Curriculum Vitae

Educational Background

B.A., Columbia College, Columbia University, 1964.

Ph.D., Union Graduate School (Union Institute), 1979: English Education.


2008-present: Professor, Columbia University. Teaches graduate nonfiction courses in the Writing Division of the School of the Arts, formerly taught in the Film and Journalism programs; formerly Director of Nonfiction concentration, MFA Writing Program.

Fall 1993–2011: Adams Chair Professor, Department of English, Hofstra University, 1993-2008; subsequently Visiting Writing Professor. Taught literature and creative writing courses to undergraduates and graduates. Organized Great Writers/ Great Readings Series.

1999–present: Adjunct Professor, MFA (low-residency) program, Bennington College. Teach creative nonfiction. 1992–3: Professor of English, Bennington College.

1987–1992, 2004-2007: Adjunct Professor, Writing Division, Columbia University School of the Arts. Taught advanced writing fiction workshops, directed graduate theses. School of General Studies: taught undergraduates essay- and fiction-writing.

2003-present: Adjunct Professor, MFA Writing Program, New School University.

2002-present: Regular member of the faculty of New York Summer Writers Institute, Skidmore College. Teach annual summer workshops in nonfiction.

Fall 1980–June 1988: Associate Professor of English (tenured), University of Houston. Taught fiction, poetry and essay-writing workshops and literature courses to graduate and undergraduate students; served as Acting Director (1981).

1980–1988: Part-time film curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Curated film exhibitions, wrote monthly program notes, lectured.

1971–1980: Project Director, Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Started and ran nationally recognized artists-in-the-schools program at P.S. 75, Manhattan. Included teaching children (kindergarten through 6th grade) poetry and fiction writing, film, video and theater, comic book making and radio production; training writers, artists, teachers and parents to work creatively with children; starting a children’s publishing house, radio station, film festival; writing grant proposals and administering funded projects, such as a National Institute of Education research grant on art education.

One-term appointments as Visiting Professor at Princeton University, New York University (Graduate Division), Cooper Union, Fordham University, Adelphi University.

Short-term residencies at Duke University, Tulane University, Chatham College, Ohio State University, University of Indiana, University of Nebraska, Colgate University, St. Lawrence University, Union College, University of Missouri, Prague Writers Workshop, Paris Writers Workshop, St. Petersburg Writers Workshop, Sarah Lawrence College, Penn State, Miami-Dade College Writers Institute, St. Olaf’s College (Minnesota), University of Connecticut/Storrs, Ashland University (Ohio), North Carolina at Greenboro, Ithaca College, Manhattanville Writers Conference, The Loft (Minneapolis), Spalding University (Kentucky), The Writers Community, Culinary Institute, Brigham Young University, Midnight Sun (Fairbanks, Alaska) Writing Conference, Santa Fe Writers Conference, Martha’s Vineyard Writing Conference, Oklahoma Arts Institute, New Jersey State Arts Council, Aspen Writers Conference and as Writing Fellow for the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Foundation (1991–92) at Evansville, Indiana.

Keynote speaker, Conference on Non-fiction, Iowa University, November 11-13, 2005; Keynote speaker, Conference on Cities, University of Ghent (Belgium), January 13-16, 2006; speaker, Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism, Boston, December 3-4, 2005; Speaker, Nature and New York, Queens College, December 2, 2005; Keynote Speaker, Asilomar Conference on English Education, 2004; keynote speaker, CUNY Graduate Center Conference on the City in Literature, featured reader at Association of Writers Programs conference, New York City, 2008; keynote speaker, Chatham College nonfiction conference, 2011.

Honors and Awards

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, inducted as a new member, 2006.

Honors Convocation 2002, Marymount Manhattan College, received honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.

New York Public Library/Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, 2000–2001.

New York Society Library, best NYC books, Waterfront, 2005, Writing New York, 1999.

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1988.

National Endowment of the Arts grants in critical writing, 1978, and fiction, 1985.

New York Foundation of the Arts grant in nonfiction, 1989.

Best Teacher of the Year Award, English Department, University of Houston, 1985.

Charles Revson Fellowship, Columbia University, 1984. in Architecture/Urban Studies.

Texas Institute of Letters’ Carr P. Collins Award for best nonfiction book of the year, for Bachelorhood, 1982.

New York State Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) grant, fiction, 1976.

Christopher Medal for Being With Children, 1975.

Professional Associations and Activities

Committee of Consultants on American Writing for the Library of America

Artists Advisory Council, New York Film Festival

New York Institute of the Humanities (at New York University), inducted 2007.

Wexner Arts Center (Columbus Ohio), advisory council, 2007- present.

Member, New York Film Festival selection committee, 1988–1991, 2004-2006. One of five committee members selecting annual festival of world cinema at Lincoln Center.

Member, Selection Committee, The Brendan Gill Award, for the best annual cultural contribution to New York City, 2001-2003.

Member, Usage Panel, The American Heritage Dictionary.

Advisory Board, Pen America, the literary publication of PEN. Member of PEN, and formerly co-chair, PEN Southwest.

Board of Directors, Teachers & Writers Collaborative.

Advising Consultant, Encyclopedia of the Essay, edited by Tracy Chevalier, Fitzroy Dearborn (London), 1996.

Consultant, Ric Burns’ New York, a documentary film made for PBS, 1999-2002.

Guest Director, Telluride Film Festival (Telluride, Colorado), 1995. Responsible for picking all retrospectives.

