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February 20, 2014

Columnist for The Nation Is Guest Speaker for Friends of Women's Studies Dinner

morenews4-lgKatha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt, feminist author and columnist for The Nation magazine, will be guest speaker for the Old Dominion Friends of Women's Studies annual fundraising dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Tickets to the dinner, which begins at 6 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center, are $30 and may be purchased at http://fff.pm/fows or by calling 683-3823. Proceeds directly benefit the ODU women's studies department.

Pollitt is well known for her wit and her keen sense of both the ridiculous and the sublime. Her "Subject to Debate" column, which debuted in 1995 and which The Washington Post called "the best place to go for original thinking on the left," appears every other week in The Nation; it is frequently reprinted in newspapers across the country. In 2003, "Subject to Debate" won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. She is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.

Pollitt has been contributing to The Nation since 1980. Her 1992 essay on the culture wars, "Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me..." won the National Magazine Award for essays and criticism, and she won a Whiting Foundation Writing Award the same year. In 1993 her essay "Why Do We Romanticize the Fetus?" won the Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Many of Pollitt's contributions to The Nation are compiled in three books: "Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism" (Knopf); "Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture" (Modern Library); and "Virginity or Death! And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time" (Random House). In 2007 Random House published her collection of personal essays, "Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories." Two pieces from this book, "Learning to Drive" and its follow-up, "Webstalker," originally appeared in The New Yorker. "Learning to Drive" is anthologized in Best American Essays 2003.

Pollitt has also written essays and book reviews for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Harper's, Ms., Glamour, Mother Jones, The New York Times and the London Review of Books. She has appeared on NPR's "Fresh Air" and "All Things Considered," "Charlie Rose," "The McLaughlin Group," CNN, "Dateline NBC" and the BBC. Her work has been republished in many anthologies and is taught in many university classes.

For her poetry, Pollitt has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her 1982 book "Antarctic Traveller" won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poems have been published in many magazines and are reprinted in many anthologies, most recently "The Oxford Book of American Poetry" (2006). Her second collection, "The Mind-Body Problem," came out from Random House in 2009.