Colum McCann’s advice to aspiring writers? Write. The Hunter College creative writing MFA professor reads “A Letter to a Young Writer” and his short story “What Time Is It Where You Are” at the Writing Center. Going against the common advice to write what you know, McCann urges young writers to “write toward that which you want to know. Better still, write toward that which you don’t know.”
Who is the Neapolitan novelist writing as Elena Ferrante? The world doesn’t know, yet the world has taken notice of such books as The Days of Abandonment and The Story of the Lost Child, the final story of her (or his?) Neapolitan quartet, which place Naples at the center of the universe. Ferrante’s translator Ann Goldstein and publisher Kent Carroll join The Graduate Center’s Giancarlo Lombardi and Bettina Lerner at Proshansky Auditorium to talk about Ferrante’s work, which one critic calls a social tapestry with an underlying feminist sensibility that explores the struggles and contradictions faced by women in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Cate Marvin possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American poetry, and in 2015 the College of Staten Island English professor was a awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The speakers in her third collection of poems, “Oracle,” are haunting, passionate and sometimes bitingly funny women—and they’re all denizens of the borough where she’s taught and lived for a decade.
Donald Trump is the only pol “who screws up and his poll numbers go up,” says Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, and he seems willing to say anything. “It’s funny how when you’re president of the United States,” says Politico chief political correspondent and Brooklyn College alum Glenn Thrush, that “stuff you say has a tendency to actually happen.” The Trump beat reporters, in conversation with Peter Beinart at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, describe a Trump rally as “the angriest bar mitzvah you’ve ever been to.”
They could starve in India or work like slaves on the sugarcane plantations of British Guiana; that was the choice for thousands of Indians who left home from 1838-1917. One was journalist Gaiutra Bahadur’s great-grandmother Sajuria, who, pregnant and alone, immigrated in 1903. Bahadur seeks her story in Coolie Woman: An Odyssey of Indenture. Indenture provided cheap labor after Britain abolished slavery, and the indentured weren’t treated much better than slaves. Women had it worse, as victims of domestic violence. The abolition of indenture was “the first significant victory” for Indian nationalism, Bahadur tells a LaGuardia Community College audience.
Jules Allen spent five years traveling the country photographing African-American marching bands. What he saw through his lens was “a precision art form” as public spectacle and a culture that “breathes the soul and spirit of Africa within the modern world.” The result is the simply titled “Marching Bands.” It’s the fourth book by the long-time Queensborough Community College art and design professor, whose photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and the National Gallery.
Executive Committee Meeting of the Board of Trustees, February 24, 2016.
Public meeting of the Board of Trustees, January 25, 2016.
In his report to the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Milliken commented on several aspects of the 2016 Executive Budget including CUNY’s role in a plan to offer college-level instruction in state prisons and a renewed effort to pass a state DREAM Act. The Chancellor also noted that CUNY’s online bachelor’s degree program at the School of Professional Studies and CUNY School of Law had recently received national recognition. Regarding proposed shifts in state funding, Chancellor Milliken said: “We will not lose sight of the real interests at stake, the education and the futures of the over 500,000 students served everyday by The City University of New York.”
Award-winning music writer and cultural critic Jessica Hopper gives a raw backstage look into the marginalization of women and people of color in the music industry. In her lecture at Macaulay Honors College, Hopper, the author of “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” said: “Writing is a way that we refuse to be silent.”