Summary: Over a quarter-century career in higher education, publishing, criminal investigation, journalism, and the law, Seth Abramson (MA, MFA, JD, Ph.D.) has worked for Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Wesleyan University, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, New Hampshire Institute of Art, and the New Hampshire Public Defender. A 2001 Harvard Law School graduate and an attorney in good standing with the New Hampshire Bar Association and Federal Bar for the District of New Hampshire, Seth is a political columnist for Newsweek, a professor teaching journalism and legal advocacy at University of New Hampshire, and a New York Times–bestselling nonfiction author and Poetry Foundation–bestselling poet who has authored thirteen books and edited five anthologies—receiving national honors for both his creative writing and his journalism. He has been a regular contributor, in the Trump era, to CNN and the BBC, and in 2018 was named to the National Council for the Training of Journalists' list of the most respected journalists in the U.S. and the UK—one of only nine freelancers so honored.
Full Bio: A graduate of Harvard Law School, Seth worked for nine years as a criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator and is now a tenure-track professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at University of New Hampshire. He teaches courses in the university's Professional & Technical Communications, Digital Language Arts, Engineering Technology, and Literary Studies programs; his teaching areas include digital journalism, post-internet writing and cultural theory, and legal advocacy (legal writing, case method, and trial advocacy). He is also Affiliate Faculty at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, an attorney in good standing with both the New Hampshire Bar Association and the Federal Bar for the District of New Hampshire, a columnist at Newsweek,
a member of the New Hampshire High Tech Council, and a New York Times best-selling author.
Trained as a criminal investigator at Georgetown University (1996) and Harvard University (2000-2001), Seth has since worked for four public defenders—three state, one federal—representing over 2,000 indigent criminal defendants over that time in cases ranging from juvenile delinquency to first-degree murder. He first testified in federal court as a defense investigator at the age of 19; represented his first homicide client at age 22 as a Rule 33 attorney for the Boston Trial Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS); and had won two homicide cases, including a first-degree murder trial, by the age of 29. After working for CPCS on major felonies (called "non-concurrent felonies" in Massachusetts) in Boston Municipal Court and Dorchester District Court in 1999 and 2000, Seth represented misdemeanor clients in Roxbury District Court through the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute from 2000 to 2001. Between 2001 and 2007, he was a staff attorney for the Nashua Trial Unit of the New Hampshire Public Defender, working felony and misdemeanor cases in seven New Hampshire district courts as well as both Superior Courts in Hillsborough County (Southern District and Northern District).
A 1998 graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B.), Seth returned to school after his time at the New Hampshire Public Defender and received additional terminal degrees in both Creative Writing (MFA, University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, 2009) and Literary Studies (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016). In 2015, he joined the undergraduate faculty at the urban college of University of New Hampshire, which specializes in interdisciplinary and professional studies.
At University of New Hampshire, Seth aided the transition of the urban college's English program into new Digital Language Arts and Professional and Technical Communications degrees in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. The two degrees cover topics ranging from digital journalism to technical writing, legal advocacy to post-internet literary and cultural theory, nonfiction to digital writing. Seth teaches primarily digital journalism, legal writing and research, post-internet cultural and communications theory, transmedia and multimedia art, avant-garde literature, and digital writing. His "Digital Creative Writing" course, which focuses on the creation of entrepreneurial white papers for high-concept digital projects rather than conventional literary art, is the first workshop of its kind in the United States. Seth also founded, in 2016, the college's Legal Advocacy Program, within which he teaches both Legal Writing and Research—a pre-law course that reproduces law school study for undergraduates—and a criminal justice-oriented professional writing course, in which students learn, in addition to a great deal about the policies and procedures of the U.S. criminal justice system, a panoply of legal advocacy skills, including direct and cross-examination, opening statements, closing arguments, how to write client letters and legal memoranda, how to analyze police reports, and how to structure legal research papers.
Seth has been a print and radio journalist since 1994, when at 17 he became a sports reporter at The Daily Dartmouth—America's oldest college newspaper—covering Dartmouth's Division I (FCS) football team, as well as serving as a radio correspondent for Dartmouth's Division I men's college basketball team. His work in radio at Dartmouth also included weekly sports talk and pop music programs. Since then, Seth's reporting and editorials have been published in both American and British media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star, The Seattle Times, The Economist, SBNation, The Guardian, Newsweek, Boston Review, The Philadelphia Review of Books, and VRScout. From 2004 to 2006, Seth ran a political news website, The Nashua Advocate, whose 2005 nomination for a Koufax Award led to Seth appearing regularly as a political commentator for Air America Radio. From 2008 to 2013, Seth was a reporter and data journalist for Poets & Writers, and from 2013 to 2016 he was a culture columnist and reviewer of television, film, and other multimedia at Indiewire. From 2010 to 2017, he was a columnist and editorialist at The Huffington Post, where his columns on U.S. politics were shared more than two million times on social media during the 2016 presidential primaries.