Juror, Bush Foundation awards in literature, music and the visual arts, 1995.

Judge, Association of Writing Programs, for best nonfiction manuscript, 1993.

Member of five-person National Book Award panel in fiction, 1990.

Member of three-person Pulitzer Prize committee in poetry, 1984–85.

New York City School Chancellor’s Committee on the arts in education, 1990.

Municipal Arts Society’s committee to improve New York City’s streets. Curated lecture series at Municipal Arts Society on Urbanism and Culture.

Visiting writer/lecturer for the United States Information Agency in Egypt, Pakistan, Israel and Argentina.

Original member of the Genesis Group, writers and religion scholars studying the Bible monthly, under the auspices of the Jewish Theological Seminary, 1987–1994.

Juror, the Ernest Gaines Award, annually given for best African-American fiction book


Books written by:

A Mother’s Tale, Mad River Books/OSU Press, 2017.

Portrait Inside My Head, Free Press/Simon & Schuster, 2013

To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, Free Press, 2013

At the End of the Day: Selected Poems, Marsh Hawk Press, 2010.

Notes on Sontag, Princeton University Press, Spring 2009.

Two Marriages, two novellas, Other Press, September 2008.

Waterfront, Crown Books, February/March 2004. Anchor paper, 2006.

Getting Personal: The Selected Writings of Phillip Lopate, Basic Books, October 2003.

Rudy Burckhardt: Life and Work, Harry N. Abrams, March 2004. A monograph on the late Swiss/New York photographer and filmmaker.

Totally, Tenderly, Tragically, movie criticism, Doubleday/Anchor Books, Fall 1998.

Portrait of My Body, personal essays, Doubleday/Anchor, Fall 1996; Anchor paper, 1997. Finalist for the PEN Spielvogel-Diamonston Award (Best Essay Book of the Year).

Against Joie de Vivre, personal essays, Simon & Schuster,1989; Poseidon paper, 1992.

The Rug Merchant, novel, Viking Press, 1987; Penguin paper, 1988.

Bachelorhood: Tales of the Metropolis, essays, stories and poems, Little, Brown, 1981; Arbor House paper, 1984; Poseidon paper, 1989.

Confessions of Summer, novel, Doubleday, 1979; Pinnacle paper, 1981.

The Daily Round, poems, Sun Press, 1976.

Being With Children, a memoir, Doubleday, 1975; Bantam, 1976; Poseidon, 1989.

The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open, poems, Sun Press, 1972.

Books edited by:

American Movie Critics: From the Silent Era to the Present, Library of America, 2006.

Writing New York, literary anthology, from Washington Irving to the present, The Library of America, October 1998. Winner of 1998 New York Society Library Book Award; Honorable Mention, Municipal Art Society’s 1999 Brendan Gill Award.

The Anchor Essay Annual, a yearly paperback volume of the best essays. Anchor. No. 1: 1997; No. 2: 1998; No. 3: 999 (series name changed to The Art of the Essay).

The Art of the Personal Essay, an anthology of the form, from Seneca and Plutarch to the present, Doubleday/Anchor, 1994; Anchor paper, 1995.

Journal of a Living Experiment, a documentary history of Teachers & Writers Collaborative and the writers-in-the-schools movement, Virgil Press, 1979.

Personal and Literary Essays

“The Best German Novelist of His Time,” The New York Review of Books, February 24, 2011, reprinted from afterword to Irretrievable, by Theodor Fontane, New York Review of Books Press, 2011.

“Between Insanity and Fat Dullness: How I Became an Emersonian,” Harper’s Magazine, January 2011.

“Brooklyn the Unknowable,” The Best American Essays 2010, reprinted from Harvard Review 37.

“How Do You End an Essay?” Salmagundi, Fall-2010, Winter-2011.

“The Ethics of Writing about Other People,” Creative Nonfiction 40, Winter 2011.

“The Real Thing,” introduction to Book of Days,” by Emily Fox Gordon, Spiegel & Grau, 2010.

“In Defense of the Essay Collection,” River Teeth, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2010.

“The Life of the Mind,” The Hopkins Review, Spring 2010.

Foreword, Writers and Their Notebooks, Edited by Diana M. Raab, The University of South Carolina Press, 2010.

“The Uses of Contrariety,” Creative Nonfiction 39, Fall 2010.

“Real Risks,” Dedicated to the People of Darfur, edited by Luke and Jennifer Reynolds, Rutgers University Press, 2009.

“Going Long,” Lapham’s Quarterly, Eros Issue, Winter 2009.

“My Brother, Life,” Brothers, edited by Andrew Blauner, Jossey-Bass, 2009.

Introduction, By the Waters of Manhattan by Charles Reznikoff, Black Sparrow, 2009.

“Adapt This: Fiction Into Film,” lead essay for special film adaptation issue, Bookforum, Summer 2007.

“The Lyric Essay,” Seneca Review, Winter 2007.

“Best of Times, Worst of Times,” Creative Nonfiction 31, 2007, special issue on Writing and Publishing in the Year 2025.

“Howl and Me,” in The Poem That Changed America: Allan Ginsberg’s Howl,” edited by Jason Schinder, Farrar-Strauss Giroux, March 2006.

“Curioser and Curioser: The Practice of Nonfiction Today,” Iowa Review, Spring 2006.

Introductory essay to Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, Barnes and Noble Press, 2006.

