James Wolcott (born December 10, 1952) is an American journalist, known for his critique of contemporary media. Wolcott is the cultural critic for Vanity Fair and contributes to The New Yorker. He also writes a blog.
Background and education
Wolcott was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in a suburban setting. He attended Maryland's Frostburg State College for two years. From there, he moved to New York City, to work at The Village Voice. He is married to Laura Jacobs, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He began practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique in 2007.
Since arriving in New York, Wolcott has been a columnist on media and pop culture for such publications as Esquire, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and New York Magazine. He was lured to Vanity Fair by the late Leo Lerman, then the magazine's editor.
Wolcott wrote a novel, The Catsitters, published in 2001. In 2004, he published Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants, a critique of right-wing media in the United States. In addition, he recently contributed the foreword to Geoffrey Beene's forthcoming book, Identity.
His memoir Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York was published October 25, 2011.
Awards and honors
- 2014 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Critical Mass
- The Catsitters, 2001
- Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants: The Looting of the News in a Time of Terror
- Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York
- Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs 
- Wolcott, James. "Welcome, My Brother! | James Wolcott's Blog". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- "James Wolcott:A Q&A by Russ Smith & John Strausbaugh". New York Press. April 24, 2001.
- John Williams (July 30, 2014). "James Wolcott and Frank Bidart Among 2014 PEN American Winners". New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- James Wolcott's blog, Vanity Fair webpage.
- James Wolcott's blog, jameswolcott.com[dead link]
- Maneker, Marion, "The King James Version: Critic James Wolcott, the reigning monarch of the literary put-down, is about to publish his first novel, and legions of his victims are already sharpening their knives", New York magazine, June 11, 2001
- Bernhard, Brendan, "Medium Cool: James Wolcott on lowbrow vs. highbrow, common sense and his first novel, The Catsitters", LA Weekly, June 27, 2001.