Hey there! I’m Tanya Paperny. I’m a writer, editor, translator, event planner, and adjunct professor of journalism and composition. I currently live in Washington, D.C. but have, at various times, called New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Buenos Aires my home. I am the daughter of Russian immigrants from Moscow, which informs a lot of my writing and thinking.
Culturally Progressive is my blog, where I write about literature, Russia, urban issues, and LGBTQ activism. It’s also my online presence where I share recent writing I’ve done elsewhere, events I’m participating in, and other personal/professional updates. If you landed on this biography page and want to read my blog instead, click on “Home” or “Culturally Progressive” above to read my latest posts.
I received my M.F.A. from Columbia University, where I completed concentrations in nonfiction and translation. My work has appeared in The Millions, The Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Crab Orchard Review, Bitch, Campus Progress, LitDrift and The Prose-Poem Project.
To contact me or request a full resume (yes, there’s more!), email me at tpaperny [at] gmail [dot] com.
Some current affiliations:
- I teach at American University, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, University of Maryland at College Park, and Trinity Washington University. I have particular expertise in teaching composition to nontraditional adult students.
- I am a member of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).
- I do outreach and event planning for the blog Feministing, the most widely-read feminist publication in history.
- I work with the firm Geoffrey Knox and Associates on copy writing and communications strategy for progressive nonprofits.
Some past affiliations:
- From 2009-2011, I was the assistant web editor at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, where I produced multimedia content on the intersections of journalism, violence, tragedy and natural disaster.
- From 2011 to 2012, I was the managing editor of Circumference, a journal of international poetry in translation.
- From 2010-2011, I was a board member of the literary journal Columbia.
- Some literary and political organizations I have worked with as a writer, organizer, or activist with in the past five years: The Atavist, The Institute of Modern Russia, the Center for American Progress, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
- 3/18/2013: I write about Mikhail Shishkin, Russian literary dissident, in a post for Three Percent, the blog of Open Letter Books.
- 2/22/2013: My profile of Brighton Beach community leader Pat Singer is up at The Jewish Daily Forward.
- 11/2/2012: The Millions publishes my essay about the death of famed literary translator Michael Henry Heim.
- Fall 2012: My essay about Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood appears in the Crab Orchard Review.
- 6/4/2012: Review of a Russian poet’s appearance in NYC, written for Circumference.
- Summer 2012: The Massachusetts Review publishes more of my translations.
- Summer 2012: The Literary Review publishes my translations of Russian prose.
- 2/20/2012: Grout publishes my essay about hybrid nonfiction forms.
- Spring 2012: I review a documentary about Anna Politkovskaya for Bitch magazine.
- Winter 2012: My review of the reality TV show “Russian Dolls” appears in Bitch Magazine.
- 08/17/2011: My prose poem, “reeds,” appears in The Prose-Poem Project.
- 04/07/11: Confronting Cruelty, Q&A with Cecilia Ballí on emotional storytelling for The Dart Center.
- 11/12/10: Haiti’s Crisis Could Help Revive Its Journalism, an article for DartCenter.org.
- 06/15/10: An article about trauma in the Gulf after the oil spill, for DartCenter.org.
- 12/10/09: “Facebook Won’t Kill The Class Reunion,” an article for Campus Progress.
- 11/11/09: My writing is featured on the blog of The New Yorker (see “Sorting…”).
- 06/12/09: My favorite Russian blog reviewed for Campus Progress (scroll down).
- 08/12/08: Guest on XM Radio’s The Progressive Beat (full audio, scroll down to August 12, 2008).
- 05/01/08: Video interview with Iraq expert Nir Rosen for Campus Progress.
- 04/28/08: Interview with Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel for Campus Progress.
- 03/20/08: Iraq War protest photo essay for Campus Progress.
- 01/16/07: Review of National Conference for Media Reform for NewAssignment.net.
- 01/15/07: Interview with DailyKos blogger for NewAssignment.net.
- 02/16/07: Radio newscast about antiwar protests for Free Speech Radio News.
- Winter 07: For We Work! Magazine, an article about gay marriage amendments.
The banner photographs at the top of the blog were taken by me.