Introduction to the reprint of Hilary Masters’ Last Stands, SMU Press, 2005.

“Tea at the Plaza,” Salmagundi fortieth anniversary issue, 2005-2006.

“Reflection and Retrospection: A Pedagogic Mystery Story,” Fourth Genre, Spring 2005.

“Immigrant Novels,” Gilder-Lehrman History Project.

Introductory essay to Remote, by David Shields, University of Wisconsin Press, 2003.

Introductory essay to Charles Lamb’s Essays of Elia, reissued by the University of Iowa Press, 2003; reprinted in The Writer’s Chronicle, an Association of Writing Programs publication, December 2002.

“Herman Melville, by Elizabeth Hardwick,” review/essay, Leviathan, the Herman Melville Quarterly, 2002.

“Ashes,” essay, Before and After: Stories from New York, edited by Thomas Beller, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood Books, 2002; reprinted in The Forward and 110 Stories.

“Washington Heights,” essay, Hotel Amerika, published by Ohio University, Fall 2002.

“The Worldly Stendhal,” essay, The American Scholar, Winter 2001. Reprinted in Rereadings, edited by Anne Fadiman, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2005

Introduction to William Dean Howells’ A Hazard of New Fortunes, Penguin Classics paper, 2001.

“On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character,” Writing Creative Non-Fiction, ed. Carolyn Forche & Philip Gerard; Story Press, 2001; reprinted, Contemporary Creative Fiction, ed. by B. Minh Nguyen and Porter Shreve, Pearson-Longman, 2005.

“Warren Sonbert,” A Double Loss: Artists Who Died of AIDS, University of New England Press, Winter 2000.

“The Countess’s Tutor,” DoubleTake, Summer 2000.

“Couch Potato,” Tales From the Couch, an anthology of essays about the influence of psychotherapy on writing, Avon Books, 2000.

“Fragments of Empire,” Seneca Review, The Lyric Essay Issue, Spring 2000.

“Memoirs of a Wishy-Washy Left-Liberal,” Gulf Coast, Spring 2000.

“Edward Said,” interview, Bomb, Fall 1999.

“First Love,” The Art of Kim Anderson, Workman Press, Fall 1999.

“The Lake of Suffering,” Wanting a Child, edited by Jill Bialsky and Helen Schulman, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998.

“Confessions and Self-Justifications of a Sports Fan,” Body Language: Writers on Sport, edited by Gerald Early, Graywolf Press, 1998.

“The Limits of Empathy,” Family Therapy Networker, November/December 1997; reprinted in Utne Reader, March/April 1998.

“Two Movie Dates,” New York Sex, edited by Jane DeLynn, Painted Leaf Press, 1998.

“The Story of My Father,” Close to the Bone, edited by Laurie Stone, Grove Press, 1997.

“The Strange Case of Loren Eiseley,” Conjunctions 29, Tributes Issue, 1997.

“The Days of the Patriarchs: Washington Irving’s A History of New York,” Boulevard, Winter 1997.

“Always Be Closing: A Skeptic’s View of Contemporary Short Stories,” Zoetrope, Summer 1997.

“Sans Teeth,” New York Times Book Review, September 8, 1996.

“The Story of Abraham and Sarah,” Genesis: Contemporary Writers on Our First Stories, edited by David Rosenberg, Harper-Collins, 1996.

“Memories of Greenwich Village: A Meander,” Boulevard, Summer/Fall 1996.

“Questionnaire on Reading,” Hungry Mind Review, Spring 1996.

“Delivering Lily,” Creative Nonfiction, March 1996.

“Keeping A Diary,” The Writer’s Journal, edited by Sheila Bender, Dell Books, 1996.

“The Invisible Woman,” Threepenny Review, Spring 1995.

“Terror of Mentors,” Ohio Review No. 51, Special Mentors Issue.

“Detachment and Passion,” Southwest Review, Spring/Summer 1994.

“Portrait of My Body,” Michigan Quarterly Review, Fall 1993; reprinted in The Male Body, edited by Laurence Goldstein, University of Michigan Press, 1994.

“The Pen On Foot: The Literature of Walking Around,” Parnassus, Spring 1993.

Introduction to The Ordering Mirror: The Ben Belitt Lectures at Bennington College, Fordham University Press, 1993.

“The Bullet-Stopper,” New York Times, May 31, 1992.

“The Family Bluebeard,” Hungry Mind Review, Spring 1992.

“Robert Walser’s ‘The Walk,’” Journal of Modern Literature, Special Walser Issue, Spring 1991.

“On Not Reading Thomas Bernhard,” Pequod, Special Bernhard Issue, June 1991.
Reprinted, The Normal School, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2009.

“The Case for Artifice,” Allure, November 1991.

“On Leaving Bachelorhood,” Self, September 1991.

“The Moody Traveler,” New York Times, Travel section, November 26, 1989.

“Valentine’s Day,” Wigwag, February 1990.

“The Dead Father: A Remembrance of Donald Barthelme,” Threepenny Review; reprinted in Hiding in Plain Sight: Essays in Criticism and Autobiography, edited by Wendy Lesser, Mercury House, 1993.

“Suicide of a Schoolteacher,” Boulevard, Spring 1989; reprinted in On Suicide: Great Writers on the Ultimate Question, edited by John Miller, Chronicle Books, 1992.

