Category: Debate

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Lead the Hoarse to Water and Give ’em a Stiff Drink

by Eufemia Fantetti

Ed – CWR 458

Teaching Creative Non-fiction Writing
Tu-Th: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Instructor: Mabel Hatfield-McCoy

Course Description

While creative non-fiction classes continue to proliferate in campuses across the country, many of its detractors argue that we are ushering in an era of widespread navel-gazing and narcissism. Critics cry “Havoc!” and release the hounds of confusion.

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On Writing Vulnerability

by Trevor Corkum

What’s at stake when we write? What are we risking—metaphorically, materially, and emotionally—when we sit down to tell our stories? For me, these are key questions that separate the best writing from the merely mediocre.

Let me clarify. I’m not suggesting that what we risk in the subject matter of our writing—moral and ethical lapses,

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Carpenter Gothic and the Essay

by Angela Palm

A quality of some places: though populous, no one seems to originate from there. Austin, Texas, for example. Last year I visited Austin with a trifecta of intention: viewing Virginia Woolf’s suicide note, visiting a friend from high school, and discovering what made the purportedly “weird” city weird. I arrived in an essay state of mind,

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Lucy Grealy and True Chutzpah

by Amanda Leduc

For some months now, I have been sitting on an essay that will probably cost me a friendship. It will also, in all likelihood, hurt a few people who don’t deserve it. Worst case scenario, it could destroy a life, and that life might well be mine.

Sometimes I reread the essay, toggling back and forth between potential markets,

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The Trouble with Non-Fiction

by Teri Vassopoulos

Shortly after I started making zines in high school, my mother said to me, “It’s good to have secrets sometimes.” We were in the kitchen; we hadn’t been speaking of secrets, of the merits of keeping or spilling them. She knew I was making zines, though, and had seen the piles of Xeroxed paper and envelopes addressed to me in the mail.

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Interview: rob mclennan

by Julienne Isaacs

Julienne Isaacs: You’ve conducted an extraordinary number of interviews with writers. Why is the literary interview, as a form, important to you? What does it do that other literary forms do not, or do not do as well?

rob mclennan: A good interview can’t help but provide insight into the work that can be quite different than what might be possible through close reading or someone else’s review or essay on the same work.

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Liz Harmer’s Formless Non-Fiction

by Liz Harmer

There was a phase in my short non-fiction career during which I came to believe that my main interest in writing essays was out of a fascination with language. Whereas in fiction, the fascination was with feelings, behavior, characters, what might happen to those characters, and the author as the placer of figurines on a board,

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Stephen Marche Flies Over CanLit

by Paul Barrett

Stephen Marche’s polemic on the dea(r)th of Canadian Literature reads at times like the musings of the Manhattan ad executive as he soars over the Iowan countryside, commenting on the folksy ways of the people 30,000 feet below. As his argument jets between Atwood, Ondaatje, and Munro, the rest of CanLit receives a flyover.

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Books vs. Beer

by Jason Freure

You can hear the complaint at almost any book launch: “People spend more money on beer than books.” Some make buying the books at a small press launch a point of pride. Some compromise, balancing their bar tab with deferred hours of reading. Others unabashedly get hammered and go home, totally unimpressed with everything they heard.

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Indigo and Gendered Book Marketing

by Domenica Martinello

Working at a bookstore, I discovered feminism, but not the way you’d think. At 17, the notion of working at a Chapters or Indigo shimmered with romance. The sheer scale of the big box bookstore is enough to dazzle, often equipped with multiple floors, a built-in café, and thousands of titles on seemingly any topic or genre.