Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...

About Us

Crucial Minutiae is a new blog about the small things around us everyday. Some pieces might seem minute by themselves, but over time fit together in the larger puzzles of culture and society that are crucial to understand.

Crucial Minutiae comprises 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.


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 Composing A Life column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Tuesdays.

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 Thursdays.

As a consequence of listening to Brand Nubian’s One For All with near religious frequency through junior high, Daniel May found himself post-college community organizing in the South Bronx (there were other reasons too, but Concerto in X Minor ranks near the top). Before that, he did a little stint with the late Senator Prince Paul Wellstone, after which he organized in Los Angeles for five years with the Industrial Areas Foundation, the congregation-based organizing network where Cesar Chavez cut his teeth before moving on to the farm workers. Now Daniel is in New York because while LA has the beach and random drinks out with movie stars, New York is, well, like the ocean but with people. So, that’s Daniel. Oh, and along with Humpty: he likes to write. He writes the He’s the DJ, I’m the Ranter column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears every other Monday.

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, Conde Nast Traveler, and Jane, 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 Crucial Minutiae, for which he writes the Punch-for-Punch column, which appears on Mondays.

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 Stakes is High column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Sundays.

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.


Jennifer Gandin Le is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in Wired, Time Out New York, BUST, The Village Voice, and ReadyMade. 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. Her website is Jennifer writes the Beauty in a Wicked World column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Wednesdays.

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. Joie is also working on her finishing her doctorate in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She writes the Kidz Today column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Wednesdays.

Kate Torgovnick hails from Durham, North Carolina and is known to say “Y’all” on occasion. For the past year, she’s been traveling around the South following three college cheerleading squads for her first book, Making the Castle (Simon and Schuster, March 2008). It doesn’t come out for a while, but if you email her, she’ll invite you to the party. Kate writes for the New York Times, Jane, and Metro, among others. She can also complete a Rubik’s Cube in less than 2 minutes. Kate writes the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Tuesdays.

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.

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 the National Pastimes column for Crucial Minutiae, which appears on Fridays.