Selected Writings, Interviews, and Presentations by Diana Senechal



Diana Senechal, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).

Diana Senechal, Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011).

Translations (poetry, prose, film)

Tomas Venclova, "August Elegy" and "Eos," translated by Diana Senechal, Asymptote blog (Translation Tuesday series), November 28, 2023.

Tomas Venclova, "Notes on Xenophon" and "From the Future," translated by Diana Senechal, AGNI 98 (Autumn 2023), print only.

Csenger Kertai, "The Flower-Waterer Who Didn't Believe His Flowers Were Beautiful," Literary Matters, Issue 16.1 (Autumn 2023).

Nyílnak befelé ablakok, a documentary about the Hungarian band Platon Karataev, directed by Zsófi Szász and released by 444 (Diana Senechal translated the script/subtitles, which appear on YouTube).

Sándor Jászberényi, "A Western Tale," BODY, Spring 2023.

Ahmed Amran, "Earth Mounds," Asymptote Journal blog (Translation Tuesdays series), April 4, 2023.

Csenger Kertai, "Maypole" and "For My Good"The Continental Literary Magazine (online), February 23, 2023.

Four poems from Gyula Jenei's Always Different: Poems of Memory, translated by Diana Senechal (Deep Vellum, 2022) were published by The Continental Literary Magazine: "The Legend of Lobo," "Slap," "Litterfall," and "Passageways to God."

A book of Diana Senechal's translations of Gyula Jenei's poems, Always Different: Poems of Memory, was published by Deep Vellum on April 12, 2022.

Csenger Kertai, "Moon" and "With Greatest Ease," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal, Modern Poetry in Translation, Spring 2022.

Csenger Kertai, "Constant Slashing" and "Mercy," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal, Literary Matters, Issue 14.2 (Winter 2022).

Csenger Kertai, "Lake Balaton" and "On Forsakenness," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal, Literary Imagination, March 2022.

Csenger Kertai, "Redemption" and "I," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal, Asymptote, January 2022.

Gyula Jenei, "Scissors," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. The Massachusetts Review, Summer 2021 (print only).

Zsolt Bajnai, "The Vanished City Hall" ("Az eltűnt városháza"), Asymptote Blog, April 6, 2021.

Zsolt Bajnai, "Corruption Therapy" ("Korrupcióterápia"), translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal, The Satirist, February 3, 2020.

Marianna Fekete, "A Crack in Eternity? Béla Markó's Grass Blade on the Rock," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Spring/Summer 2019.

Gyula Jenei, "Piano," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Fall 2019.

Gyula Jenei, "Cemetery," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Fall 2019.

Gyula Jenei, "Madeleine," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Fall 2019.

Gyula Jenei, "Standing Point," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Spring/Summer 2019.

Gyula Jenei, "Chess," translated from the Hungarian by Diana Senechal. Literary Matters, Spring/Summer 2019.

Tomas Venclova, The Junction: Selected Poems, ed. Ellen Hinsey, translated by Ellen Hinsey, Constantine Rusanov, and Diana Senechal (Highgreen, UK: Bloodaxe, 2008).

Tomas Venclova, Winter Dialogue: Poems, translated from the Lithuanian by Diana Senechal, with a foreword by Joseph Brodsky and a dialogue between the author and Czesław Miłosz (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1997).

Articles, essays, and op-eds

"A Syllable That Turns Into the World: On Translating 'Lee van Cleef' by Géza Bereményi and Tamás Cseh," Asymptote, April 2024.

"'Tárá-ráálá-rálárám': The First Two Albums of Tamás Cseh and Géza Bereményi," Literary Matters 16.2 (Winter 2024).

"'Felzizeg': On the Onomatopoeia of a Song" (an essay on Cz.K. Sebő's song "Felzizeg"), Literary Matters 15.3.

"To Crave the Edges of Speech: Reflections on Cz.K. Sebő's New Album," The Continental Literary Magazine (online), April 15, 2022.

"Breaking Glass: Curriculum 'Diversity' and Its Discontents," The Nation, October 13, 2021.

"Plessy v. Ferguson and the Dissenting Opinion in the Classroom," Literary Imagination, vol. 23, issue 2 (July 2021), pp. 182–188.

"Translating an Understanding of Poetry Itself: Tomas Venclova's 'Pestel Street,'" Five Points, Vol. 20, no. 1 (Summer 2020, Hot Rocks feature).

"Choosing a College: The Virtues of a Good Misfit," Inside Higher Ed, December 3, 2018.

"Reclaiming Liberty," New England Journal of Higher Education, November 26, 2018.

"This Is a Resolution? A Letter on Bellow's Seize the Day," Literary Imagination, vol. 19, no. 3 (November 2017).

"You Are Embarked: How A Philosophy Curriculum Took Shape and Took Off," American Educator, Spring 2015.

