Tag Archives: personal essay

Finals Week

14 May

As you’re reading this, I’m probably studying or hunched over a scantron, bubbling in various letters that represent a semester’s worth of knowledge. (Wish me luck!)

What I’m here to say, though, is a response to my post on January 25, 2013: Back to School. In case you started following me recently (or can’t remember this post) I talked about the books I’d be required to read, and I promised I’d let you all know what I thought about the texts. So, without further ado, I’ve listed the readings in order of favorite to least favorite beneath the specific reading/writing course:

Poetry Writing:

1. The Unmemntioable by Erín Moure: This was my favorite poetry collection by far. I often underline my favorite lines while I’m reading, but I started underlining everything Moure wrote! In fact, I actually posted about this reading earlier this year: April 8, 2013: Relax & Read: The Unmemntioable by Eric Moure.

2. Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!   by Peter Davis: Seemingly cute, easy, and fun read, but ultimately challenges the writer to face the truth behind the ego of the artist. I don’t want to say too much, because I’m planning on doing a post on this soon!

3. The new black by Evie Shockley: I’ve read this collection numerous times now, and I find new cultural challenges every time. Shockley is great at questioning on what makes a person within their race while using form to enhance it.

4. Well Then There Now by Juliana Spahr: This collection is a study on ecopoetics. It’s very interesting, but I often got lost on some of the language, perhaps because I’m unfamiliar with Hawaiian terms. However, I’d still give it a four-star rating, because my professor allowed me to understand. Alone, I’m unsure what I’d rate it.

Poetry collections in order of like.

Poetry collections in order of like.

Nonfiction Writing: This class was my first nonfiction class, and I loved it! 

1. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate: Great collection of personal essays, from authors I recognized and from new writers I’ve never come across. Organized by topic and year. Loved to flip through it and just let the words take me away.

2. Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction Works from 1970 to the Present by Lex Williford and Michael Marten: It was hard for me to choose between the first and second rating. I picked this one as number two only because we didn’t get a chance to talk about these essays as much, but it’s just as great of a collection!

3. Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction Judith Kitchen: I enjoyed the switch from longer essays to the shorter ones. Amazing how much can be said in so little words.

4. Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction by Dinty Moore: Very clear about how to write nonfiction personal essays, if you’re looking into writing one for yourself and/or others.

5. How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish: On March 19, 2013: Relax & Read: How to Write a Sentence, I wrote about this thin but very informative book. Easy for the beginning and a nice reminder for everyone who might get caught up in the complexity of writing later on.

Nonfiction novels in order of like.

Nonfiction novels in order of like.

I apologize for the short post, but I’m really busy studying! I will return with excitement (and, hopefully, A’s!) I hope everyone’s week is going well, and, as usual, comment on this post and let me know if there is any topic (or writing advice) you’re curious about!

~SAT

Inspirational Meet: Robert Rebein

15 Apr

Website Update: 3:00 p.m.: My Twitter hit 2,000 followers today 😀 Thank You! 

16 days until Minutes Before Sunset release! 

One of my favorite parts about attending the University of Kansas is when I get the opportunity to meet authors, poets, and other writers in general. The English department (or creative writing) program here is pretty great that way. There’s always someone speaking on campus, but, even more so, authors sometimes come directly into our classroom.

On Wednesday, April 10, that is exactly what happened in my NonFiction Writing I class.

Rebein hasn't lost his Midwest chivalry either. When I walked up and told him how much I appreciated his time, he gave me a signed copy of his book. Couldn't be happier towards this experience.

Rebein hasn’t lost his Midwest chivalry either. When I walked up and told him how much I appreciated his time, he gave me a signed copy of his book. Couldn’t be happier towards this experience.

Robert Rebein, author of “Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City,” came in, and, instead of taking the time marketing his own novel, guest taught us how he wrote nonfiction. He also answered our questions, elaborating on many aspects of writing we–as students–were wondering.

Specifically, other than truly enjoying his novel, he talked about how a writer should look at  nonfiction writing. He explained how he writes under the philosophy, “Everything is in service of theme.” As an example, he talked about an location-themed essay. He then said you write about that place, but you always stay under the umbrella of what the place means to you (rather than adding frivolous that may not have anything to do with why it means something.)

I really enjoyed his advice. He was very relatable, and he easily adapted to our class (he is a teacher) in the sense that many of our students generally write fiction, and he compared the elements of fiction and nonfiction. He even admitted that he learned fiction, decided to take elements from it, and then moved over to nonfiction. Like James Baldwin’s personal essay’s, Rebein creates a memoir-essay that responds to life honestly, using personal ethics to bring life to the life he lived so many years ago and the history of the Midwest that lived so many years before him.

Robert Rebein is a great author to check out. Just in the first few pages, I had one of my favorite quotes:

“If the Old West was about blood and money, the New West is about return” (6.)

I definitely recommend his work if you enjoy nonfiction. By clicking any of the links, you will be sent to his page for more information.

~SAT

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