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Bestselling Author Beth Macy Teaching at Baruch College as Fall 2019 Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence

Author Beth Macy is the Fall 2019 Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College.
Beth Macy

American journalist, award-winning non-fiction writer, and former newspaper reporter Beth Macy is teaching creative storytelling to students this semester as Baruch College’s fall 2019 Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence.

Macy joins 41 distinguished writers—including Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, National Book Awardees and Poet Laureates—who have participated in the Harman Residency Program, endowed in the College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, during the past 20 years.

Macy is the author of three New York Times bestselling books about marginalized communities in America: Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Truevine, and Factory Man. Her latest book Dopesick, which chronicles the origins of the nation’s crippling dependency on painkillers and the Purdue pharmaceutical company’s role in this crisis, has won numerous awards including the Los Angeles Times Book Award in the Science and Technology category.

Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town, which was her first book, garnered a J. Anthony Lukas Prize, and her second book Truevine was a Kirkus Prize finalist.

Macy is excited to be at Baruch College and working closely with students.

“Serving as the fall 2019 Writer-in-Residence is a fantastic feeling,” Macy said. ”Baruch students are really amazing, hardworking, and eager to learn; they come to every class prepared. It’s a dream job for a writer/teacher.”

A Course on Creative Storytelling

During the fall 2019 semester, Macy is teaching a course called “Writing from the Margins: Outsiders and Underdogs.” Students will mine the present and past for untold stories and unlikely heroes, along with reading and writing narratives that illuminate social issues and inspire change.

According to Macy, they will delve into the basic building block of non-fiction reporting – talking to strangers, then reading widely and talking more to strangers, and finally, making connections to explain our changing world.

“I hope the students will learn to get comfortable talking to strangers and synthesizing what they learn from them and from outside sources, to help us make sense of issues in our world,” explained Macy. “By the end of the class, they will have practiced interviewing, basic reporting and feature writing, a bit of podcasting/scriptwriting, opinion writing and a narrative piece.”

Students enrolled in this class will also read works by writers Bryan Stevenson, Katherine Boo, Jesmyn Ward, Kiese Laymon, Tracy Kidder, and Matthew Desmond.

Macy added that these are some of the “best nonfiction writers today, and their work has historical and social heft.”


A reading and conversation with Macy will be held on October 22, 2019. The event is free and open to the public. Details here.

About Baruch College’s Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program  

Founded in the fall of 1988 by Professor Roslyn Bernstein, the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program brings distinguished writers to the Baruch College campus every semester. Whether they are poets, playwrights, novelists, journalists, essayists, or critics, the Harman Writer-in-Residence enrich the Baruch environment, creating a lively literary salon for students and faculty. Endowed by alumnus Dr. Sidney Harman (’39), the Harman Program relies on an intense workshop design, where visiting writers teach small classes and hold individual conferences. In addition, the Harman Program sponsors student creative writing competitions, literary internships, individual guest readings, and a week-long residency. Read more about the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence program.  

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 (Story published on 10/17/19)

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