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Writing in the City

by 07/14/2024
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

“Let’s go around the circle,” the writing instructor began. He was a small wiry man with a trim brown beard. “I’m Alan. I graduated from SUNY Buffalo and last year I got my master’s degree in fine arts. I’m from Long Island, Great Neck,” he told us. “Everyone give your name and anything you want […]

Kings

by 08/31/2014
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

The blaring music is only background noise to my mumbled senses. Effie slaps a card down on the cheap plastic table N.Y.U. has inside every dorm room’s kitchen. Effie says some number and the four of us (Effie, Eleanor, Duke, and I) have to take a drink. It seems like for every card Duke and […]

Lost and Found

by 04/27/2014
Neighborhood: Uncategorized, West Village

After graduate school I drifted into a glamour job as a publicist for a well-known book publisher, where they paid me a pittance to write press releases and book jacket copy. It was fun for a while, until I went to my high school reunion and someone said, “I thought by now I’d be reading […]

School Spirits

by 03/20/2013
Neighborhood: Jamaica

I’ve been teaching Writing and Literature in New York City’s public school system for almost nine years. This spring, my former building will graduate its final class just shy of reaching the century mark. The school’s phase-out process followed the usual script that no ‘education reformer’ cares to discuss: a decent school declared dangerous, unable […]

Have I Heard of You?

by 02/28/2011
Neighborhood: Chelsea

Have I Heard of You? By Peter Wortsman The following encounter between the late William Packard (1933-2002), poet, playwright, teacher, and publisher of the literary journal The New York Quarterly, myself, and a postal worker, took place at the Chelsea Station Post Office in the 1980s. I immediately recognized the man in front of me […]