Creative Nonfiction Summer 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

4 min.
what’s the story?

I’VE BEEN STARTING OVER my whole life. I graduated high school in the bottom fifth of my class. I weighed 220 pounds, and the kids in my neighborhood called me “Slim,” “Jelly Belly,” and “Fat Fuck.” I tried to tell myself that my weight and my lackluster performance in high school didn’t matter, that I would get a job or go to college, sooner or later, and succeed. But I had no money, and the affordable universities in my hometown, Pittsburgh, would not accept me with my abysmal GPA, and I soon realized that it was time to do something different. So I enlisted—in the U.S. Coast Guard, the only service that would accept me at my weight. By the end of my active duty a year later, I had lost seventy…

1 min.
about the illustrations

BRENDA STUMPF’s art invokes ancient, universal archetypes by way of myth and metaphor, and often seems shrouded in secrets. Her works on paper and elaborate, large-scale assemblages demonstrate a ceaseless intrigue for the mysterious, featuring cryptic motifs and conjuring energies both enchanting and disturbing. Self-taught, Stumpf is driven by an astute understanding of materiality through process. She works intuitively, rarely sketching or planning, and chooses unorthodox materials, such as found and discarded objects, in creating her work. Stumpf has an extensive exhibition history that spans over twenty years, and she has been commissioned by numerous commercial and private clients. Currently, her art resides in more than three hundred collections throughout the United States and abroad. She lives and works in Pittsburgh.…

28 min.
we’re naked underneath our clothes

A WRITING CLASSROOM is an intimate space, and so before I tell you about this night, years ago, when I was still what might be classified as a young professor, a fresh transplant to Indiana soil from the wilds of the Pacific Northwest via the red clay of Alabama, and a mother to a seven-month-old baby who took most of his nutrition from my body—before I bare all—I need to tell you something about what I was wearing. I’m sorry, but I do. Between my voracious boy and the lack of maternity leave, I was shedding pounds like a calving glacier, dipping below my pre-pregnancy weight and still melting. Naturally, there was no time for clothes shopping, but this was a night class, three hours away from the baby, so I’d…

12 min.
a luminous amazement at existence

PATRICIA HAMPL IS a daydreamer. “I waste my life. I want to. It’s the thing to do with a life,” is how she put it in The Florist’s Daughter (2007). The New York Review of Books has described her as “a memoirist almost completely devoid of ego.” Instead of self, Hampl lauds the mystery of being. “Observing it all,” she declared in Virgin Time (1992), “noting it, seeing it—this was the real point not only of literature but of life itself.” Hampl, who received an MFA in poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor in the MFA English program at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, has authored two books of poetry and six prose works. When she started writing memoir, the genre…

18 min.
the queen signal

OF THE TENS OF THOUSANDS of honeybees in a hive, the queen stands apart. Her body is longer and fuller than the other females’, her wings shorter. The workers and drones cluster and throb around her, their sun. Usually, the queen lives longest; her lifespan can stretch more than three to five years past the average worker’s. But sometimes she does not. Sometimes the colony finds itself hollow, without its heartbeat. Around 50,000 bees and one queen have invaded the roof of my childhood home in Uvalde, Texas, making their way through the uppermost eastern corner, humming between wall and cream-colored exterior siding. They’ve been there a while, according to my dad. He says he and Mom noticed them months ago, when they were out in the backyard gardening. As we wait for…

18 min.
the littlest wren

THE BRIDGE between the mainland of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island is nearly a mile and a half long. They don’t mark it in miles—all distances are in kilometers, just like most everywhere else in the world—but I had done the conversion in my head somewhere between New Brunswick and the first highway sign for Prince Edward Island. I spent much of our thirteen-hour drive from western Massachusetts with my fingers pressing into two new red scars, tender and raw. One snaked horizontally over the stretchy ridges and dents of skin just north of my pelvic bone, and the other ran across my belly, perpendicular to the first. I was dreaming about what this bridge to Cape Breton Island would look like. I imagined bougainvillea growing up diamond-laden pillars; I…