About the Nonfiction Concentration

Led by director Wendy S. Walters, the Nonfiction concentration in the Writing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts includes full-time faculty Hilton Als, Lis Harris, Leslie Jamison, Margo Jefferson, Richard Locke, and Phillip Lopate. The adjunct nonfiction faculty members include Michael Greenberg, Eliza Griswold, Alana Newhouse, Lynn Sharon Schwartz, Benjamin Taylor, and Brenda Wineapple.  Recent visiting writers include Meghan Daum, Geoff Dyer, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Laura Kipnis, Wayne Koestenbaum, Patricia Marx, Lia Purpura, Stacy Schiff, and John Jeremiah Sullivan.

 

The concentration offers instruction in a full range of subgenres, from memoir and personal essay to science writing, criticism, humor, research methods, profiles, food writing and lyric essay. All students engage with a range of nonfiction prose, from the Ancients to the most cutting-edge contemporaries. They leave the program able to practice more than one type of nonfiction.

 

Writing Nonfiction Online Q&A:

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Our nonfiction program offers our students an exciting and supportive community, led by a faculty composed of literary luminaries and passionately committed teachers drawn from the tremendous network of writers and editors based in New York City. Our courses cover a diverse array of genres—including personal essays and memoir, literary reportage, literary and cultural criticism—and our program encourages hybridity, rigor, and experiment.

Leslie Jamison, Assistant Professor

Nonfiction News

Student Chelsea Sylviolet Smith (Roberts) wins 2021 Campbell Award

Student Chelsea Sylviolet Smith (Roberts) wins 2021 Campbell Award

In 2016, the Columbia University Trustees and the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) established The Campbell Award, which is presented to a graduating student at each School who shows exceptional leadership and Columbia spirit as exemplified by the late Bill Campbell '62CC, '64TC, Chair Em

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'Nonfiction Dialgoues' Welcomes Author and Professor Terese Marie Mailhot

'Nonfiction Dialgoues' Welcomes Author and Professor Terese Marie Mailhot

Mailhot, who is from Seabird Island Band in British Columbia, is a professor and writer whose work has appeared in Mother Jones, Guernica, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, as well as numerous other publications.

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'Clairvoyant of the Small' by Professor Susan Bernofsky Coming May 2021

'Clairvoyant of the Small' by Professor Susan Bernofsky Coming May 2021

The book will be the first English-language biography of Walser, the Swiss-German modernist author whose work has been previously translated from the German by Bernofsky. 

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