About Us

Crucial Minutiae is a blog about the small things around us everyday. Some pieces are too small to take notice of, by themselves, but over time become part of the larger, crucial puzzle of culture and society.

Crucial Minutiae is written by a group of talented writers united not by medium or perspective, but by friendship. So come, read what we have to say, and if you like it, tell your friends. Come back tomorrow, and the next day, or subscribe to our RSS feed. We’ll be here, putting the pieces together. Special thanks to Joshua Alston for giving us our very writerly name.

Weekly Columnists

Winner of the National Playwriting Award and finalist for the David Mark Cohen Award, Cristina Pippa received the Iowa Fellowship for the Arts and the Norman Felton Fellowship while completing her M.F.A. in the Iowa Playwright’s Workshop. Her plays have been produced by the Hangar Theatre, Gallery Players, The Looking Glass Theatre, and Axial Theatre. She is currently working on a new play commission for the St. Louis Bosnian community as well as two screenplays, one of which is a collaboration with Crucial Minutiae writer Courtney E. Martin. Look for Cristina’s play, CELL CYCLE, which will be published this year. For more about Cristina, visit She writes the All The World column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Mondays.

Courtney E. Martin is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn whose biggest accomplishment may just be getting these crucial minutists together. She writes about gender, race, politics, and pop culture for a variety of national publications, including Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, Utne Reader, Alternet, The American Prospect, Women’s eNews, BUST, metro, and the UK Guardian, among others. Her book—Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body—will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Free Press in April. Read more about her at She writes the Generation Overwhelmed column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Tuesdays.

Jennifer Gandin Le is a freelance writer living in Austin, TX, whose work has appeared in several New York and national magazines. Director Francis Ford Coppola commissioned her film adaptation of the best-selling novel The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. Her current project is a feature-length screenplay titled Tuesday, a post-September 11th New York City love story. Check out her website for more info on her projects. Jennifer writes the Beauty in a Wicked World column, which appears on Wednesdays.

Kimberlee Auerbach is a writer and storyteller who has performed her comedic monologues throughout New York City at venues such as The Original Improv, The Kraine Theater and The Bitter End. Her one-woman show played to sold-out houses at the New York International Fringe Festival and she has competed in several Moth GrandSLAM Championships. Her memoir, The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot, will be published by Dutton in July 2007. For more information, check out her website: or you can become her friend at: Kimmi writes the Therapy Thursdays column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on, well, Thursdays.

Molly May has spent her days educating young women in rural New Mexico, laboring as a fruit picker and farmer in New Zealand and most recently working in trade editorial at the publishing house W.W. Norton & Company. Inspired by her own experience living abroad and moving every 2-3 years as a child (and adult), she writes about geography–be it a crowded subway, mangrove island, or foreign language–and examines how it ultimately shapes our relationship to the planet and each other. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and has written for Orion Magazine and the Portland Press Herald, among others. She now lives in Bozeman, Montana. Molly writes the Orienting column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Fridays.



Daniel May is an organizer and writer living in Brooklyn. After college he worked with the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and has organized with tenants in the South Bronx, neighbors in Minneapolis, and parents, pastors and teachers in Los Angeles. For five years in Southern California he worked with the Industrial Areas Foundation, the congregation-based organizing network where Cesar Chavez cut his teeth before moving on to the farm workers. He currently works with the Service Employees International Union, the country’s fastest growing labor union.

Ethan Todras-Whitehill is a New York-based freelance journalist. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and writes about travel, technology, and subcultures. He also has written for Wired, Popular Science, and Conde Nast Traveler, among other publications. He is currently editing his first novel, The Waiters, and beginning a work of narrative nonfiction about the sexual abuse of males. Visit Ethan’s website at to learn more. He conceived of, designed, and built, for which he writes The Rules.

Felice Belle is a poet, playwright and the former curator and host of the Friday Night Slam series at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and an MA in Creative Writing and Performance from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Felice has performed at PS 122, Town Hall, the American Museum of Natural History, the Apollo Theater, and various colleges and universities throughout the United States. Her poetry has been published in Roots and Culture, SLAM, DrumVoices Revue, Longshot, and Bum Rush the Page. Her short, Joy in Repetition, was featured in the Hip-Hop Theater Festival (2002). Her full-length play, Tell the Truth Lying, premiered as part of the ROAR Theater Festival at the Nuyorican Poets Café (2003) and her play Definately received a staged reading at the Real Theatre Works Fresh Voices Festival (2004). Most recently she created original poetry for the Vineyard Theatre production of History of the Word (2007). She is currently at work on her first collection of poetry. She writes the bi-monthly Stakes is High column for Crucial Minutiae.

Florian Duijsens is a New York-based writer and story analyst with a revolving set of passions, which include: strange tasty food, new new music, sharp-edged books, street-found fashion, and all kinds of cinema.


Joie Jager-Hyman is a writer and graduate student living in Harlem. Her first book, Fat Envelope Frenzy: A Year in the Life of Five Harvard Hopefuls (Harper Perennial, March 2008), follows five very different students as they navigate the selective college admissions process. (Read more about her and her book at Joie is also working on her finishing her doctorate in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She writes the Kidz Today monthly column for Crucial Minutiae.

Joshua Alston hails from Denver, Colorado. He writes about television and pop culture for Newsweek. He received his undergraduate degree in public relations from North Carolina A&T State University, and a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. He resides in Brooklyn, New York, a constant source of inspiration and frustration.


Kate Torgovnick hails from Durham, North Carolina and is known to say “Y’all” on occasion. Her first book, CHEER! (Simon and Schuster, March 2008), gets up-close-and-personal with three college cheerleading squads on the quest for a national title. It’s been getting a great response so far—Joyce Carol Oates even called it, “a spirited, fascinating, at times disturbing, and always absorbing book.” Kate writes for the New York Times, Dame Magazine, and Page Six Magazine, and she can also complete a Rubik’s Cube in less than 2 minutes. Read more about her, and about CHEER!, at

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at, though he blogs in his off-hours, too. He’s written about technology and pop culture for, LA Weekly, Details and Der Speigel. He is currently at work on his first book. Scott writes the monthly Bits & Pieces column for Crucial Minutiae.


Theo Gangi attended Goucher College, and is a recent graduate of Columbia’s MFA writing program. His first novel, Bang, Bang, will be published by Kensington Books in November 2007. His fiction has appeared in The Greensboro Review and The Columbia Spectator. A New York native, he now lives in Harlem. Visit his website at Theo writes about National Pastimes for Crucial Minutiae.