"Strong Teachers Are Crucial," in the forum "The Right Approach to Reading Instruction," Room for Debate (New York Times), July 2, 2014. With E. D. Hirsch, Pedro Noguera, Claire Needell, Lucy Calkins, Mark Federman, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.

"The Folly of the Big Idea: How a Liberal Arts Education Puts Fads in Perspective," American Educator, Winter 2012–2013.

"Should We Educate to Meet the Demands of the Age?" FORUM: A Publication of the ALSCW, no. 5 (What Is Education? A Response to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "U.S. Education Reform and National Security"), Autumn 2012.

"The Cult of Success" (excerpts from Republic of Noise), American Educator, Winter 2011–2012.

"In Defense of Diane Ravitch," The New Republic (online only), December 12, 2011.

"Let Us Not Abandon Listening," Education Week, August 31, 2011.

"Let Strategies Serve Literature," Educational Leadership, March 2011.

"The Spark of Specifics: How a Strong Curriculum Enlivens Classroom and School Culture," American Educator, Winter 2010–2011.

"Why Do We Need a Philosophy of Education? The Forgotten Insights of Michael John Demiashkevich," American Educational History Journal 37, no. 1 (2010).

"The Most Daring Education Reform of All," American Educator, Spring 2010.

"Solitude: A Flashlight Under the Covers," Education Week, May 27, 2009 (online only).


Take Away the Takeaway (English).

Megfogalmazások (Hungarian).

Selected Poems

"After the Play"

"Almost Late"

"Off and On"

"More and Less"

"The Bargain," Eunoia Review, May 20, 2024.

"Waiting Room," Eunoia Review, May 20, 2024.

"Elul Sonnet"

"Upside Down"


The Book-Gift," in Your Echo Comes Back in Greek: A Festschrift in Honor of Rosanna Warren on the Occasion of Her Retirement, ed. Miles Cayman and Michael Rutherglen (July 2023).



"New Year Poem"

"Hiding Places"

"The Silver Stairs"

"The God of More"

"Apology in Seven Tongues," The Satirist, July 1, 2021.

"Day of Rage"


"Typing Backwards"


"Living Hades"

"Too Serious"


"Graduation Sonnet"

"Water Fight" (Villanelle)

"Letters from a Doll"

"Tuesday Evening in Fort Tryon Park"

"The Rays of Royal Hope" (a sonnet in three acts)

"Goodbye to a Guitar"

"The Swing"

"The Misunderstanding"

"Afternoon Visit (Sestina)," Kol Hadash, Spring 2014.

"The Nose's Arrest"

"Pilgrimage in Winter"

"Saying Something While Playing with Sonnet Form"

"Different Deluges"

"Air Without Crossing"

"What to Do in These Circumstances"

"The Speech"

"More Tornadoes"

"Misplaced Fall"

"The Secret Park"

"J Train in September"

"The Corridor King"

"Ride Home"




"The Life and Death (and Life) of Galoom," Zirkus, Spring 1992.

"Tower Sketch," Zirkus, Winter 1992.

"Looking Glass"

"In the Beginning"

"Upon Returning from a Leave of Absence"

"Notes for a Course on Phonology," Yale Literary Magazine, Spring 1991.

"Embarking from Libau," Zirkus, Fall 1989 (?).

"Coffee Psalm," Yale Literary Magazine, Fall 1990.

"Tornado, July 10, 1989," Zirkus, Fall 1989 (?).

Selected Stories

"The Questions," The Argyle Literary Magazine, Issue 3 (May 2024).

"Volta," Lowestoft Chronicle, Issue 56 (December 2023). The magazine also included this story in its Best American 2024 nominations.

"Immemorial," The Penny Truth / Krajcáros igazság, Spring 2021.

"The Auditorium," Watchword, Issue 5 (Autumn 2003).

"The Diagnosis," Watchword, Issue 3 (Spring 2002).

"November Love Letter," Yale Literary Magazine, Fall 1991.

Interviews and presentations

On Monday, April 27, 2020, for a New Books Network podcast, Marci Mazzarotto interviewed Diana Senechal about Mind over Memes. Listen to the podcast!

On Friday, September 27, 2019, I had the honor of being interviewed by the journalist and author Zsolt Bajnai for his wonderful blogSzolnok , which I read daily. This was my first interview in Hungarian.

On Friday, February 22, 2019, I was a guest on Leonard Lopate at Large" (WBAI). You can listen to the podcast.

On Friday, February 22, 2019, I flew in from Hungary to give a reading at Book Culture in New York City. We had a lively discussion. Thanks to everyone who came!

On Thursday, February 14, 2019, I had two book discussions in Szolnok: first at the Széchenyi István Gimnázium, and later at the Verseghy Ferenc Könyvtár. Marianna Fekete was the beszélgetőtárs (discussion partner). Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who made this possible. You can see the poster here and a photo here. (Thanks to my colleague Fekete Józsefné for the photo.)

