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Creative NonfictionCreative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction Fall 2015

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


access_time5 min.
what’s the story?

Sometimes, the most unlikely and unexpected juxtapositions of frame and focus create the most effective stories. IS THE THEMEfor this issue “woe” or “death”? It is damn dark. But the pieces are all very good, and I think it’s quickly becoming my next favorite issue. That’s the note we got from our long-time copyeditor, Jill Patterson, after we sent her the essays for this issue. We laughed here in the office when we got that e-mail, because we could see Jill’s point: the essays we selected are not, let us say, cheerful. It wasn’t something we deliberately set out to do; it’s just that the literature of reality is sometimes—maybe even often— as Jill put it, “damn dark.” But in addition to being damn dark, the essays in this issue are damn good,…

access_time5 min.
required reading

NED STUCKEY-FRENCHteaches at Florida State University and is the book review editor for Fourth Genre. He is author of The American Essay in the American Century and co-editor (with Carl H. Klaus) of Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time. His essays have appeared in magazines such as In These Times, Culturefront, the Pinch, Guernica, and Middlebrow. IN THE FALL OF 1976, I lied on an application in order to get a job as a janitor at Massachusetts General Hospital. I left out the fact that I’d graduated from Harvard and done a couple of years of graduate work at Brown, claiming instead that I’d worked as an oil field roughneck, carpenter, liquor store clerk, trash collector, and groundskeeper. Indeed, I had done those things, but I stretched summer jobs…

access_time11 min.
the price of writing

JENNIFER NIESSLEIN is the editor of Full Grown People and two anthologies: Full Grown People: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 and Soul Mate 101 and Other Essays on Love and Sex. She’s also the author of Practically Perfect in Every Way. IF PEOPLE ASK me what I do, I tell them I edit a web magazine called Full Grown People. I’ve been at it for two years. I read, I edit, I collaborate with writers and Gina Easley, the staff photographer. Work from Full Grown People has earned special mention in Best American Essays and has been included in the Best Food Writing anthology. I’ve published one Full Grown People anthology and have just launched another. The magazine has a healthy readership. The business is a registered LLC. It’s all legit. I just…

access_time13 min.
no exit

KAREN GENTRY lives in Madison, Georgia. Her work has appeared in Bayou, PANK, New Orleans Review, and American Short Fiction. This fall, she will be a writer in residence at the Ucross Foundation. SHE AND HER HUSBAND thought it would be temporary, the daytime work they found after they quit their jobs at the restaurant where they had met. Law school application season would soon open for him, and they planned to leave the DC region and start their permanent life together wherever he was accepted. Her husband’s first temp assignment was as a receptionist for a company that sold boat insurance. In college, he’d gotten in the habit of carrying around a voice-activated microcassette recorder for recording his thoughts. Each night at dinner, he played the highlights, the moments he had…

access_time16 min.
agents of death

ANNE BRANNEN, a former professor of medieval literature, now teaches privately online. Her poetry has appeared in such venues as Cabinet des Fées, Literary Mama, and Kestrel. I NEVER MET MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER, Robert Greene Elliott, who died long before I was born, but I know exactly where he was at 12:05 am on January 6, 1927. He was in the death chamber of the penitentiary at Charlestown, Massachusetts. He wasn’t sitting in the electric chair—that was Edward Heinlein, part of a trio of young men who had killed James Ferneau, a watchman, during a robbery fifteen months earlier. My great-grandfather was standing behind Heinlein, controlling the switch. But he could see the condemned man; Elliott—who was already, just a year after he began the work, a seasoned executioner—refused to pull the…

access_time14 min.

KEVIN HAWORTH is the author of two books, Famous Drownings in Literary History and The Discontinuity of Small Things, and co-editor of Lit from Within: Contemporary Masters on the Art and Craft of Writing. His essays and short stories have been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Witness, and the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, among others, and he writes a bimonthly essay for Michigan Quarterly Review. Haworth is the MFA Director at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. IN 2000, WE MOVED TO JERUSALEM. My wife, a rabbinical student, spent her days walking the curved uphill streets of the city to classes at various yeshivas, learning in Hebrew and in English, piecing together the knowledge she would need to return to America and become a rabbi. We were to be there for six…