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

Writing Students Ye Odelia Lu and Lin King Contribute to 'Queer Time: A Special Notebook of Taiwanese Tongzhi Literature'

Writing Students Ye Odelia Lu and Lin King Contribute to 'Queer Time: A Special Notebook of Taiwanese Tongzhi Literature'

The notebook—published as part of Asian American Writers' Workshop's online magazine, The Margins—is a part of their Transpacific Literary Project, which "holds a space for writing and translation from East and Southeast Asia."

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A Professor Shifts From Literary Translation to Biography

A Professor Shifts From Literary Translation to Biography

After translating the works of Swiss-German author Robert Walser for decades, Professor Susan Bernofsky has written the first English-language biography of him.

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'All the Frequent Troubles of our Days' by Alumna Rebecca Donner '01 Coming in Early August

'All the Frequent Troubles of our Days' by Alumna Rebecca Donner '01 Coming in Early August

All the Frequent Troubles brings to light the life and work of Donner's own great-great aunt, Mildred Harnack. Harnack was born and raised in Milwaukee, but happened to enroll in a PhD program in Germany right as the Nazi party began to take root and flourish.

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