Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Q&A With Writer Benjamin Wright

Benjamin Wright

 

Benjamin Wright is a contributing writer for Highbrow Magazine. He is also a researcher, author, and educator. He has published book chapters, reports, and articles on a wide range of topics, including television, culture, ideology, immigration policy activism, program evaluations, and music. Some of his articles for the magazine have included an essay on the comeback of vinyl records, the Woody Guthrie Centennial, and the latest culinary trend: wild food foraging.

 

Q & A With Benjamin:

 

What inspired you to become a writer?

I always had an interest in creative writing. I won some small writing awards when I was younger and then wrote my first novel (luckily unpublished; writing styles change, often for the better, over time) when I was 24. Later I sort of fell into academic writing, which can be quite tedious. Journalism is a nice marriage between creative writing and academic writing – writing about factual information with comparatively few boundaries.   

 

 

Who are a few of your favorite authors/photographers/artists?

It is with extreme difficulty that I pinpoint only a few favorites.

Favorite writers (novelists and poets): Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Dickens, Tolstoy, Djuna Barnes, the Beats . . . I could continue on for a while and feel I am neglecting some favorite philosophers and culture critics.

Favorite poets include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Arthur Rimbaud, Langston Hughes and TS Eliot. 

Favorite Artists: The Dadaists and Surrealists (especially Hausmann, Dali, Magritte, and Frida Kahlo), Andy Warhol, filmmakers like Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, and Fellini, and musicians like Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground.  

 

 

What’s the worst job/assignment  you’ve ever had?

Knocking on peoples’ home doors as a union organizer-in-training.  I didn’t last long enough to transcend into the organizer role. 

 

 

Which is your favorite city in the U.S.?

 I love San Francisco (for food, arts, and culture), enjoy the vibe and beaches of San Diego, and I am always entranced by the plastic beauty of L.A.   

 

What’s your all-time favorite film?

 It used to be The Godfather, but I have also enjoyed just about any Woody Allen film I’ve ever seen, and I loved The Artist. Easy Rider is also a contender.  

 

Which newspapers/magazines/websites do you read regularly?

In addition to Highbrow Magazine, I’d say Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post and Salon.

 

 

Would you rather become the next editor-in-chief of the New Yorker or replace Jon Stewart as host of the “Daily Show”?

I suppose I would choose editor-in-chief of the New Yorker.

 

What are your favorite “highbrow” pastimes?

Writing about all aspects of culture, devouring and analyzing literature, philosophy, and poetry, studying modernist and surrealist art, haunting bookstores and record shops, collecting vinyl (mostly Dylan, Captain Beefheart, and the Velvets, but also lots of classic rock, alternative, indie rock, jazz, and blues, etc.), attending concerts and plays (whenever my budget permits), and trying all kinds of new foods and craft beers.  

 

Read a few of Benjamin’s articles below:

 

Record Store Day Celebrates the Return of Vinyl Junkies

 

Lorin Stein, The Paris Review’s Wonderboy, Channels the Late, Great George Plimpton

 

Wild Food Foraging: Culinary Revolution or Passing Trend

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