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture hosted the first event for Mind over Memes; I read from the book, engaged in dialogue with Dr. Larry Allums, and answered questions from the audience. Thanks to everyone who came and to everyone who made this event possible! You can read a Q&A here; a video will be available soon.

On Sunday, November 18, 2018, Massolit Books & Cafe in Budapest hosted my first Hungarian book event! I read passages from Mind over Memes, and then we had a lively discussion about language and languages.

On April 26, 2016, I delivered a TEDx Talk ("Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)") at TEDx Upper West Side. The video is here.

On September 26, 2015, I spoke at the Education Forum in Dallas. Here is the video (which includes my talk, Matthew Crawford's talk, and our panel discussion).

On June 29, 2015, I gave a presentation at the PLATO Conference in Seattle, in a session with Carl Rosin. The founding co-editors-in-chief of CONTRARIWISE, Ron Gunczler and Nicholas Pape, presented as well (Nicholas by Skype); current co-editor-in-chief Kelly Clevenson helped with technology. (Here's a photo from the second day of the conference.)

A video by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture—about the future of the humanities—features interviews with three Hiett Prize winners—and a special appearance by CONTRARIWISE!

On September 13, 2014, in Snowbird, Utah, I delivered the keynote address at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

In April 2014, I took part in a discussion of solitude on the BBC World Service's flagship discussion programme The Forum, along with award-winning authors Eleanor Catton and Yiyun Li and host Bridget Kendall. There is a podcast. (See also the Kate Chisholm's commentary in The Spectator.)

On April 16, 2014, I spoke at SUNY Cobleskill about solitude and my book.

On February 19, 2014, I delivered a lecture titled "The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education." This event was part of the lecture series "'Civil' Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue," hosted by the University of Florida's Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. An article about the lecture appeared in the Gainesville Sun.

On October 11, 2013, in St. Louis, I spoke (and took part in a panel discussion with Franklin "Buzz" Spector and Hugh Dubberly) at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Read the text of the speech.

I was interviewed by Judith Regan (SiriusXM Stars) on Saturday, April 27, at 11:30 a.m. (Podcast available by subscription or free trial.)

On Friday, February 22, 2013, I was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Download the podcast.

I gave the principal address, "Measure Against Measure: Responsibility Versus Accountability in Education," at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music, San Diego, November 19, 2012.

On August 22, 2012, I spoke to faculty at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. These teachers read Republic of Noise for a summer seminar, led by English teacher Stella Schindler, on "Silence and Solitude in the 21st Century." After the talk, each seminar participant gave a presentation on something related to the book; topics ranged from mathematics to icon-painting to gardening.

I was interviewed by Bill Newman on WHMP (Northampton, MA), March 1, 2012. With Reverend Peter Ives and Rabbi Justin David. (Interview begins at 37:40 in the podcast.)

I spoke about my book and about the purpose of education at the Education Forum of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture on February 17, 2012.

I talked about my book on the Veronica Rueckert Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, on Friday, January 13, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST (10–11 a.m. CST). Listen to the podcast.

I talked about my book on the David Sirota Show (AM 760 Colorado) on Friday, January 6, at 10:05 a.m. EST (8:05 a.m. MST). Listen to the podcast.

In December 2011, I was interviewed by Alice Karekezi at Salon about my new book, Republic of Noise.

I delivered two Hiett Prize lectures on October 26. Listen to the luncheon lecture, "Inside the Tricky Topic of Solitude."

I was interviewed by Krys Boyd on the KERA talk show "Think" on Tuesday, October 25. Listen to the podcast.

I discussed my book in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2011.

On May 26, 2011, I gave presentations to principals and teachers in a network of public schools in New York City. Lively discussions followed.

Letters to the Editor

"Making Schools Work for Our Kids," letter to the editor, New York Times, February 5, 2007.

"Reading, Rehashing, 'Rithmetic," letter to the editor, New York Times, March 28, 2006.


My song "Blunders" was released on March 21, 2024 on Bandcamp, YouTube, and Spotify. Many thanks to Sebestyén Czakó-Kuraly (aka Cz.K. Sebő) for the sound engineering.

Recorded a cover of of Cz.K. Sebő's song "Out of pressure,", from his 2015 EP The masked undressed.

Performed my cello/voice cover of the Hungarian song "Maradok ember" (by 1LIFE; lyrics by Marcell Bajnai) in a short concert at school. Here is a video of the concert highlights. Also, here is an excerpt from a performance of the same cover at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in July 2019.

Played cello (both the plucked and bowed parts) on the song "Though the Light Seem Small" by Art of Flying.

Recorded a six-song EP, O Octopus, at Tiny Telephone in 2001. John Croslin engineered it.

Self-released an album of songs in 2000. (You can listen to the songs on YouTube.)

Contributed lyrics to the Breeders' song "Head to Toe."

About the author
Mind over Memes
Republic of Noise
News and press