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 / Culture & Literature
Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Spring 2019

Creative Nonfiction is the voice of the genre. Every issue includes long-form essays blending style with substance; writing that pushes the genre’s boundaries; commentary and notes on craft; conversations with writers; and more. Simply put, Creative Nonfiction demonstrates the depth and versatility of the genre it helped define.

United States
Creative Nonfiction
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4 Issues


7 min.
what’s the story?

HOME! Yes, that’s the theme of this issue, and the essays we’ve selected approach it from many evocative angles. Of course, there are stories about houses—Emily Waples’s seemingly haunted house in Ohio, offering up omen after omen, for example, is particularly memorable. But even more, there are stories about entire neighborhoods and towns, and how they got to be the places they are. Shelley Puhak recounts the “Frankenfish” invasion of her Maryland hometown, which was originally designed to keep out any kind of invaders, and Herb Harris traces the evolution of the Washington, DC, neighborhood where he grew up, which declined rapidly following the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Harris recalls going back to visit his parents and feeling like a fearful outsider, nervous about walking…

1 min.
creative nonfiction

EDITOR Lee Gutkind MANAGING EDITOR Hattie Fletcher SENIOR EDITOR Chad Vogler ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jill Yeomans ASSISTANT EDITOR Kaylee Ritchie COORDINATING EDITOR Nichole Faina SECTION EDITOR Dinty W. Moore Exploring the Boundaries EDITORIAL INTERNS & FACT CHECKERS Grant Burgman Sarah Capdeville Jayne Marshall Nicole Matthews Shelby Newsom Leah Stauber READERS Stephanie Bane Terry Barr Becky Bosshart Andrea Boucher Denise Bullit Chelsey Clammer Sheela Clary Megan Donnelley Dain Edward Julianna Farrington Josephine Fitzpatrick Michael Gawdzik Beth Gilstrap Emily Halbing Emma Faesi Hudelson Emily Johnson Heather Kresge Emily Laubham Susan Lerner Danielle Leshaw Marcus Lyons Mallory Matyk Joseph McGonagle Pamela Milam READERS (CONTINUED) Renee Prymus Dusty-Anne Rhodes Cate Root Ty Sassaman Benjamin Schick Jacki Skole Jordan Snowden Tracy Spangler Anusha Srinivasan Morgan Stien Andrew Thurman MARKETING DIRECTOR Stephen Knezovich DESIGNER Anna Hall COPYEDITOR Jill Patterson BUSINESS MANAGER Patricia Park OFFICE ASSISTANT Woody Shaffer-Carr EDITORIAL BOARD Dinty W. Moore Patricia Park Lea Simonds EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Diane Ackerman Buzz Bissinger Edwidge Danticat Annie Dillard Dave Eggers Jonathan Franzen Tracy Kidder Jeanne Marie Laskas Rick Moody Susan Orlean Francine Prose Ruth Reichl Richard Rodriguez Rebecca Skloot Marcelle Soviero Gay Talese PRINTING Broudy Printing…

1 min.
about the illustrations

SETH CLARK’s work focuses on deteriorating architecture and structures that are on the brinks of ruin. Clark creates two-dimensional collages through an ambitious layering process involving paper and various mixed media; his three-dimensional structures are built from wood and other media layered over an internal framework. Studying the shards of wood and layers of rubble, Clark finds a gentle resolve and an inherent honesty, as well as a present energy. Clark’s drawings, paintings, and sculptures have shown nationally, including exhibitions in the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Chautauqua Institution. Recent honors include Best in Show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival and publication in New American Paintings. Clark was named Pittsburgh’s 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and is the recipient of three…

19 min.

A IS FOR APPLE. Two of them in the yard, stunted and blackened. We peer at them in the January chill, trying to determine if they’ll flower and fruit come spring. Or maybe they’re cherries. They’re knobby trees, all elbows. It’s hard to tell. B IS FOR BEDROOM. We’re getting two of them: one master and one little one that would be perfect for a little one. In the meantime, it will be my office. No pressure, jokes the realtor. C IS FOR CHERRIES. It turns out they are cherries after all. But C is also for choices. We have them: we could have lived farther out, way out, in a bigger house, or closer in toward the city center in a condo or crappier house. Instead, we’ve settled in the middle, a…

20 min.
freedom: an ohio gothic

IT STARTED WITH WASPS. At the end of our first year in the house, they ate through the walls. I would find, first, the dusty piles of plaster by the baseboards, the strange detritus materializing like unlikely anthills on the ugly green carpet. Only later would I recognize these for what they were: evidence of invasion. At last, I saw the wasps themselves, clinging to the sheer white curtains and crawling along the windowpanes, or else strewn lifelessly across the floor and sills, their bodies transmuted into brittle husks. For the living, I enacted well-meaning rituals of rehabilitation, trapping each intruder inside a plastic cup and conveying it staidly downstairs and out the back door. As they multiplied, this manual method was soon forfeited for the more practical affordances of the…

12 min.
reservation dogs

IONCE DESCRIBED BROWNING, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation’s most populated and centrally located town, to a Balkan friend of mine, and he said it sounded like parts of war-torn Bosnia. The reservation is adjacent to Montana’s Glacier National Park; if you’re coming from the southwest, it starts just before you reach East Glacier Park Village. As you drive north toward Browning, there’s a great wall of mountainous peaks off to the west. Chief Mountain stands alone at the end of the range, signaling the border between the United States and Canada, and the end of the reservation. These mountains, which tower above the Great Plains to the east, are known to the Blackfeet as the “Backbone of the World.” Powerful winds—sometimes even hurricane strength—sweep down from the mountains year-round. The general seediness…