What is a Literary Magazine? A Panel Discussion – Part II

In the past 40 years that Columbia Journal has been a publication, there have been several changes within the literary magazine landscape, and these shifts bring up questions around what literary magazines are and what they can be. The student publishers of Columbia Journal, began asking some seemingly

What is a Literary Magazine? A Panel Discussion – Part I

In the past 40 years that Columbia Journal has been a publication, there have been several changes within the literary magazine landscape, and these shifts bring up questions around what literary magazines are and what they can be. The student publishers of Columbia Journal, began

An Interview with
Matthew J. Parker

Author Matthew J. Parker speaks with Lucas Gonzalez and Columbia Journal “So regressive, but on a personal level, like lesions,” says Matthew J. Parker, offering his thoughts on a poem of mine. Matthew isolates a couple of stanzas where he focused his reading, characteristically eager

An Interview with Jia Tolentino of
The New Yorker: Part II

read Part I here ES: How does your approach differ between fiction and non-fiction? JT: Well, speaking of humor, I am an incredibly unfunny fiction writer, which is part of the reason I was never sure I would be able to write good fiction, and

Women Who Write: Taleen Mardirossian, Interviewed by Paulina Pinsky

Taleen Mardirossian sits on the beaten-in black couch in the Writing Office next to me. Having had the privilege of having her in my nonfiction workshop last spring, I have read pieces of her writing about her travels, femininity, girlhood, and both Armenian and American

An Interview with Jia Tolentino of
The New Yorker: Part I

We’re in the midst of a blizzard and the Hungarian Pastry Shop, arguably the Upper West Side’s coziest nook for freelancers and finals-frenzied students, is all abuzz with keyboard clicks, low chatter, and clinking coffee spoons. I’m here to meet with the Jia Tolentino, the

Jesse Sheidlower on profanity, cocktails, and the old practice of new words

On a rainy afternoon in Midtown, I ordered a cup of coffee and waited to meet Jesse Sheidlower, lexicographer and the former editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as the Historical Dictionary of American Slang. Jesse is also the co-owner of a semi-secret

photo cred: Bustle

Jeannie Vanasco on writing a memoir, sticking to your vision, and her three-legged cats by Daphne Palasi Andreades

photo cred: Bustle When I read Jeanne Vanasco’s debut memoir, The Glass Eye (Tin House, 2017), the book left me crying on a subway train in Brooklyn. When I met with the author at Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore, a week after the release of The

Elif Batuman on breadth, genre, and writing as if you’ve never read

HL Part of what I love in The Idiot is the space you give to passages in which Selin is just grasping for the solidification of her ideas. You wrote an essay in The London Review of Books in which you reckon with a big

Elif Batuman on Her New (Old) Novel, ‘The Idiot’

Elif Batuman’s The Idiot is a hilarious, poignant, and deviously wise novel, couched in the late-adolescent sensibilities of its narrator, Selin. As a freshman at Harvard in 1995, Selin is overwhelmed by her newfound freedom and its possibilities. Batuman skillfully shows how the brilliance of

Jacques Rancourt

Poetry at the Fringes! Emerging American Poets #1: Jacques Rancourt

By Lucas Gonzalez I first met the poet Jacques Rancourt in San Francisco in 2015. An interesting anecdote about the small and interconnected universe we writer-types live in: Mr. Rancourt, as he was then known to his students, recently filled a teaching position, one that I had

Jia Tolentino and Puja Patel

Representation Matters. Write Until It Doesn’t. by Fajr Muhammad (Our Word, School of the Arts)

Jia Tolentino and Puja Patel are friends. When you meet them it is easy to see why. Aside from the natural connections—both women of color, writers and former Gawker editors—theirs is a friendship based around the kinship of commonality. While each woman has had a

The ongoing conversation between queer writers: Garth Greenwell, on his new novel: an interview with Marcus Creaghan

What Belongs To You, the debut novel by Garth Greenwell, feels intimate, like a sleek, conspiratorial conversation in the dark. Greenwell, who is also a poet, tells the story of an American teacher in Bulgaria with sensuously textured prose that often trembles with the powerful

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Madelaine Lucas: a conversation with author, poet, dancer, Maggie Nelson

Passion and philosophy are the twin rivers that run through Maggie Nelson’s body of work, most notably in her latest book, The Argonauts—though perhaps she wouldn’t see these pursuits as totally different enterprises. As a writer, her books resist categorization; they blend art criticism, queer

I am an accumulator of lots of cheap beautiful things: Dottie Lasky, poet and teacher, interviewed by Tamara MC

