her father, Rodney Barnette, a Black Panther Party chapter leader: “But what can today's activists learn from the organizers of yesteryear? The dawn of the Trump era has awakened the agitator inside of many Americans who might have felt protected under previous administrations; others, like the Barnettes, continue to question the intentions of our democratic institutions.”

Isabella DeSendi, current student
Current student Isabella DeSendi published a poem, entitled, “Instructions for Skinning Deer,” on The Grief Diaries, an online literary magazine founded by Writing Program alumna Kristi DiLallo ‘16: “Shouldn’t have felt pity / but I did. See how it aches like a newborn / raw with life.”

Leah Dworkin ‘16
Alumna Leah Dworkin published the short story, “Skin,” on the website of (b)Oink magazine: “Everything that you touch leaves a mark that looks like it should be collected and put in a bio-contaminated waste bag.”

Alan Felsenthal, Faculty
Alan Felsenthal, a member of the adjunct faculty team, has published his first book of poemsLowly, with Ugly Duckling Press. In the book, the publisher’s website says, “ancient mythology and philosophy are examined through contemporary situations, brought forth by a voice that oscillates between humorous and plaintive tones.”

Katrine Øgaard Jensen ‘15
Alumna Katrine Øgaard Jensen was named one of Culture Trip’s 20 Translators Under 40. In an interview with the site, Jensen says, “There is a polemic quote by Yevgeny Yevtushenko that goes: ‘Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.’ I don’t know about the woman part, but I do think there’s some truth to that statement when it comes to literary translation.”

Phillip Lopate, Faculty
Writing Program faculty member and head of the creative nonfiction department, Phillip Lopate published an essay in the Times Literary Supplement on the correspondence of Ernest Hemingway: “He is often threatening to sock someone on the nose. Letter-writing seems to have offered him a chance to be casual, rash and wilfully unfair.”

Daniel Penny ‘16
In an essay in the Boston Review, alumni Daniel Penny writes about Milo Yiannopoulos and the relationship between gay aesthetics and fascism: “While there are parallels to be found between Milo and historical and contemporary fascist figures interested in homoeroticism, he remains singular: an ultra right-wing pundit with a high-femme persona who is nonetheless largely embraced by a political bloc synonymous with contempt for homosexuals and feminine men.”

Sophia Marie Unterman, ‘16
Alumna Sophia Marie Unterman published an essay in Forward about a plantation in Louisiana that has been called “America’s Auschwitz”: “I couldn’t stop thinking about that phrase. On one hand, it was hard for me to compare anything to Auschwitz, where I visited with my grandmother, a Birkenau survivor, a few summers ago,” she writes. “On the other hand, Landrieu’s description was apt: Slavery is our country’s darkest chapter; and 150 years after Emancipation, we still don’t know how to talk about it.”