Creative Nonfiction Spring 2021

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
USD 7.50
USD 25
4 Números

en este número

5 min.
what’s the story?

I hope you enjoy this retrospective issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. THE FIRST ISSUE of Creative Nonfiction was published in early 1994. It was a literary journal then, or “little magazine,” as such publications were sometimes called, and a modest affair—ninety-two pages, perfect bound, no illustrations save for a really cool paper tear on the cover. When I first came up with the idea of a journal devoted exclusively to creative or narrative nonfiction, the genre was an outlier in the academy, thought by many to be superfluous, or a passing fad. Creative writing programs weren’t as ubiquitous then as they are today, and the courses and workshops that existed focused mostly on poetry and fiction. Essay writing and other nonfiction-centered courses were offered, but rarely were…

1 min.
about the cover art

DEANNA MANCE is a self-taught artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Working predominantly with ink and gouache on paper, she explores the interplay of the conscious and unconscious, as well as the relationship between nature and human experience. Her detailed drawings contain geometric, organically arranged motifs that include imagery symbolic of family-based faith and heirlooms, ancestral history, transmutation of death and rebirth, and personal relationships to ritual and spirituality. Using spontaneous mark-making and freehand drawing techniques, her compositions form without inhibition or premeditation. Through this approach, she embraces the unpredictable qualities and uncertain outcomes of her work. Mance’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Bankside Gallery in London, and the Pittsburgh International Airport. In 2016, she created Pittsburgh’s first…

2 min.
dave eggers

FROM ISSUE #38: IMMORTALITY GORDINIER: You’ve said you got your start in newspapers. What did you learn from that experience? EGGERS: I recommend journalism courses and/or writing for newspapers to every young writer I meet. I think there’s a discipline—that word again—that’s very valuable. And a humility. You learn both to examine every last word—to be able to prove it and its worth—and to make every word count, because in newspapers you usually work within strict word limits. There are so many other things you learn. You learn about meeting deadlines. I think having daily or weekly deadlines focuses the mind and prevents you from doing what I’ve heard called the “graduate-school drift”—where you might spend three to four years on a writing project that perhaps could be done in less time.…

4 min.

BRIAN DOYLE (1957–2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland and the author of many books of essays and fiction, most notably the novels Mink River and Martin Marten. ONE OF THE THINGS that we do not talk about when we talk about writing is the sound and scent and sensuality of it, the scratching and hammering and tapping, the pitter of pencils and the scribble and scrawl of pens, the quiet mumble of the electric typewriter like an old pharmacist humming, the infinitesimal skitter of forefingers on keyboards; and the curl and furl of paper, the worn and friendly feeling of pocket-notebooks, the shards and scraps on which we have started essays and stories and poems, trying to catch an angle of light or the…

17 min.
the same story

FROM ISSUE #53: MISTAKES SUZANNE ROBERTS is the author of Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel (Bronze Medal Winner from the North American Travel Journalists Association for Best Travel Book) and the memoir Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (winner of the National Outdoor Book Award), as well as four books of poems. Her work has been listed as notable in Best American Essays and included twice in The Best Women's Travel Writing and has appeared in the New York Times, CNN, Brevity, the Rumpus, Hippocampus, the Normal School, River Teeth, and elsewhere. Named “The Next Great Travel Writer” by National Geographic’s Traveler, she holds a doctorate in literature and the environment from the University of Nevada-Reno and teaches for the low residency MFA program in Creative…

3 min.
leslie jamison

FROM ISSUE #69: INTOXICATION FASSLER: In [The Recovering] you talk about the usefulness of clichés, especially how AA members tend to traffic in these wonderful, pithy bits of advice and wisdom. Phrases like Take it one day at a time are shopworn in AA circles and may not be exciting on a language level—and yet, you write, they can have demonstrable, immediate value for a person struggling with addiction. This is so antithetical to the way we’re taught to think as writers: we’re trained to reach for the original detail, the thing no one’s said before. I’m curious if your experience of going through AA—and seeing the value in truisms—changed your relationship to writing. JAMISON: As I was writing the book, and as I was considering the emotional dynamics of my own…