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Katha Pollitt, photo by Christina Pabst
Katha Pollitt


NYS Writers Institute, January 29, 2015

4:15 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Campus Center Room 375, Uptown Campus

Katha Pollitt, influential voice of contemporary American feminism and longtime columnist for The Nation, will present her new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights (2014), on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Campus Center 375 on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will offer an informal seminar in the same location. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.


Katha Pollitt,
influential voice of American feminism and long-time columnist for The Nation, is the author of a much-talked-about new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights (2014), a manifesto for the 21st century.

Writing in Time, Kate Manning called it “brilliant,” and said, “Pro marshals science, history, medicine, religion, statistics and stories of real women’s lives—with all the ‘tangled secret misfortunes’ of families—to make a myth-busting argument that abortion is a social good.” Writing in Elle, Laurie Abrahams called it an “important, revelatory new book…,” and said, “Pollitt does an excellent job of unpacking [the statistics] and showing the contradictions in our views, as well as the limits to what surveys can tell us about the decisions Americans make for themselves.”

Pro: Reclaiming Abortion RightsThe book appears at a time in American history when, according to Pew Research, only 62 percent of Americans and only 44 percent under the age of 30 know what “Roe v. Wade” is. It also appears at a time when the anti-abortion movement is experiencing renewed success in state legislatures across the country. In the two year period between 2011 and 2013, 205 new restrictions were passed (including mandatory parental notification, sonograms and waiting periods), more than in the previous 10 years combined.

A contributor to The Nation since 1980, Pollitt has been writing her bimonthly “Subject to Debate” column in that magazine since 1995. The Washington Post called that column, “the best place to go for original thinking on the left.” Pollitt is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary (1992 and 2003). She received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Book Awards in 2010.

Pollitt is widely acclaimed by her peers as one of America’s leading progressive thinkers. The late Susan Sontag said, “Katha Pollitt writes the liveliest, smartest general essays on women’s issues today,” and Barbara Ehrenreich says, “Over the years, I’ve been outsourcing my thinking on a host of subjects to Katha Pollitt.”
Pollitt’s earlier books include Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories (2007), Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time (2006), and Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism (1995).   

Pollitt is also an award-winning poet whose poems have been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic and New Republic. Her collections include The Mind-Body Problem (2009) and Antarctic Traveller (1983), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.