NYS Writers Institute, April 30, 2013
8:00 p.m. Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue,
Gail Collins, New York Times columnist, first female editor of the Times Editorial Page, and one of the most recognizable voices in American journalism, will speak Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 8 p.m. in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany downtown campus. The event is free and open to the public.
"We would be writing and reporting and somewhere along the line, the barrier between thinking and writing was broken down completely . . ." (3:41)
PROFILE One of the most recognizable voices in American journalism, Gail Collins served as the first female editor of the New York Times Editorial Page (2001-2007), and has contributed an influential biweekly column to the Times Op-Ed page for most of the past decade. Her column is distinguished by its fondness for humor and storytelling, its attention to political absurdity, and its championing of women’s rights. Collins also shares a New York Times blog with fellow columnist David Brooks, “The Conversation,” a friendly— and often funny— dialogue between liberal and conservative perspectives.
Her newest book is As Texas Goes... How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (2012). MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said, “Gail Collins is the funniest serious political commentator in America. Reading As Texas Goes... is pure pleasure from page one.” Publishers Weekly said, “Collins revels in the state’s 10-gallon self-regard, Alamo-inspired cult of suicidal last stands, and eccentric right-wing pols... she slathers plenty of wry humor onto a critique that stings like a red-hot brand.”
Collins is also the author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (2009). Cultural critic Elaine Showalter said, “Collins’s message is inspiring and timely, and all the techniques she employs to make this book fun to read— and impossible to deny— deserve critical praise as well as popular success.”
Her earlier books include America’s Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (2003), Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity, and American Politics (1998), and The Millennium Book (1990) co-authored with her husband, Dan Collins, Senior Producer for CBS News and New York editor of the Huffington Post.
After graduating with an M.A. from UMass Amherst, Collins worked for Connecticut publications, including the Hartford Advocate, before founding the Connecticut State News Bureau, a political news service, in 1972. Before joining the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board, Collins also served as a columnist for the New York Daily News, Connecticut Business Journal and Newsday, and as a financial reporter for UPI. As an adjunct professor, Collins recently taught a course in “opinion writing” at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Collins commented on the future of journalism in a February 2013 conversation with David Brooks entitled, “Will Journalism Go the Way of Whaling?” She remarked, “I’ve always had faith that the great national newspapers would survive in some form. But to tell the truth, I’ve been feeling grimmer and grimmer about local reporting. Candidates for the House and even the Senate campaign with very little coverage. Press rooms in state capitols look like they’ve been evacuated. And I don’t know what happens to national politics when the feeder system is covered mainly by right- and left-wing bloggers.” She added that, “[The] Internet is changing the way we communicate through writing. When the simple word processors came in, writing became crisper, less dense—just because of the way we could instantly edit on the screen. Now the ability to mash up words and pictures and links and songs and tweets is what matters. I can’t imagine what writing will be like in 2154.”