A utopian community in north Florida awaits its homeless messiah. A pair of anarchists find romance over a heroic act with a piece of broken glass. A man plays video games while he waits for the world to end. Welcome to the dreamy, dangerous world of Justin Taylor, author of the novel The Gospel of Anarchy (2011) and the short story collection Everything Here Is the Best Ever (2010) and a graduate of The New School's Creative Writing Program.
“I was taken with The New School from the beginning," Taylor says. "My first semester, I took Darcey Steinke’s workshop. Her course packet was like a gift—it introduced me to so many new writers."
Describing the New School writing community as uniquely “supportive, unfussy, and collaborative,” Taylor credits fellow students and professors with helping him define his literary voice. He says, “One of the most important things I learned at The New School was how to self-edit, how to read myself closely and without mercy.” During his time at The New School, he also had an opportunity to edit a short-fiction anthology, The Apocalypse Reader, which was published in 2007 and featured work by several other New School MFAs
Now living in Brooklyn, Taylor stays connected to The New School. He teaches in the MFA program and in the Summer Writers Colony. Taylor also makes a point of attending public programs on literature offered by the university.
“Pound for pound, The New School has the best reading series in the city,” he says. “I’m still there as often as I can be.”