“Three Episodes From the Original Manuscript of Being With Children,” Literary Outtakes, edited by Larry Dark, Fawcett Books, 1990.

“Renewing Sodom and Gomorrah,” in Men Confront Pornography, edited by Michael Kimmel, Crown Books, 1990.

“Resistance to the Holocaust,” in Testimony: Contemporary Writers Make the Holocaust Personal, anthology edited by David Rosenberg, Times Books, 1989; reprinted in Tikkun, May/June 1989.

“The Zen of Subletting,” 7 Days, September 12, 1988.

“Of Friendship,” Texas Monthly, February 1988.

“The Dinner Party,” Harper’s, January 1988.

“The Book of Judges,” in Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible, anthology edited by David Rosenberg, Harcourt-Brace, Jovanovich, 1987.

“Waiting for the Book: Storms Before the Calm,” The New York Times Book Review, front-page essay, May 24, 1987.

“Against Joie de Vivre,” Ploughshares 12, Nos. 1 & 2, 1986; reprinted in Best American Essays of 1987, Ticknor & Fields, and The Pushcart Prize Book of Best Small Press Writing, edited by Bill Henderson, 1987.

“Zoroaster in the Modern World,” New York Times Magazine, October 19, 1986.

“A Non-smoker in Love With a Smoker,” New Age, September/October 1986.

“The Essay Lives—in Disguise,” New York Times Book Review, front-page essay, November 18, 1984.

Regular column of personal essays in Westward Magazine, including “The Passion for Waiting,” October 16, 1983; “Art of the Creep,” November 27, 1983; “On Shaving a Beard,” December 11, 1983; “Revisionist Nuptials,” May 20, 1984; and “Upstairs Neighbors,” July 6, 1984.

“Platonics,” Houston City Magazine, November 1981.

“Remembering Lionel Trilling,” American Review 24, 1976.

Writings on Film and Theater

“The French Line,” PAJ (Performance Arts Journal), May 2010.

“Second Impressions,” Film Comment, May/June 2009.

“Making Dead Birds,” Introduction to Robert Gardner’s Dead Birds, Harvard University Press, forthcoming, 2008

“Resnais’ Private Fears in Public Places,” review, Film Comment, March/April 2007.

“Lattuada’s Mafioso,” review, Film Comment. September/October 2006.

“Shining Bright: John Ford’s Vision of the South,” Oxford American 56, 2007, Southern Movie Issue.

“Cheroux’s Gabrielle,” review, Film Comment, 2006.

“Good Night, And Good Luck,” essay/review, Film Comment, September/October 2005

“Ross McElwee’s Bright Leaves,” POV, PBS website.

“Cannes Film Festival,” Film Comment, July-August 2005.

“Boris Barnet’s Outskirts and The Girl With the Hatbox,” Cineaste, Spring 2005.

“Otar Iosseliani,” Film Comment, January/February 2005.

“Ingmar Bergman’s Saraband,” Film Comment, September/October 2004.

“Cannes Film Festival,” Film Comment, July/August 2004.

Maurice Pialat’s Van Gogh,” Film Comment, May/June 2004

“D.W. Griffith’s Masterworks,” essay/review, Cineaste, Spring 2003.

“D.W. Griffith’s ‘The Mothering Heart,’” in City Secrets: Movies, an anthology, 2003.

“Hard Labor,” an essay on the films of the Dardenne Brothers, Film Comment, 2003.

Essays on Ozu’s Late Spring, Rohmer’s Summer and Mizoguchi’s Utamaro and the Five Women for Museum of Modern Art catalogue publication of the film series, “The Hidden God,” curated by Mary Lee Bandy and Antonio Monda, 2003.

“The Fortieth New York Film Festival,” Film Comment, November/December, 2002.

“The Method South,” essay, Oxford American, Winter 2002.

“The Berlin Film Festival,” Film Comment, May/June 2002.

“On the Waterfront,” essay/review, Cineaste, Spring 2002.

Essays on Dreyer’s Gertrud, Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Godard’s Contempt, Resnais’ Night and Fog, Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, Cassavetes’ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Erich Rohmer’s La Collectioneuse, Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu, Naruse’s When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Despleichin’s A Christmas Tale, Pialat’s Naked Childhood, Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, Fejos’s Lonesome for the Criterion Collection’s DVD reissues of these films, 2001-present. Audio Commentary on Renoir’s Toni, Naruse’s Sound of the Mountain and Flowing for The Masters of Cinema.

“Antonioni’s L’Avventura,” review, Cineaste, Winter 2001.

“A Bouquet of Grief and Sex: The New York Film Festival,” Film Comment, November/December 2001.

“Hollywood Looks at the Business Office,” New Labor Forum, Fall/Winter 2001.

“Voyages,” essay/review of the Emmanuel Finkiel film by the same name, Film Comment, January/February 2001.

“The Pleasures of Rear Window,” American Movie Channel Magazine, June 2000.

“The Corporation as Fantasy Villain,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, April 9, 2000.

“Frederick Wiseman’s Achievement,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, January 23, 2000.

“Breathless Turns 40,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, January 16, 2000.

“New York Film Festival 1999,” Film Comment, November/December 1999.

“Hou Hsiao-hsien,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, October 10, 1999.

“Max Ophuls,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, June 20, 1999.

“Bresson’s Mouchette,” Film Comment, May/June 1999.

“David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ,” Film Comment, May/June 1999.

“Chabrol’s The Swindle,” Film Comment, January/February 1999.

