When The New Yorker began publication in 1925, founding editor Harold Ross intended it to be a smart magazine of metropolitan life. Many of the writers who created the magazine's distinctive style—including E.B. White, James Thurber, A.J. Liebling, and St. Clair McKelway—are still read today. Yet one of its best writers is often overlooked — Wolcott Gibbs, who joined the New Yorker in 1927 and remained on staff as a writer and editor until his death in 1958. Gibbs was the longtime theater critic but also wrote short stories, Talk of the Town pieces, and parodies. As E.B. White said: All of his stuff was good, much of it superb—smart, memorable, funny. His style had a brilliance which was never flashy, he was self-critical as well as critical, and he had absolute pitch, which enabled him to be a parodist of the first rank. Readers will be introduced to this great forgotten writer in a panel discussion of Gibbs' life and work. The panelists include Thomas Vinciguerra, editor of the new anthology Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs in The New Yorker (Bloomsbury); Kurt Andersen, a founding editor of Spy magazine, the host of Studio 360, and the author of Heyday and Turn of the Century; Mark Singer, staff writer for the New Yorker and author of Somewhere in America, Character Studies, and Mr. Personality. THE NEW SCHOOL | http://www.newschool.eduSponsored by the School of Writing and Bloomsbury Publishing."
Host of public radio’s Peabody Award–winning Studio 360, Kurt Andersen is also cofounder and editor of Spy magazine. He is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair, the New York Times, New York, and Time, and has authored three novels, the most recent being True Believers (2012).
Mark Singer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1974. He has contributed hundreds of Talk of the Town stories and scores of Profiles and reporting pieces. In the fall of 2000, he revived the U.S. Journal column in the magazine, a monthly feature that was written by Calvin Trillin from 1967 to 1982.
Singer’s account of the collapse of the Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City appeared in The New Yorker in 1985 and was published as a book, “Funny Money,” that same year. In 1989, he published “Mr. Personality,” a collection of his reporting from The New Yorker. In 1996, Singer published “Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin,” which originated as an article in the magazine. His most recent books, “Somewhere in America,” (2004) and “Character Studies,” (2005), are collections of articles that originally appeared in The New Yorker.
Thomas Vinciguerra revived the Philolexian Society in 1985 and has thereafter been known to members as its "Avatar". He was also an editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator, participated in the 1982 revival of the Varsity Show, and, in 1991, introduced the annual reading of "Is There A Santa Claus?" by Francis Pharcellus Church CC1859 to the College's annual Yule Log ceremony.
An editor at Columbia College Today magazine for more than a decade, he is now deputy editor of the newsmagazine The Week and contributes frequently to The New York Times.