Andrew Martin

Alumnus, 2002

Andrew Martin attended the Workshop in playwriting in 2002.

Where are you living and what brought you there?

I’m back in Charlottesville, primarily because my girlfriend is in medical school at UVA.

Where are you working and what do you enjoy about it?

I’m teaching classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College and at Writer House in downtown Charlottesville. I enjoy hanging out with my students and talking to them about writing. I don’t enjoy grading them.

What do you find yourself most often reading/listening to lately and why?

I’ve gotten very into the novels of Penelope Fitzgerald. They’re short and elegant, but thick with characters and ideas. My favorite so far is The Beginning of Spring, about Russia a few years before the revolution. Pairs well with Reds. I’ve been listening to the new D’Angelo album Black Messiah. So far it seems almost as good as Voodoo, which is pretty major.

What are you working on right now and what does it represent in the larger body of your artistic accomplishments?

I’m working on a story collection and a novel, which may merge at some point. Maybe the novel will turn into a few non-consecutive stories that will fit into the collection? Or maybe I’ll admit that all the stories are about the same guy and pretend it’s a novel? Whatever it is, it’s what I’ve been working on for the last few years, so I suppose it represents just about everything in the larger body of “accomplishments.”

What are your publications, performances, albums, and/or achievements that seem most important to you at this point in time?

I’m proud of the short story “Cool for America” that I published in The Paris Review and of some essays I’ve written, especially a couple that I did for a website called Open Letters Monthly, about Beckett and the Notorious BIG, respectively.

How would you characterize the influence of your YWW experience in your life?

It had a huge influence on my life. It made me realize for the first time how many interesting, talented people there were in the world, and how hard you had to work to feel like you’d earned your place in their company. My suitemates introduced me to all the cool music that I listened to for the next decade of my life; I met the girl I ended up dating for most of college. It was all pretty formative.

What’s the best advice you can give a Young Writer (in general or in your specific genre)?

Stick with it, even if it’s not the primary thing you do. Every time I meet someone who “used to” read and write seriously I get bummed out. Make it a priority to keep up with interesting books and give at least a little bit of time to poetry/fiction/essays/playwriting. We need good people on this.

Where can we find you online?

Here, at The New Yorker.