“Seeing All Quiet on the Western Front,” Film Quarterly, 1998.

“Above the Battle: The Thin Red Line,” New York Times, January 17, 1999.

“New York Film Festival 1998,” Film Comment, November/December 1998.

“The Thalia: A Fan’s Notes,” New York Post, November 2, 1998.

“A New French Wave Rolls In,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, November 22, 1998.

“Yasujiro Ozu: The Subtly Observant Eye,” Cineaste 23, 1998; reprinted in The Best American Movie Writing of 1999, edited by Peter Bogdanovich, St. Martin’s, 1999.

“Luchino Visconti,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, November 16, 1997.

“New York Film Festival 1997,” Film Comment, November/December 1997.

“The Ardent Chaos of Cassavetes,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, August 17, 1997.

“Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan,” Film Comment, July/August 1997.

“Godard’s Contempt,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, June 22, 1997.

“When the ‘I’ in a Film is a Child,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, March 16, 1997.

“American Family Life and Alan Berliner,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, January 12, 1997.

“The Last Taboo,” in Dumbing Down: The Strip-Mining of American Culture, anthology edited by Katharine Washburn and John Major, W.W. Norton & Company, 1996; excerpted in the New York Times, Arts and Leisure, June 18, 1995.

“The New York Film Festival 1995,” review/essay in Film Comment, November/December 1995.

“Images of Children in Films,” Green Mountains Review, Spring/Summer 1995.

“The New York Film Festival 1994,” review/essay in Film Comment, November/December 1994.

“Marcel Ophuls: A Course in Resistance,” catalogue/essay for retrospective at the Walker Art Center, November 1992.

“The Essay-Film,” text of a talk delivered at Harvard University, Carpenter Center, as part of a symposium on the documentary film; reprinted in Threepenny Review, Winter 1992, and The Documentary Film, edited by Charles Warren, Wesleyan University Press, 1996.

“Confessions of a Shusher,” Columbia, December 1988.

“When Writers Direct,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, August 16, 1992.

“Diary of a Country Priest,” The Movie That Changed My Life, anthology edited by David Rosenberg, Viking, 1991.

“Love and Sex in the Movies,” Lear’s, July 1990.

“David Lynch’s Wild at Heart,” Esquire, September 1990.

“Letter From Cannes,” Hungry Mind Review, September/October 1990.

“Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger,” Esquire, November 1990.

“Jane Campion and her ‘Angel,'” Vogue, January 1991.

“Pauline Kael: Lady in the Dark,” New York Woman, November 1989.

“Berlin’s Moving Pictures,” American Way, June 1989.

“Confessions of a New York Film Festival Judge,” 7 Days, September 1988.

“Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ,” Tikkun, November/December 1988.

“Man With a Movie Camera: Rudy Burckhardt,” curated and wrote essay for Museum of Modern Art retrospective, 1987.

“The Houston International Film Festival,” Spot, Fall 1986.

“A Taste for Naruse,” Film Quarterly, Summer 1986.

“Band of Outsiders,” American Film, March 1984.

“The Films of Warren Sonbert,” Film Culture 70-71, 1983.

“Truffaut’s The Woman Next Door and Makavejev’s Montenegro,” Houston City Magazine, April 1982.

“Shadow as Image: Notes on Mizoguchi and Dreyer,” Cinemabook, Spring 1976.

“Antonioni’s First Cronaca,” Thousand Eyes No. 4, 1975.

“Aesthetics of the Portapak,” Radical Software Vol. 6, No. 2, 1974.

“W.R.—Mysteries of the Organism by Dusan Makavejev,” interview with filmmaker, with script, Avon Books, 1972.

“The Hardening Process: Nobody Waved Goodbye,” Moviegoer No. 3, Summer 1966.


My Guru and His Disciple, adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s book by the same title, for Jane Campion.

Ticket to Fiji, original screenplay for Cynthia Beatt, director, and Tilda Swinton, actress.

Waif, original screenplay for Leon Falk, producer, Orion Pictures.

Architecture, Urbanism and Travel Essays

“Here Brooklyn Gathers,” in BAM:The Complete Works, Quantuck Lane Press, 2011

“New York’s Best Year: 1898,” New York Magazine, January 17-24, 2011.

“1709-1808: The British Century,” New York Post, September 6, 2009

Introduction to Brooklyn Was Mine, an anthology of Brooklyn writers, Riverhead, 2007.

“Robert Moses: A Town Revived, A Villain Redeemed,” New York Times, Feb 11 2007

“Ada Louise Huxtable,” Metropolis, January/February 2005

“The High Line,” Preservation, July/August 2005.

“What to do With Columbus Circle,” Preservation, November/December 2004.

“New York’s Daniel Moynihan,” Metropolis, July 2003

“Pages From a St. Petersburg Diary,” in St. Petersburg: A Literary Anthology, edited by Mikhael Iossel, 2004.

“Under the Bridges,” essay, Saint Anne’s Review: A Journal of Contemporary Arts and Letters, Winter/Spring 2003.

“James Howard Kunstler’s The City in Mind,” review/essay, Preservation, 2002.

“James Sanders’ Celluloid Skyline,” review/essay, Metropolis, April 2002.

“Rethinking Robert Moses,” essay, Metropolis, August/September 2002.

“Knee-Jerk Consensus,” a review of After the World Trade Center, edited by Michael Sorkin and Sharon Zukin, Metropolis, October 2002.

