The Contemporary Personal Essay
Our time will focus on generating and workshopping new personal essays. We will try to take on subjects outside ourselves for these generative exercises, be it nature or culture, and weave our own experiences into our observations and beliefs. Activities will include reading and talking about culture writing, writing essays based on visual prompts, and exercises based on close observation of the northwoods environs of the Bemidji State campus.
Dustin Parsons is the author of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams (University of Georgia Press 2018). He has an MA from Kansas State University and an MFA from Bowling Green State University. He has previously served as the non-fiction editor of The Mid-American Review. Awards for his writing include an Ohio Arts Grant and a New York Fine Arts grant in creative non-fiction, the 2013 American Literary Review Prize in fiction, the 2014 fiction prize from The Laurel Review and a “notable in the 2014 Best American Essays. He was awarded a residency fellowship at Wyoming’s Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts. He teaches creative writing workshops and courses in American literature at University of Mississippi. He lives in Oxford with his wife, the poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and their two wily boys.