Grooming

Mary Zelinka opens her essay “Grooming” with a statement that lets us know up front that she is going to tell us an emotional story: “I wanted to hate Papa Burke, but by then I loved him too much.” I do not yet know who Papa Burke is, or what his relationship is to the … Continue reading

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Becoming a Woman of Color

“Becoming a Woman of Color” by Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor offers a satisfying and moving read. A lyric essay in structure, it is built in sections that each begin with a command: Imagine, Remember, Picture. The symmetry between beginning and ending the essay with the word imagine and the repeated commands of remember and picture sandwiched between … Continue reading

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Using Journals in Nonfiction Writing: Three Excellent Examples

Those of us committed to seeing personal experience in print often consider our journal entries a valuable source and form for literature. Usually, we are thinking of mining our own journals and compiling selected entries, but the three books I discuss this week show us how we might use other people’s journals in creating books. … Continue reading

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The Ungarnished Truth

This week we are posting an excerpt from Ellie Mathews’ memoir The Ungarnished Truth. The excerpt is a kind of a how-to essay. Ellie details the winning recipe she entered into the 1998 Pillsbury Bake Off Contest, telling us how she came up with it and a little about her approach to cooking daily meals. … Continue reading

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An Interview with Jay Bates, Host of A River & Sound Review

This year, I have had the delightful experience of working with Tarn Wilson, who is finishing up her MFA this spring from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainer Writing Workshop. Writing It Real subscribers have already benefited from her article on keeping a travel journal; this week, we benefit from her program’s network as she interviews classmate … Continue reading

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