Meet Morgan Davies, a New York-based writer, artist, critic and feminist with a degree in English Literature from Barnard College. In addition to writing for PolicyMic, she blogs regularly about the arts in general, movies and literature in particular.
As part of our 'Pundit of the Week' blog, we ask one outstanding writer to share his/her experiences with the PolicyMic community.
Check out my inaugural 'Pundit of the Week' Q&A with Roy Klabin here, my interivew with Lily Bolourian here, and last week's interview with Christian Rice here. Each Pundit gets to pose one never-been-asked question of a PolicyMic staff member; This week's question is for culture queen Elena Sheppard.
About Morgan: Morgan is a twenty-something movie and television junkie currently residing in the wilds of Brooklyn, where she divides her time between writing and pursuing gainful employment.
Caira Conner (CC): First and foremost, when did you join PolicyMic? What inspired your decision to write for us?
Morgan Davies (MD): I joined PolicyMic last fall, just before the second season of Homeland premiered. A friend of mine put me in contact with Elena Sheppard, and I was interested in seeing what covering a show on a week-to-week basis would be like. It gets pretty exhausting doing that, but it was also really interesting to be forced to rigorously analyze every single episode of a show, particularly one with as much going on as Homeland. It’s kind of a strange experience because I think you – or, at least, I – feel compelled to really go along with whatever the show is doing as a kind of Stockholm’s syndrome thing. I really defended a lot of crazy things they did that season that I wouldn’t necessarily defend now, although I still love the show and am really looking forward to seeing what they cook up next season.
CC: As you know, PolicyMic launched as a politics platform. 2012 marked the site's first real foray into cultural coverage. As one of our culture writers, what are the advantages in writing for this comparatively newer section? Any thoughts on how PolicyMic can provide a stronger platform for culture-oriented millennials the way we've done for politics?
MD: I think the advantage for me is that I have a lot of flexibility in what I want to write about – Elena usually pitches me ideas, but they’ll be broad enough or abstract enough that I can pretty much do what I want with them. There’s no strict formula for the type of things we cover, and I think that leads to a more dynamic section with more interesting writing. I am always going to be more interested in making an argument than just listing off what worked or didn’t work about a particular movie or TV show.
CC: If you could change one thing about your user experience with PolicyMic, what would it be?
MD: I’ve had a pretty positive experience, on the whole! I feel like I especially can’t complain, since I’ll be covering Tribeca Film Festival this weekend. There are too many good movies in my future to nitpick.
CC: What's the best thing that could result from your using PolicyMic as a platform to share your voice?
MD: A job writing about culture for GQ?
I kid, I kid. (Not really – GQ, call me.) Certainly I’d like to be able to transition into a career where writing is my bread and butter, but in the meantime it’s been hugely helpful to me to be writing pretty consistently about the things that really interest me. Learning how to do that quickly and routinely is kind of like getting your brain into a certain groove – and I love knowing that I can throw something together very quickly and that it will work, just because I’ve had practice. That is a real skill.
CC: Let's go offline. What do you like to do when you're not PolicyMic-ing?
MD: Unsurprisingly, I tend to watch a lot of movies and television, and read a lot of books. I’m in the process of editing a novel and writing a screenplay at the moment – so, basically, the fun parts of writing that come before attempting the sad, long dance of trying to secure an agent. And I’m counting down the days until tennis season starts up again, at which point I will transform for intermittent weeks into a sports-obsessed creature utterly unfamiliar to all my friends.
CC: Your turn. What is one thing you'd like to know from or about one of our staff?
MD: My question is for the intrepid Elena Sheppard: if you could only listen to music or watch movies for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
Elena Sheppard: Oh man, tough question! This is like putting a sugar-crazed kid in the middle of a candy store and asking them to choose just one treat. Honestly though I think I'd choose movies, but my logic behind that decision is kind of cheating. Movies come with soundtracks built in, SO in my music-less world I'd still get movie soundtracks to listen to. Sure it might be like listening to the Jerry McGuire mix of "Secret Garden" but at least you get two for one. Also, if anyone has missed the glory that is that mix, I implore you to see below:
Morgan, thank you. You've done an excellent (and often hilarious) job at helping make our Culture section great.
For more news on Morgan, follow her on Twitter: @MLDavies