Since the election of Donald Trump, Seth has become a regular commentator on U.S. politics on CNN and the BBC, with recent additional interviews by CBS, CBS Radio, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Radio, ABC News, ABC Radio, NPR, PBS, the CBC, HBO, Bloomberg, the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Newsweek, Time, Vanity Fair, The Boston Globe, POLITICO, Congressional Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Der Spiegel, Playboy, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Sunday Times, Slate, Roll Call, The Philadelphia Inquirer, various political programs on SiriusXM radio, and many others. His political writing is now widely cited in TV, radio, print and online, with discussions on CBS, CBC, CNBC, PBS, FNC, BET, and NPR, as well as in POLITICO, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Time, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, The Weekly Standard, The New Yorker, Vibe, People, Vox, The Hill, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Post, The Times of Israel, The Week, and many others.
In October 2018, the National Council for the Training of Journalists named Seth, as a freelancer, to its annual list of the "most-respected journalists" in the United States and the United Kingdom. Voted on by working British journalists, the NCTJ listing featured nine freelancers; others honored by the NCTJ in 2018 included Pulitzer Prize winners Bob Woodward and Ronan Farrow and Emmy- and Murrow Award-winning CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour.
In November 2018, Simon & Schuster published Seth's New York Times and USA Today bestselling book on Trump-Russia collusion, Proof of Collusion, which takes readers through four decades of Trump's ties to Russia, with a particular emphasis on the events of the 2016 presidential election. The 450-page book contains 1,650 endnotes, and 2,000 citations. In September 2019, Macmillan published Seth's New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling book on the six-nation pre-election geopolitical conspiracy that helped Trump win the White House, Proof of Conspiracy. Also a bestseller at Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes—and attached to an online archive of over 3,250 endnotes and 4,330 major-media citations—the 600-page Proof of Conspiracy chronicles the so-called "Red Sea Conspiracy," as part of which the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Russia, Israel, the UAE, and Egypt conspired to assist Trump in becoming President of the United States. In summer 2020, Macmillan will publish Proof of Corruption, the conclusion of the epic "Proof" trilogy; the book focuses on Trump bribery scandals involving the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 election, Ukraine, China, Turkey, and Venezuela, along with major updates on earlier Trump scandals in Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
In early 2022, Seth will publish Citizen Journalist, a graphic novel, with Macmillan. Citizen Journalist uses an exploration of contemporary digital journalism to better understand the role that independent and citizen journalism will have in the coming decades. Seth is also working on a memoir, Thread, that focuses on his writing, research, and commentary on American politics, higher education, the law, and post-internet cultural theory throughout the 2000s and 2010s. Seth is represented by Jeff Silberman of Folio Literary Management.
Seth founded and is series editor of Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University), and from 2017 to 2019 was the editorial director of digital city newspaper The Manchester Independent. Prior to founding the Best American Experimental Writing series in 2013, Seth co-founded and was poetry editor of The New Hampshire Review (2004-05). He has also served on the editorial staff at the University Press of New England (1994-98), The Iowa Review (2008-09), Crazyhorse (2009), and Devil's Lake (2009-11).
Seth has authored or edited eighteen books, including An Insider's Guide to Graduate Degrees in Creative Writing (Bloomsbury UK, 2018); Golden Age (BlazeVOX, 2017); DATA (2016); Metamericana (2015); Thievery (University of Akron Press, 2013), the winner of the 2012 Akron Prize; Northerners (Western Michigan University Press, 2011), the winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize; and The Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009), which was shortlisted for the 2007 Many Mountains Moving Prize. Other awards include the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry, a Teaching-Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the August Derleth Fiction Prize and Alexander Chambers Essay Prize from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a selection by former United States Poet Laureate Mark Strand for Best New Poets (University of Virginia Press).
Seth has published his poetry and prose in hundreds of venues, including state reviews (Alaska Quarterly Review, California Quarterly, Colorado Review, Florida Review, Hawaii Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, Minnesota Review, Mississippi Review, New York Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Texas Review, Wisconsin Review, and others); city reviews (Boston Review, Brooklyn Review, The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, The Louisville Review, Madison Review, The Manhattan Review, New Orleans Review, Portland Review, Seattle Review, and others); reviews housed at universities (AGNI, Bat City, Columbia Poetry Review, Conjunctions, Georgetown Review, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Jubilat, LIT, Meridian, Notre Dame Review, The Southern Review, Western Humanities Review, William & Mary Review, and others); and independent reviews (Poetry, Fence, American Poetry Review, New American Writing, Crazyhorse, The Academy of American Poets, Salmagundi, Verse, and others).
Seth's essays on a burgeoning post-postmodern cultural philosophy known as metamodernism—the subject of his Indiewire column, his early essays at The Huffington Post, and his cultural studies research at University of New Hampshire—were credited by Sturgill Simpson as being part of the inspiration for his Grammy-nominated alt-country album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.
Seth has guest-lectured on metamodernism and other topics (including experimental poetics, higher education, the disciplinary history of English, criminal investigations, and contemporary American politics) at many colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Amsterdam, University of Iowa, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, The Pratt Institute, Drake University, Bard College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Manhattanville College, Madison College (WI), St. Edward's University (TX), Southeastern Community College (IA) and New England College.
At various points, Seth has lived and worked in Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. He was born on October 31, 1976 in Concord, Massachusetts.