Review of Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950, by Robert M. Fogelson, DoubleTake, October 2002.

“Fish Tale,” article on the Fulton Fish Market, New York Times, Weekend section, January 5, 2001.

“The Essential William H. Whyte,” Metropolis, December 2000.

“‘AIA Guide to New York City’ Rides Again, essay New York Times, City Section, p.1, June 18, 2000.

“Who Killed the Port?” Metropolis, June 2000.

“Introduction,” The Brooklyn Book, edited by Mike Robbins, Workman Press, 2000.

“Houston,” New York Times Sophisticated Traveler, February 27, 2000.

“The Casa Malaparte as Filmed Object,” Casa Malaparte, Rizzoli Books, 1999.

“Strolling Up Madison Avenue,” Culturefront, Winter 1997-1998.

“City Hall,” New York Times, Weekend section, October 30, 1998.

“The University of Houston,” Cite, Fall 1996.

“Across the Great Divide,” Brooklyn Bridge, February 1996.

“After-Life in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Bridge, May 1996.

“The Mayor of the Block,” Brooklyn Bridge, August 1996.

“A Failed Enterprise,” Brooklyn Bridge, October 1996.

“Brooklyn Sentimentality,” Brooklyn Bridge, December 1996.

“Manhattan, Floating City,” in The Place Within: Portraits in Words by Contemporary American Writers, anthology edited by Jodi Daynard, W.W. Norton, 1996.

“Outer Borough Pleasures,” HG, October 1992.

“New York & Houston,” Condé Nast Traveler, July 1992.

“Ralph Walker: The Man Behind Manhattan’s Mountains,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, April 21, 1991.

“Traveler’s Notebook: Berlin,” European Travel and Life, November 1990.

“The Sidewalks of New York,” New York Times, Arts and Leisure, November 25, 1990.

“Vicenza,” Sidestreets of the World, June 1990.

“The Lost City That Never Was: The New York Nostalgia Hoax,” 7 Days, June 21, 1989.

“The Planner’s Dilemma: Battery Park City,” 7 Days, February 15, 1989.

“The Mysterious City of Houston,” Liquid City: Houston Writers on Houston, edited by Rita Saylors, Corona Publishing Company, 1987.

“Pursuing the Unicorn: Public Space in Houston,” Cite, Winter 1984.

“Only Make Believe: Metaphor in Architectural Discourse,” Metropolis, September 1984.

Bimonthly column on architecture and urbanism for 7 Days, 1988-89. Subjects included the Central Park Zoo, Times Square, Williamsburg, waterfront policy, contextualism and movie theater design.


“Body, Remember,” story, Boulevard, Winter 1986.

“The Rug Merchant,” story, Mississippi Review 36, Spring 1984.

“Lives of the Poets,” Sun Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1983.

“Getting a Cat,” Editor’s Choice: Literature and Graphics From the U.S. Small Press, 1965-1977, edited by Sklar and Mulac; reprinted from Z Magazine, 1977.

“Pictures of the City,” The Big House: A Collection of Poets’ Prose, edited by Slater and Hartman, Ailanthus Press, 1974.

“The Chamber Music Evening,” story, Paris Review 56, 1974; reprinted in The Best American Short Stories of 1974, edited by Martha Foley, Houghton-Mifflin, 1975.

In Coyoacan, novella, Swollen Magpie Press, 1971.

“The Purple Necklace,” The World No. 16, June 1969.

“The Disciple,” story, Columbia Review, Spring 1964; reprinted in A Cinch: The Best of Columbia Review,” edited by Leslie Gottesman and Hilton Obenzinger, Columbia University Press, 1969.

Fine Art and Photography

“Sally Gall: Crawl,” Aperture, Fall 2009.

“The Photographs of William Meyers,” City Journal, 2009.

Introductory essay to Joel Meyerowitz’s photography book, Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks, Aperture Books, 2009.

Introductory essay to Shelley Secomb’s photography book, A Vanished Waterfont (forthcoming, Fordham University Press, 2008).

Introductory essay, Between Three Pillars (Powerhouse Books, 2007), Thomas Roma’s photographs of Brooklyn synagogues.

Introductory essay, “The Fulton Fish Market,” to South Street, by Barbara Mensch (photographer), Columbia University Press, 2006.

Introductory essay to Seaport: Photographs from the Edwin Levick Collection, The Mariners’ Museum (Newport News, Virginia); Smithsonian Publications, 2004.

“New York Observed,” catalogue essay for photographic show at the University of Michigan Museum, Ann Arbor, July 13-September 22, 2002.

“Burhan Dogançay,” essay on the Turkish artist, Bomb, September 2002.

“Post-War New York: A Socio-Cultural Sketch,” in John Koch: Painting a New York Life,” New York Historical Society/Scala Books, 2001.

Essay on the artist’s photography in Burhan Dogancay: Retrospective Catalogue, Istanbul, Turkey.

Introductory essay, Bridge of Dreams: The Rebirth of the Brooklyn Bridge, photographs by Burhan Dogançay, Hudson Hills Press, 1999.

“Eva Hesse: A Retrospective of the Drawings,” catalogue essay for the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, November 1982.


Four poems in The Maverick Poets, anthology edited by Steve Kowit, Gorilla Press, 1988.

Featured poet, six poems, Cedar Rock, Fall 1980.

“Indulging Myself at the Book Party,” The Niagara Magazine No. 12/13. Fall 1980.

