Creative Nonfiction Spring 2018

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?

OF THE MORE THAN one dozen books I have researched and written, the project that made the biggest impact on me, personally, took place over a six-year period beginning in the mid-1980s, during which I immersed myself in the world’s largest organ transplant center. This was early on, long before transplantation had become the accepted “miracle” procedure it is today. Back then, the mere idea of swapping body parts was anathema on religious, cultural, moral, ethical, and scientific grounds; everyone had an objection. There were even some critics who argued that those few pioneer surgeons who persisted—in the face of criticism and literal excommunication—were desecrating the human body and creating monsters, alien creatures that would somehow disrupt the world order, whatever that was. Even Louis Washkansky—the recipient of the world’s first…

1 min.
about the illustrations

KYLE ANGER ( is a 2-D mixed media artist who utilizes an ever-expanding variety of media to create intensely layered, intuitive abstractions. Due to his love of nature, biological forms, and experimentation with artistic materials, his pieces evolve into detailed amalgamations of internal and external life. Anger’s work has been included in a number of group exhibitions in the past year. Anger’s interest in art was fostered at a very early age by his mother, an elementary school art teacher. He earned his BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009 and his MFA in painting from Boston University in 2012. Originally from northeast Connecticut, he currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, where he maintains a studio at Radiant Hall in the Lawrenceville neighborhood.…

10 min.
what’s this doing to my brain?

A FRIEND OF THE WRITER Kim Stolz once jumped onto subway tracks to retrieve a dropped iPhone. Telling the story in Unfriending My Ex and Other Things I’ll Never Do, Stolz reports being horrified by the risk—yet adds, “If this same friend dropped her iPhone onto the subway tracks tomorrow, she wouldn’t hesitate to attempt this feat again. And neither would I.” Welcome to the Digital Age, when a phone is worth a leap onto the tracks, and people are reluctant to put down their devices even while driving. Our words, photos, money, and medical records live online. People walk with heads bowed, eyes riveted to the gadgets cradled in their hands. But we’re only beginning to grapple with the changes that digital technology brings. Beneath its lure, I sense unease. And…

14 min.
unafraid of the dark

SOME YEARS AGO, in a workshop, I wrote about my sister’s self-destructive adolescence. I recounted her recklessness with boys and alcohol, the anger that erupted like a geyser inside her, and her hell-bent desire to run away—which she did by joining a traveling carnival when she was 16. The scenes brimmed with my own shock and confusion, and, as difficult as the subject matter was, I was sure it was the best thing I’d written. But in class, a writer I deeply respected made some general comments, then leaned back in her chair. She nudged the manuscript on the table away, as if proximity itself was a problem. “It’s too much,” she said, shaking her head sadly. Instead of feeling drawn into the narrative, she was repelled by it. The worst part…

6 min.

RAW MATERIALS TO MAKE HISTORY, gather together a poet and his lover and her stepsister, another poet and his doctor. Send them to the mountains in summertime but have the weather betray them, turn cold and wet, keep them inside near a roaring fire. Provide a book of ghost stories and a spirit of competition. One of them, the lover, Mary Shelley, will write Frankenstein. History: ORIGIN late Middle English, via Latin from Greek historia: ‘finding out.’ To make a creature, start by stalking the dead. Dig them up and take what you need. Assemble the parts to your ideals: strength, symmetry, beauty. Apply what science you have learned over sleepless nights and fevered days. Behold your creation—and be dismayed. Dismay: ORIGIN Middle English, based on Latin dis- (expressing negation) + the Germanic base…

20 min.
mystic trinities

A SIX-POUND, NINE-OUNCE BUNDLE of original sin, I was doomed upon arrival. In my infantile state, I failed to realize the totality of my holy burden. According to the Catholics, I was responsible for the mistakes of Adam and Eve, people I’d never met. Until I was baptized, I risked an eternity in Limbo, and in my first wee weeks, I was forbidden to leave home. I didn’t object when the priest doused my naked head with his sanctified holy water, making my miniature soul safe. I stayed sound asleep while his whispered prayers washed away my affliction. And just to be sure of my salvation, a tiny crystal rosary was hung around my neck, forever tethering me to an unseen God. My mother was the driver of Catholicism in our…