Writing Roundup: January 23, 2017

January 23, 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 writer, a multi-genre cookbook. Read more in our biweekly roundup of news about Columbia writers.

Mara Beckman ‘16
Alumna Mara Beckman’s short story, “I lived in Los Angeles,” appeared in a recent edition of Tin House’s Flash Friday series: “Later on a man called the radio station furious that he had to change the live streaming channel because of all the jazz. He said no one should have to call and complain about this. He doesn’t want to be a jerk. He doesn’t want to be making this call. For the past three months he’s had to change the station ten times more than usual. Who is in charge?”

Nicholas Goodly ‘16, Teaching fellow
Alumnus and current teaching fellow Nicholas Goodly was recently featured as Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, with a poem entitled “sweet nothings”: “you Pwaairto Reekeen?  you from an island,  huh.  you Egyptian?  you’re  so cute  you can’t be  all black,  right?”

Phillip Lopate CC ‘64, Faculty
In an interview on the website Literary Hub, Phillip Lopate, a member of the Writing Program faculty, discusses his new book A Mother’s Tale, which takes the form of a three-way conversation between his mother, his younger self, and his present self. “I think part of what intrigued me about this book as a literary project is that there’s something raw about it—it remains raw,” Lopate tells the article's author, Kristen Martin '16, a graduate of the Writing Program. “It’s not been smoothed out; the tensions are still there. That’s exciting to me.”

Stephen Massimilla ‘96
Alumnus Stephen Massimilla has published a multi-genre book called Cooking with the Muse: A Sumptuous Gathering of Seasonal Recipes, Culinary Poetry, and Literary Fare (Tupelo Press). Co-authored with Myra Kornfeld, the book contains recipes, prose, poetry, and philosophy.

Jay Neugeboren CC ‘59, Faculty
Jay Neugeboren, a writer who has taught in the Writing Program, reviews in the New York Review of Books a history of Bellevue, the New York psychiatric hospital, through the lens of his own personal experience with the institution. “I telephoned Bellevue and, to my surprise, was immediately connected to the psychiatrist who had examined Robert on arrival. ‘Your brother’s not psychotic,’ she said, and—to my relief—laughed.”

Elettra Pauletto, Current student
In an essay on the website Modern Loss, Elettra Pauletto, a current student, writes about the origin and revival of “memorial photography,” the practice of photographing deceased children shortly after their deaths. “Although Ann’s husband felt uneasy about the pictures at first, it comforted him to see how they helped Ann through a difficult time,” she writes of one grieving couple, “and they eventually became a comfort to him, too.”

Heather Radke, Current student
In an essay on the White Review website, Heather Radke, a current student, navigates the intersection of entertainment and taste. “TV in my childhood stunk of torpor and laziness,” she writes. “My best friend didn’t have cable. She wandered in the woods and learned how to make rubber stamps and play the piano. She talked about television haughtily. She was pure and virtuous. She was better.”

Rebecca Solnit, Visiting artist
In an essay in the London Review of Books, Rebecca Solnit, a Columbia School of the Arts Mellon Visiting Artist and Thinker, addresses Donald Trump’s attitude toward women, and the role  gender played in the 2016 presidential election. “Misogyny was everywhere,” she writes. “It came from the right and left, and Clinton was its bull’s-eye, but it spilled over to women across the political spectrum.”