“The Second Marriage,” Marxist Perspectives, Summer 1978.

“Once a Long Time Ago,” A Book of Men: Visions of the Male Experience, anthology edited by Ross Firestone, Stonehill Press, 1978.

“The Japanophiles” and “Doing Crossword Puzzles,” Pequod No. 2, 1978.

“A Free Ride, New York,” Mother Jones, October 1977.

“Ode to Senility,” The Pushcart Prize II, edited by Bill Henderson, Pushcart Press, 1977; reprinted in New York Times Book Review, May 29, 1977.

“The Scream,” New York Arts Journal, September 1976.

13 poems, Blue Pig No. 22, Special Phillip Lopate Issue, Fall 1975.

Four Poems, Sun Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1974.

“Walking Backwards,” New Worlds 5, London: Sphere Books, 1973.

“Allende,” The Village Voice, October 11, 1973.

Two Poems, Telephone No. 9, 1973.

Six Poems, Z No. 1, 1972.

Two Poems, Telephone No. 6, 1972.

Seven Poems, Mulberry, November 1972.

“To the King of the Wild West Rodeo Circuit,” Roy Rogers No. 1, 1970.

“A Special Case,” The World 11, April 1968.


Five poems from Les Dizains, by Maurice Scève, translated from the French for The World Treasury of Poetry, edited by Katharine Washburn and John S. Major, W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.

Educational Writings

“Reflections on the Living Experiment,” Teachers & Writers, September/October 2002.

“Teaching James Baldwin,” essay, The Teachers & Writers Guide to Classic American Literature, edited by Christopher Edgar and Gary Lenhart, Teachers & Writers Collaborative in Association with the Library of America, 2001.

“Children, Productivity and Creativity,” Social Policy, September 1978.

“Helping Young Children Start to Write,” Research on Composing, edited by Cooper and Odell, NCTE, 1978.

“The Transition From Speech to Writing,” “The Moment to Write” and “Some Reactions to the Grammar Question,” The Whole Word Catalog 2, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 1977.

“Getting at the Feelings,” New York Times Magazine, August 31, 1975; reprinted in English Teacher’s Companion 2, Scholastic Books, 1982.

“Friendship,” Teacher, October 1975.

Regular contributor of essays to Teachers and Writers Magazine from 1969 to 1980, including authoring special issues on teaching film history and filmmaking to children (1975); the Comic Book Project (1976); Homage to Flora Arnstein (1977); the Radio Station Project (1979); and directing Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in grade school (1979). Co-edited The Whole Word Catalog (1972), published by Teachers & Writers.

Monthly poetry column in Literary Cavalcades, a Scholastics Publication for high school students. Analyzed individual poems by Frost, Yeats, Stevens, Eliot, Whitman, Roethke, Millay, Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cavafy, Auden, Baraka, Yevtushenko, Marie Ponsot, William Carlos Williams, Tomas Transtromer and others, from 1979 to 1982.

Regular column in Creative Nonfiction, 2010-2012.

Book Reviews

For The New York Review of Books: “Sex and the River Styx,” by Edward Hoagland, August 15, 2011.

For The Nation: Leonard Michaels, “The Collected Stories” and “Sylvia,” July 9, 2007; “James Agee,” two Library of America volumes, November 2005; “The Colossus of New York,” by Colson Whitehead, December 1, 2003.

For Bookforum: “Edmund Wilson,” by Lewis Dabney, October/November, 2005; “East Side Story,” by Louis Auchincloss, February/March 2005.

For The New York Times Book Review: “Reading for My Life,” by John Leonard, March 18, 2012; “Carnegie Hall Treasures,” December 2, 2011; “Scribble, Scribble, Scribble,” by Simon Schama, April 24, 2011; “Oscar Micheaux,” by Patrick McGilligan, August 5, 2007; “Accidental Genius: John Cassavetes,” by Marshall Fine, January 29, 2006; “Six New York Books,” January 23, 2005; “Pull Me Up,” by Dan Barry, May 16, 2004; “A Region Not Home,” by James McPherson, February 27, 2000; “Once Upon a Time in New York,” by Herbert Mitgang, January 26, 2000; “Now and Then,” by Joseph Heller, February 15, 1998; “The Gay Metropolis: 1940¬–1996,” by Charles Kaiser, November 9, 1997; “Dinosaur in a Haystack,” by Stephen Jay Gould, January 21, 1996; “The Wonders of America,” by Jenna Weissman Joselit, and “Jews and the New American Scene,” by Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, March 26, 1995; “The Favorite,” novel by Meredith Daneman, May 1, 1994; “In Pursuit of Gotham: Culture and Commerce in New York,” nonfiction by William R. Taylor, June 7, 1992; “Arcadia,” novel by Jim Crace, October 18, 1992; “Black Ice,” memoir by Lorene Cary, March 31, 1991; “Improving Schools from Within,” by Roland Barth, July 1, 1990; “Lewis Percy,” novel by Anita Brookner, March 11, 1990; “Rondo,” novel by Kazimierz Brandys, November 19, 1989; “In the Night Cafe,” novel by Joyce Johnson, April 30, 1989; “Jewish Times,” nonfiction by Howard Simons, November 6, 1988; “Balzac’s Horse,” stories by Gerd Hoffman, May 8, 1988; “Crosstown Sabbath,” nonfiction by Frederic Morton, September 13, 1987; “The Lost Language of Cranes,” novel by David Leavitt, October 5, 1986; “Twenty Under Thirty,” short stories edited by Deborah Spark, March 23, 1986; “Suspects,” novel by David Thomson, June 30, 1985; “Hitchcock,” by François Truffaut, and “The Last Days of Hitchcock,” by David Freeman, December 30, 1984; “Three Poets: Jack Anderson, Bill Knott, Albert Goldbarth,” July 5, 1983; “Family Installments,” memoir by Edward Rivera, September 5, 1982; “Being a Man,” nonfiction by Donald Bell, July 18, 1982; “Life After Marriage,” nonfiction by A. Alvarez, January 31, 1982; “Lovey,” nonfiction by Mary MacCracken, October 17, 1976.

