paper trail

Remembering literary critic Helen Vendler; student journalists covering protests at Columbia

Helen Vendler. Photo: Alex Vendler.

Student journalists at Columbia University have extensive ongoing coverage of the Gaza solidarity encampment, ongoing negotiations between student representatives and school administrators over the protests, and the academic boycott of Columbia and Barnard, which more than 1,400 academics support. The campus radio station, WKCR is covering the protests live, and has been offering on-the-ground reporting for more than a week. (Earlier this week, Columbia public safety officers tried to take students off the air during a live broadcast.) In an op-ed in the Spectator, Oren Root writes of the university’s president Minouche Shafik after she authorized the NYPD to arrest student protesters, “She has disgraced the good name of Columbia, caused incalculable nationwide injury to increasingly fragile academic freedoms, and wreaked unjustifiable harm on students and faculty members who are protesting the wanton killing of defenseless men, women, and children—many thousands of children—in Gaza. It’s time to go, Minouche.”  

Literary critic Helen Vendler has died at the age of ninety. Vendler was the author or editor of more than thirty books about poetry and was considered the foremost poetry critic in the US. The Paris Review has unpaywalled Vendler’s 1996 “Art of Criticism” interview and the Yale Review is highlighting her 1990 review of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” The Estate of Seamus Heaney writes: “Helen was one of the world's finest poetry critics, renowned for her intellect, rigour & love of the art.”

In The Nation, Lujayn, a fourteen-year-old girl in Gaza, writes about her family's forced displacement from the home they were staying at in Khan Younis. 

The shortlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction has been announced. The winner will be selected at a ceremony in London on June 13.