S108. The Speculative Essay

Grand Salon A, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Essayists have long employed speculation, relating nothing verifiable, rather than engaging “fact.” Some even delve into the realm of the fiction writer, overturning traditional notions of point of view in the essay. Still, the discourse surrounding nonfiction too often focuses on truth versus lies, a reductive discussion that ignores the myriad imaginative possibilities of nonfiction. This panel moves the discussion forward, pointing to the ways in which speculation is important to the form.



Leila Philip is the author of four books of nonfiction and poetry. Numerous awards include from the NEA and the Guggenheim. She writes for Art Critical and is the contributing editor at River Teeth. She teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and as MFA faculty at Ashland University.

Lawrence Lenhart is the author of The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage. His prose appears in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and Prairie Schooner. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, teaches genres at Northern Arizona University, and rolls with DIAGRAM. He writes of islands and ferrets.

Sean Prentiss

Leslie Carol Roberts


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center