For Newsday: “Planet of the Blind,” by Stephen Kuusisto, January 18, 1998; “This Wild Darkness,” by Harold Brodkey, October 13, 1996; “Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu,” by Simon Callow, January 14, 1996; “Testaments Betrayed,” essays by Milan Kundera, and “The Spirit of Prague,” essays by Ivan Klima, September 24, 1995; “Letters From London,” nonfiction by Julian Barnes, July 16, 1995; “For Keeps,” selected criticism by Pauline Kael, October 23, 1994; “The Day of the Dead,” essays by F. Gonzalez-Crussi, December 19, 1993; “United States: Essays 1952-1992,” by Gore Vidal, May 16, 1993; “Days of Obligation,” essays by Richard Rodriguez, November 22, 1992; “After Henry,” essays by Joan Didion, May 10, 1992; “Freud’s Moses,” by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi,” September 8, 1991; “On Giving Birth to One’s Own Mother: Essays on Art and Society,” by Jay Cantor, March 10, 1991; “The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities,” by Richard Sennett, January 27, 1991; “Cage/Cunningham/Johns: Dancers on a Plane,” by Anne Seymour, Dec. 16, 1990.

For Washington Post: “Rats,” by Robert Sullivan, May 5, 2004; “Katharine Graham’s Washington,” nonfiction, October 27-November 2, 2002; “Among Schoolchildren,” nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, September 3, 1989.

For San Francisco Chronicle: “Why I Write,” edited by Will Blythe, April 11–17, 1999.
“Arguably,” by Christopher Hitchens, Septembr 4, 2011.

For New York Observer: “Remembrances and Celebrations,” by Jill Werman Harris, June 14, 1999; “Library of Contemporary Thought,” the Ballantine Publishing Group series, August 31–September 7, 1998.

For Esquire: “Round Rock,” by Michelle Huneven, July 1997; “Lawyerland,” by Lawrence Joseph, June 1997.

For Film Comment: “Elia Kazan,” by Richard Schickel; “Cities of Words,” by Stanley Cavell; “Placing Movies,” by Jonathan Rosenbaum, July/August 1995; “Directed by Vincente Minnelli,” by Stephen Harvey, January/February 1990.

For Los Angeles Times Book Review: “The Shakespeare Riots,” by Nigel Cliff, 2007; “Building Jerusalem,” by Tristram Hunt, 2006; “Teacher Man,” by Frank McCourt, November 11, 2005; “A Spring Like Any Other,” by Takashi Tsujii, July 12, 1992.

For 7 Days: “Palace Walk,” novel by Naguib Mafouz, February 21, 1990; “Some Women by Mapplethorpe,” photography, September 27, 1989; “The Mezzanine,” novel by Nicholson Baker, December 21, 1988; “The Illustrator,” novel by James Robison, May 25, 1988; “Posthumous Papers of a Living Author,” essays by Robert Musil, April 13, 1988.

For Hungry Mind Review: “First Light,” novel by Charles Baxter, 1990.

For Mother Jones: “The Incorporation of Eric Chung,” novel by Steven Lo, Dec 1989.

For Philadelphia Inquirer: “/New York/Djuna Barnes,” October 8, 1989.

For Vogue: “White Noise,” novel, by Don DeLillo, January 1985.

For Houston Post: “The Old Capital,” novel by Yasunari Kawabata, June 21, 1987; “Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth,” edited by Dorothy Abbott, June 16, 1985; “Struggling to Swim in Concrete,” poems by Vassar Miller, July 22, 1984.

For Dallas Times-Herald: “Zuckerman Unbound,” novel by Philip Roth, May 24, 1981; “Cocktails at Somoza’s,” nonfiction by Richard Elman, July 5, 1981; “Hunger of Memory,” memoir by Richard Rodriguez, March 28, 1982; “Exiled in Paradise,” nonfiction by Anthony Heilbut, June 26, 1983; “Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas,” by Don Graham, August 26, 1984.

For Teachers & Writers: “Vivienne,” by John Mack and Holly Hickler, January/February 1983.

For The Melton Review: “Masters,” nonfiction by Joseph Epstein, Spring 1982.

For Harvard Educational Review: “Suburban Youth in Cultural Crisis,” nonfiction by Ralph W. Larkin, November 1980.

For The Poetry Project Newsletter: “Some Do,” novel by Jane DeLynn, January 1979.

For The Herald: “Promenade and Other Plays,” by Maria Irene Fornes, January 23, 1972; reprinted in The Theater of Maria Irene Fornes, edited by Marc Robinson, 1999.

For Preservation: “Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams,” by Mark Kingwell; “The City In Mind,” by James Howard Kunstler.