Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt

poet, essayist and critic.


Pollitt is best-known for her column "Subject to Debate" in "The Nation" magazine, but has also published in numerous other periodicals, including "The New Yorker", "Harper's Magazine", "Ms. magazine" and "The New York Times". In 1994, she published "Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism," a collection of nineteen essays that first appeared in "The Nation" and other journals. Most of her "Nation" essays from 1994 to 2001 were collected in "Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics and Culture," published by the Modern Library in 2001. Before she became a regular columnist for "The Nation," Pollitt edited its Books & the Arts section, and won a National Book Critics Circle Award for a volume of her poetry, "Antarctic Traveller," in 1983. On June 13, 2006, Random House published her book "Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time".

Much of Pollitt's writing is in defense of contemporary feminism and other forms of 'identity politics' and tackles perceived misimpressions by critics from across the political spectrum; other frequent topics include abortion, the media, U.S. foreign policy, the politics of poverty (especially welfare reform), and human rights movements around the world. Her more controversial writings include "Not Just Bad Sex" (1993), a negative review of Katie Roiphe's "," and "Put Out No Flags" (2001), a "Nation" essay on post-9/11 America in which she explained her refusal to fly an American flag out of her living room window.


Pollitt married Randy Cohen, author of the "New York Times Magazine" column "The Ethicist," on June 6, 1987. [cite news
title= TV Writer Wed To Katha Pollitt
work=New York Times
] They later divorced. They have a daughter, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen. On April 29, 2006, Pollitt married the political theorist Steven Lukes. [cite news
title=Katha Pollitt and Steven Lukes
work=New York Times

Pollitt received an A.B. in philosophy from Radcliffe College in 1972 and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University in 1975. [cite journal
date =1996-05-30
title =Radcliffe Awards to Honor Distinguished Women
journal =Harvard Gazette
publisher =The President and Fellows of Harvard College
url =http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/05.30/RadcliffeAwards.html
accessdate =2008-07-07
quote =Katha Pollitt is the author of more than 250 pieces of nonfiction, as well as dozens of poems, which have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and The Yale Review. Her book of poems Antarctic Traveller won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her latest book, Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, was published in 1994 by Knopf (Vintage paperback, 1995) and earned her nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Essays and Criticism and for a National Magazine Award in Essays and Criticisms. Since 1982, Pollitt has also held several editorial positions at The Nation, for which she writes a bimonthly column, "Subject to Debate." She has also reviewed books for many magazines, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.

She earned an A.B. in philosophy from Radcliffe College in 1972 and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University in 1975. Pollitt has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, a Fulbright Writers Grant for travel in Yugoslavia, and a Whiting Writers Fellowship. Pollitt is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. ]


Pollitt was criticized by Bernard Goldberg, who named her number 74 in his book "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America", because of her essay "Put Out No Flags," in which she says: "The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war." Goldberg criticized what he perceived to be her lack of patriotism in the time shortly after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Pollitt's response, in the Introduction to "Virginity or Death!", was "(Memo to self: must try harder.)"

Feminist author Camille Paglia described Pollitt as a "whiny troll, an unscrupulous and unreliable critic and a cultural philistine...She's a good example of the phony prep-school/trust-fund leftism suffusing the incestuously interwined Ivy League cliques who run the corrupt East Coast literary and magazine establishment." [cite web
title=Is marriage headed for the trash can of history?
accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author=
authorlink=Camille Paglia
year= |month=
publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=



*"Antarctic Traveller: Poems" (1982) (ISBN 0394748956)
*"Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism" (1995) (ISBN 0679762787)
*"Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture" (2001) (ISBN 0679783431)
*"Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time" (2006) (ISBN 081297638X)
*"Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories" (2007) (ISBN 1400063329)

External links

* [http://ffrf.org/day/?day=14&month=10 Biography at Freedom from Religion Foundation]
* [http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/bio.mhtml?id=22 Biography at "The Nation"]
* [http://www.kathapollitt.blogspot.com Kathapollitt.com: Public appearances, news, and links]
* [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20011008/pollitt "Put Out No Flags," "The Nation"]
* [http://www.lipmagazine.org/articles/featclark_98.htm Beyond the Politics of Irony and Lip Gloss: An Interview With Feminist Writer Katha Pollitt] by Jessica Clark, LiP Magazine: 2001.
* [http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/07/12/katha_pollitt/index_np.html "Strident" and Proud (July 12, 2006 interview of Pollitt by Jessica Valenti on salon.com)]
* [http://www.zmag.org/forums/pollittalbert.htm Exchange] between Pollitt and Michael Albert of Z Communications

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pollitt — is a surname, and may refer to:* George Pollitt * Harry Pollitt, British politician and trade unionist * Harry Pollitt (engineer), British locomotive engineer * Katha Pollitt * Michael J Pollitt * Michael Pollitt * Tessa Pollitt * William Pollitt …   Wikipedia

  • Katha — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Katha imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Katha may refer to:People* Katha Pollitt (born 1949), American feminist writerPlace* Katha, also spelt… …   Wikipedia

  • Pollitt — Politt ist der Name von Harry Pollitt (1890−1960), von 1929 bis 1956 Generalsekretär der Kommunistischen Partei Großbritanniens Katha Pollitt (* 1949), US amerikanische Autorin Katrin Pollitt (* 1966), deutsche Schauspielerin Siehe auch: Politt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Camille Paglia — Infobox Writer name = Camille Paglia imagesize = 200px caption = Camille Paglia pseudonym = birthname = birthdate = Birth date and age|1947|4|2|mf=y birthplace = Endicott, New York deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Professor and Cultural… …   Wikipedia

  • The Passion of the Christ — This article is about the film. For the passions of Jesus Christ, see Passion (Christianity). The Passion of the Christ Theatrical release poster Directed by …   Wikipedia

  • Women Strike for Peace — (WSP, also known as Women for Peace) is a United States women s peace activist group. It was founded by Bella Abzug and Dagmar Wilson, [http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/findaids/docs/papersrecords/SWAP4073 1 4073 2.xml Seattle Women Act… …   Wikipedia

  • Marcus Buckingham — is a British American New York Times bestselling author, researcher, motivational speaker and business consultant best known for promoting what he calls Strengths. Basing most of his writing on extensive survey data from interviews with workers… …   Wikipedia

  • Katie Roiphe — Infobox writer imagesize = 150px name = Katie Roiphe pseudonym = birthname = Katherine Roiphe birthdate = 1968 birthplace = New York City, New York deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Non fiction writer, critic nationality = American period =… …   Wikipedia

  • Third-wave feminism — is a term identified with several diverse strains of feminist activity and study beginning in the early 1990s. The movement arose as a response to perceived failures and backlash against initiatives and movements created by second wave feminism… …   Wikipedia

  • Kay Ryan — Infobox Writer name = Kay Ryan imagesize = 180px birthdate = Birth year and age|1945 birthplace = San Jose, California, USA occupation = Poet, educator nationality = United States period = 1970s present genre = subject = movement = notableworks …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.