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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

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!

Dear Karl Rove: Just in case Harriet Miers doesn't work out,
why not nominate me?

Why does the New York Times feel compelled to perpetuate the
myth that smart, striving women are increasingly opting out of a career
to be stay-at-home moms?

TEARS FOR NEW ORLEANS, AND US

Arlington, Mass.

Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true.

Progressive, grassroots charities on the Gulf Coast are poised to help hurricane victims. Here's a list of groups that need your donations.

How can women be equal before Islamic law, according to which they are unequal?

Feminists for Life fails to acknowledge women as moral agents. And in that sense, they aren't feminists at all.

Should pro-choicers just give up and let Roe go?

PRIESTS' ENTRAILS & PROFS' FREEDOM

New York City

Blogs

The French satirical publication takes aim at fundamentalism—in all its forms.
The new documentary following Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts provides important context to necessary change for global reproductive rights.
It’s not like women’s rights or prison reform. There are too many people making money out of feeding our insatiable demand for...
Was this "shoutdown" an abrogation of free speech or a necessary moment of speaking truth to power?
As abortion access becomes increasingly limited in some states and countries, providing generous health and welfare provisions for women...
Her eleven-hour filibuster blocked the passage of a draconian abortion ban—and awakened a pro-choice sleeping giant.
Call on the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia to help get Wajeha Al-Huwaider out of prison now.
The human rights activist who has organized protests against the ban on female drivers will serve ten months in jail for the crime of...