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Katha Pollitt | The Nation

Katha Pollitt

Author Bios

Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt

Columnist

Katha Pollitt is well known for her wit and her keen sense of both the ridiculous and the sublime. Her "Subject to Debate" column, which debuted in 1995 and which the Washington Post called "the best place to go for original thinking on the left," appears every other week in The Nation; it is frequently reprinted in newspapers across the country. In 2003, "Subject to Debate" won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. She is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.

Pollitt has been contributing to The Nation since 1980. Her 1992 essay on the culture wars, "Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me..." won the National Magazine Award for essays and criticism, and she won a Whiting Foundation Writing Award the same year. In 1993 her essay "Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?" won the Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Many of Pollitt's contributions to The Nation are compiled in three books: Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism (Knopf); Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture (Modern Library); and Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time (Random House). In 2007 Random House published her collection of personal essays, Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories. Two pieces from this book, "Learning to Drive" and its followup, "Webstalker," originally appeared in The New Yorker. "Learning to Drive" is anthologized in Best American Essays 2003.

Pollitt has also written essays and book reviews for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Harper's, Ms., Glamour, Mother Jones, the New York Times, and the London Review of Books. She has appeared on NPR's Fresh Air and All Things Considered, Charlie Rose, The McLaughlin Group, CNN, Dateline NBC and the BBC. Her work has been republished in many anthologies and is taught in many university classes.

For her poetry, Pollitt has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her 1982 book Antarctic Traveller won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poems have been published in many magazines and are reprinted in many anthologies, most recently The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006).  Her second collection, The Mind-Body Problem, came out from Random House in 2009.

Born in New York City, she was educated at Harvard and the Columbia School of the Arts. She has lectured at dozens of colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brooklyn College, UCLA, the University of Mississippi and Cornell. She has taught poetry at Princeton, Barnard and the 92nd Street Y, and women's studies at the New School University.

Articles

News and Features

The only thing more absurd than the wedding gift the British government just gave Katha Pollitt is the fact that our government denies gays such benefits.

Antifeminists engage in moral discourse while feminists tend to speak in the language of personal choice. But what happens when choice is a bad idea--for yourself, other women or society?

In South Dakota, prochoicers are fighting back with a bipartisan
initiative challenging the abortion ban and a grassroots effort
that has put progressive Native American women on the ballot.

Betty Friedan lived a big life and wrote a big book that helped change our world, in every way, for the better.

As prochoicers seek to reframe their arguments, injecting more moralism
into the antiabortion debate will not keep abortion legal and
accessible.

Women now outnumber men at colleges and universities, but higher
education has not become the fluffy pink playpen of feminism that some
conservatives envision.

Bush is on the defensive. The GOP is mired in corruption. The media are waking up. Civil liberties are beginning to matter. See? Good things did happen in 2005.

Tsunami. Hurricane. Earthquake. War. Poverty. Injustice. It's been a
tough year, but here's a list of extraordinary groups who deserve a
place on your holiday gift list.

Maureen Dowd has done her best to declare feminism dead. But by
insisting that men are scared of spunky successful women, it doesn't
occur to her that she is promoting, rather than reporting on, the
problem she describes.

As the backlash against women gets daily more open and absurd, our
real-life female politicians seem paralyzed. It's up to television now:
Run, Geena, run!

Blogs

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