Author Archives: Katie Waring

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Truth in Nonfiction But Were Afraid to Ask

This post nicely sums up a lot of what we’ve been talking about this semester: is fact different from truth? How can anything be completely factual in CNF if nearly everything is, inherently, subjective and based off of memory?

The article gives shout outs to Scott McCloud (our comic theorist) and John D’Agata as well. Take a look–it might come in handy as you revise your last major writing project!

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Roxane Gay Twitter Q&A

109px-Roxane_gay_9134940Roxane Gay, author of the 2014 essay collection Bad Feminist and former essays editor of The Rumpus, took to Twitter yesterday to share a few common reasons for why some essays are rejected from lit journals. This might be helpful for any of you thinking of sending your work out, or even if you’re just writing nonfiction for yourself/a class and want to work on some revisions. Check out the Q&A here.

“Identity has always been a fragile phenomenon”: The Truth? About Hayward Kreiger

SlaterAfter our class discussion last week, I was curious about whether or not Dr. Hayward Kreiger (the philosopher who supposedly wrote the introduction for Lying) was real. So, as I always do when I question the authenticity of an introduction in a highly-contested memoir, I turned to Google.

This is what I found: a New York Times Book Review journalist, wondering the same thing, called the University of California to inquire about Dr. Krieger and found that there was no such person. Then, a few weeks later, that same journalist received a handwritten letter from—who else?—Dr. Kreiger. The letter states, “Identity has always been a fragile phenomenon, but that it now rests upon the report of overworked operators at a university switchboard is perturbing, and we should all beware.” According to the letter, Dr. Kreiger had simply left the university. But here’s the real kicker: the return address on the letter was for the clinic Slater worked at, and the phone number listed under Dr. Kreiger’s contact info belonged to Slater’s husband. Continue reading

Documentary Poetry & CNF: Two Different Genres?

CopiaWhen I was in the Poetry Workshop last semester with Lytton Smith, we read two poetry collections with documentary or journalistic elements–one of which was Erika Meitner’s Copia. In her collection, Meitner intervweaves personal anecdotes about materialism, desire, and home with researched information on Detroit and, even, a verbatim interview with a Detorit automobile factory worker.

Recently, Lytton asked if I’d be interested in doing a documentary poetry reading and discussion at this year’s GREAT Day. All last semester, between taking Steve’s Lyric Essay class and Lytton’s Poetry workshop back-to-back, I was researching and writing about Sonyea’s Craig Colony for Epileptics for a directed study and a lot of what I was learning transferred over to both my essays and my poetry. And, sometimes, an essay would prompt a poem or a poem would help inform an essay. Because of this, I’ve realized how fluid the borders separating creative nonfiction and poetry really are (just look at a lyric essay or a prose poem and you’ll know what I mean). Continue reading

The Colbert Report, Didion, & Serial in Place of Shakespeare

Koenig 2As we’re all knee-deep in the first few episodes of the Serial podcast, I stumbled across a video of Serial host Sarah Koenig being interviewed on The Colbert Report. While Colbert doesn’t dig too far into the details–he mainly jokes about how Koenig has become a celebrity in the podcast world–the truth stands: Koenig has become a celebrity in the podcast world. She was invited to talk on The Colbert Report, after all, one of the most mainstream TV shows in America (mainstream, that is, until the show came to an unfortunate end). Continue reading

Creative Nonfiction vs. Non-fiction: What’s with the Hyphen?

Have any of you ever wondered why CNF is sometimes “nonfiction” and sometimes “non-fiction”? I know I sure have (then again, that curiosity might just reveal my utter geekiness). But really, why do people sometimes use the hyphen? How come they sometimes don’t? Why isn’t there some sort of consistency in the name of the genre?  Continue reading