I'm a Brooklyn-based writer, the author of Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers and a founder of Guernica: A Magazine of Global Arts & Politics. Finks, my first book, has been called "riveting" (Kirkus), "ingeniously researched..." (Pankaj Mishra in The Guardian's Best of the Year Roundup), “a fascinating mix of political history [and] literary history” (New York Times), “an essential book” (Los Angeles Review of Books) and “a powerful warning” (The New Republic).
My writing appears in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Baffler, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Review, Salon, The Sun Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, World Policy Journal, The New Republic, Dissent, New York Magazine, The Wire (India) and The Village Voice.
I am a former editor of Al Jazeera America and a founder and former editor-in-chief of Guernica, for which I won a 2017 PEN/Nora Magid Award for magazine editing. I curate and manage a literary series at Brooklyn Public Library's BPL Presents on its main stage, and help run cultural and social programming around the library's 60 branches. A graduate of Columbia University's School of the Arts/Writing Program, my poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, The Nation, and Agni, and I was awarded a “Discovery”/The Nation Prize in 2003 by the 92nd Street Y and The Nation. I have taught English and writing at such universities as Fordham, Cooper Union and John Jay College, and currently teach nonfiction at St. Joseph's The Writer's Foundry MFA program in Brooklyn. My work has been translated into French, Russian, Romanian, German and Indonesian, and is being translated into Farsi and Chinese. With photographer Brett Van Ort, I co-authored the 2013 TED Talks ebook on landmine eradication, Minescape. My essays in The Baffler, Dissent and Salon were cited as Notables, respectively, in Best American Essays 2017, Best American Essays 2015 and Best American Essays 2013. I'm currently working on a novel.