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The Nonfiction Dialogues: Wayne Koestenbaum

Past Series, The Writing Lives Series

dateJanuary 28, 2015 timeWednesday, 7:00pm EST location Dodge Hall, Room 501, Columbia University
  • The Writing Program of the School of the Arts
  • Image Credit/Caption: Cover detail of Koestenbaum's "My 1980s & Other Essays" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Close-up photo portrait of Debbie Harry

The Writing Program of the School of the Arts and the Heyman Center for the Humanities present a talk with poet, novelist, and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum. The talk is part of the Nonfiction Dialogue Series organized by the School of the Arts and The Writing Lives Series organized by the Heyman Center.

Born in 1958, Wayne Koestenbaum attended Harvard University and received an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from Princeton University. After being named co-winner of the 1989 Discovery/The Nation poetry contest, he published his first collection of poetry, Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems (Persea, 1990), which was chosen as one of The Village Voice Literary Supplement’s “Favorite Books of 1990.”

His other books include My 1980s & Other Essays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013); The Anatomy of Harpo Marx (University of California Press, 2012); Blue Stranger With Mosaic Background (Turtle Point Press, 2012); Best Selling Jewish Porn Films (Turtle Point Press, 2006); Model Homes (BOA Editions, 2004); The Milk of Inquiry (Persea, 1999); and Rhapsodies of A Repeat Offender (Persea, 1994).

Koestenbaum is also widely known as a cultural critic for his books on Jackie Kennedy and opera: Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon (FSG, 1995) and The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire (Poseidon Books, 1993), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books of criticism include Andy Warhol (Viking, 2001); Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics (Ballantine Books, 2000); and Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (Routledge, 1989). He has also published several novels, including Humiliation (Picador, 2011) and Hotel Theory (Soft Skull Press, 2007).

Koestenbaum received a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1994 and taught in Yale’s English department from 1988 to 1996. He has taught painting at the Yale School of Art since 2003 and lives in New York City where he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center.