Dorothea Lasky is an American poet, born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 27, 1978. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also has an Ed.M. from Harvard University in Arts & Education and an Ed.D. from the University

Questions of Faith and Writing: The Iowa International Writing Program’s Christopher Merrill interviews Author, former Priest James Carroll

A moral compass is critical to certain kinds of literary endeavors, and no writer illustrates this better in our time than James Carroll, the author of nearly twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently, the novel Warburg in Rome and an engaging work of

Alexandra Wolfe on Overcoming Tricky Interviewees; an interview by Erin Hazelton

Alexandra Wolfe writes profiles for the Wall Street Journal. She also pens books and cover stories for Vanity Fair. A personal favorite of mine? She wrote about sitting in on Silicon Valley’s “Cougar Night” for Vanity Fair a few years ago. Wolfe reports about her

The joys of a novel: Jade Chang interviewed by Sarah Hoenicke

Jade Chang interviewed by Sarah Hoenicke  “Sometimes just living your life in a way that is completely unapologetic is a rebellion.” Jade Chang’s debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, is an extraordinarily balanced first book.  Often, debuts lack perfect continuity—containing lapses into portions of

The Illegal Drug Revolution: Kayla Tanenbaum with Kevin Deutsch, author of Pill City

Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning criminal justice journalist and true crime author. His first nonfiction book, The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips (2014), is an immersive account of the year the author spent covering a Bloods-Crips gang war

Tunnel Vision: no car, no love, no fun, “All so that I could write.” Chloe Caldwell interviewed by Kayla Tanenbaum

Chloe Caldwell is the author of three books, I’ll Tell You in Person (2016), Women (2014), and Legs Get Led Astray (2012), which will be reprinted in 2017. Her work has been published in Lenny Letter, Vice, Salon, Nylon, Men’s Health, and in multiple anthologies.

NYTimes’ Modern Love Editor: “To love is to care. To hate is to care.” Daniel Jones, interviewed by Andrew H. Miller

Daniel Jones’ Modern Love column at The New York Times and his social media posts about the job (Twitter, Facebook) have granted him online-lit-celebrity status. Every week a new submission is posted to his column after having been read, responded to, edited, fact-checked, contracted, copy-edited, and confirmed.

On the Business of Books: Indie press founder Adam Robinson speaks with Kayla Tanenbaum

by Kayla Tanenbaum There’s a good story behind the genesis of Adam Robinson’s award-winning small press, Publishing Genius. Adam was pursuing an MFA in “Creative Writing and Publishing” at the University of Baltimore when he received an assignment to present a unique journal idea that

Imagining the Unimaginable: An Interview with Darragh McKeon by Andrea Caswell

Editor’s Note: Below is an interview with Irish novelist Darragh McKeon. In light of the election, we want to reify the power of literature to transform tragedy into art, and the responsibility we all have to create with compassion and social consciousness.     On April

Tilted Axis Pres

Publisher Deborah Smith on Biases and Translation: interview by Cassie Davies

Interview with Deborah Smith, Publisher and Editor at Tilted Axis Press By Cassie Davies Outstanding non-English literature has faced tremendous difficulty crossing the borders of domestic publication imposed by the publishing industries of the United States and the United Kingdom. In the US and UK,

Interviewee Ottessa Moshfegh

Marcus Creaghan speaks with novelist Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh is the author of the novel McGlue, winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the novel Eileen, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction. Ottessa  was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize. Her stories have

Bernard Hayman

(Politics) On Anti-Blackness with Activist, Writer, Fulbright Scholar Bernard Hayman and Shaun Lau

This interview was originally published on nototally.com, read & listen here: http://nototally.com/anti-blackness-bernard-hayman/ Shaun Lau is an Asian-American occasional writer and host of the film and social issues podcast No, Totally! Follow him on Twitter, @NoTotally, and find his work at http://nototally.com . Bernard A. Hayman

Larry Tye portrait

Kayla Tanenbaum speaks with journalist & biographer Larry Tye

By Kayla Tanenbaum Before becoming an author, Larry Tye was an award-winning journalist, from 1986-2001, at The Boston Globe. He uses his background journalism to write nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics: his first biography, The Father of Spin, tells the story of

Philosophy Hall, by Rowan Wu

Artist Profile: Rowan Wu, Painter and Barnard Student, by Zoe Marquedant

By Zoe Marquedant Editor’s note: Rowan’s exhibition celebrates its opening this Thursday, November 3rd, at 6pm at Birch Coffee on the Upper West Side. More info here. See more of Rowan’s art on her instagram and website. What do we do for our own sake?

