Topic: Essays by Writers of Color

IMG_7690Thanks to Cyn Kitchen for this list:  essay (not memoir) recommendations by writers of color, who are American, but who are not writing about race.

Please add your suggestions in the comments!


  • Richard Rodriguez, Darling, excerpted in Harper’s.
  • Alice Walker, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens”
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Roxanne Gay, Bad Feminist
  • bell hooks
  • Alison Hawthorne Deming, Colors of Nature
  • Stacyanne Chin, The Other Side of Paradise
  • Ta Nehisi Coates, Beautiful Struggle 

AWP2015: Stranger than Fiction: Personal Essay in the Age of the Internet

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 5.17.02 PMStranger than Fiction: Personal Essay in the Age of the Internet. (Ben Tanzer, Megan Stielstra, Jamie Iredell, Wendy Ortiz, Anna March) What does it mean to write a personal essay in the age of the internet? And how do we decide what is truth when we as writers are expected to tangle with the pressure to create public personas? The personal essayists on this panel will discuss how they maneuver through these challenges–building brand, navigating social media, defining creative nonfiction, and yes, finding the truth in our writing, when the truth is filtered through the endless platforms that comprise our lives today. Continue reading

Amy Wright on SueEllen Campbell’s “Grubby” (w/Dinty W. Moore)

Native garden face shotAmy Wright is the Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 Press and Zone 3 journal and the author of five chapbooks. The recipient of a Peter Taylor Fellowship to the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, an Individual Artist’s fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a VCCA fellowship, her work can be found in Brevity, DIAGRAM, Quarterly West, Southern Poetry Anthology (Volumes III and VI), Tupelo Quarterly, CALYX and Kenyon Review.

“Consider the progression of the ages,” SueEllen Campbell asks of readers in the first sentence of her essay Grubby. Not a softball request for a first line, but she woos us toward that effort with descriptions of tidal rise and ebb, volcanic ejections of new earth, ancient lake beds full of sand and dust. But the reason I love to teach her essay is the metaphor she opens in the third paragraph: “Perhaps you begin with a layer of sunblock.”

“Why doesn’t Campbell begin her consideration here?” I ask my Advanced Composition essayists, whose introductory paragraphs at times incline toward the abstract.

Continue reading