I was working as a columnist at The Daily Princetonian when Bob Faggen started an alternate newsweekly under the noses of the establishment. It would be fun where the DP was earnest; it would cover news that the DP missed, especially the arts. It squatted in ramshackle headquarters somewhere near the Dining Commons, and the staff always seemed in the process of reorganization. The operation maintained an air of excitement, the kind that an improv troupe shows, though anyone who knows how that works has to admire all the preparation that goes into such a performance. The staff met every Sunday.
At the start, they needed everything from copy-editors to writers. That last category was where I came in. Nassau Weekly published “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” a humor column (because that’s almost all I ever wrote for newspapers), as well as an early short story called “Efficiency, Friction, and the Sheridan Expressway” in a double-page spread with a nice accompanying graphic.
After about six months, the weekly had everything from senior editors and staff writers to ads and departments. And it had admirable staying power, since it obviously filled a need. I’m delighted, but not all that surprised, to see it entering its fortieth year.
As for me, I still write for anyone who’ll pay me and some who don’t, though I also started the MFA program in creative writing program at the University of Mississippi. I’m now an English professor and the director of creative writing at Montclair State University. See attached author bio for an abbreviated rap sheet.
David Galef ‘81 is now a professor of English and the creative writing program director at Montclair State University. A former fiction columnist for The Writer, he is also a humor columnist at Inside Higher Ed.