Professor James Shapiro portrait, Columbia University

Andrew H. Miller speaks with author and Columbia Professor James Shapiro

Andrew H. Miller interviews James Shapiro for Columbia Journal. James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985, and his full biography is below. He will speak with Professor Lis Harris for the Nonfiction Dialogues series on November 2nd,

Emily Witt, author of Future Sex

Kayla Tanenbaum speaks with Emily Witt, author of Future Sex

by Kayla Tanenbaum When Emily Witt pitched Future Sex, she sold it as Gay Talese’s Thy Neighbor’s Wife for the post-internet generation. Emily’s editor suggested that she make Future Sex more personal, and the resulting book—which evolved into a series of essays—fulfills that goal. By

Buckaroo Tingle

“i have recently learned that i exist.” -Gay erotica author Chuck Tingle: An interview

Dr. Chuck Tingle is a Hugo Award nominee and erotic author from Billings, Montana. According to his website and his twitter, he is also a Tae Kwon Do grandmaster (almost black belt), the recipient of a PhD in holistic massage from DeVry University. Dr. Tingle’s responses came via email. Out of consideration for Dr.

Tim Murphy, photo credit Chris Gabello

Kayla Tanenbaum speaks with Tim Murphy, author of the novel Christodora

Tim Murphy’s Christodora is a time-traveling, political, historical, educational heartbreaker of a novel. Christodora’s seven main characters are connected in the story by the title’s eponymous building in New York City: the Christodora on the Lower East Side. It delivers a fresh perspective on an oft-explored

The Explosion Chronicles: Interview with 2016 Man Booker International Prize nominee Yan Lianke

By Sihan Tan How does one argue for the burning of books? Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China and mastermind behind her Great Wall, incinerated three thousand years of literature precisely because of his love for the past, or so Borges romanticises. Not

A conversation with David Henry Hwang

The Golden Playwright – a conversation with David Henry Hwang by Carla Stockton   David Henry Hwang (Columbia Univerity School of the Arts Website) I am on the phone with David Henry Hwang, the Concentration Head of the Playwriting program in the Drama Division of

Get Real: Lightnin’ Keeps Strikin’ – An Interview with Lou Christie

by Carla Stockton
“I was so focused. You know. I gave up a lot, like my teen years, but I got exactly what I wanted because I went after it.”

Interview with Artist Gerrit Joost de Jonge

A conversation with Gerrit Joost de Jonge and a collective conversation with writers, essayists, and artists making the case for transnational collaboration, including: Dinah Berland, Emily Bilman, Peter Frank, John Fuller, Joy Harjo, Juliën Holtrigter, Onno Kosters, Robert C. Morgan, Diederik Oostdijk, Saul Ostrow, and Robert Wynne.

Interview with Author Joshua Cohen

“Gods want to make matter. Magicians, or alchemists, want to change matter. And the scientists want to classify, or categorize, matter. As a writer you should want to be, or you should want to try to be, all three. You can always be a scientist, if you’re lucky you can be a magician or alchemist. Few, very few, become gods.”

Interview with Poet Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

“I think our idea of what poetry is should be continuously evolving. As humans, we always want an answer that fits easily into a quotable sound-byte, but the truth is that the answers are complex and ever-changing.”

Interview with an Interviewer

by Carla Stockton
Editor, critic, novelist, and Oscarologist, Thelma Adams sees her gender as an advantage. “As a female journalist,” she explains, “I let the women I interview be as intelligent as they actually are. There’s no need to hide that light under a basket, to pretend.”

Interview with Translator Robert Chandler

If a joke is to survive the journey into another language, if it is to hit the mark even when its cultural context can no longer be taken for granted, its point may need to be adjusted or somehow re-sharpened.

Interview with Artist Shawn Kuruneru

To me drawing is about origins. When you have an idea in your head you extract it by writing, sketching and scribbling it out. The first mark making gesture comes from uncertainty and chance which is what I find most interesting and exciting in all art.

Interview with Author Ellis Avery

I believe in towering ambition when it’s you alone with your work, but out in the world, I don’t think being a good artist is more important than being a good person.

Interview: Author Daniel Menaker

by Ella Delaney
If you want to be a journalist or probably even a writer in general, a reporter in the broadest sense of the word, you already have that curiosity which comes from wondering what your parents are up to behind closed doors.

Interview with Author Jon Michaud

Good early readers—that is readers who are honest, insightful, and unafraid to tell the truth—can save a writer months of work.