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Conventional essay forms offer us familiar containers in which to pour our content. And essays are traditionally driven by content. It’s a formula that works. The problem with formula is that it lulls the imagination and protects the psyche. Personal essays must find and face the hardest truths, and to do this we often must let go of the comfortable familiar. In this generative class, we will try out strange forms and oblique entry points and find the hidden corners of our content. We will surprise ourselves.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and the essay collection Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper Live, and elsewhere. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University.