R152. Que savent-ils?: What Classic Essays Can Teach Contemporary Essayists

B114, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Thursday, March 28, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


When’s the last time you sat down with an essay by Lamb? Or cracked open The Rambler? Maybe not recently enough. With so many exciting new modes of the essay being written today it can be easy to forget those of the past. But writers like Montaigne, Rousseau, Hazlitt, and Woolf have more bearing on contemporary essayists than you might think. This diverse panel of essayists writing in a variety of sub-genres shows how the “classics” inspire them—as perhaps they will inspire you, too.



Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. She is the author of the essay collection Be with Me Always and the lyric essay chapbook Devotional. Other work appears in The New York TimesCreative NonfictionBrevity, and elsewhere.

David Lazar was a Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction for 2015. His books include: I’ll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms, Who's Afraid of Helen of Troy, After Montaigne, Occasional Desire, and The Body of Brooklyn. He is founding editor of Hotel Amerika, and series coeditor of 21st Century Essays at OSU Press

Dinty W.Moore is author of The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir, the memoir Between Panic & Desire, and numerous other books of nonfiction. 

Kyoko Mori is the author of three nonfiction books (The Dream of Water; Polite Lies; Yarn) and four novels (Shizuko's Daughter; One Bird; Stone Field, True Arrow; Barn Cat). She teaches creative writing at George Mason University and for the Low-Residency MFA Program at Lesley University.

Beth Peterson is a nonfiction writer and assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University. Beth is finishing her first book of lyric essays, set in a disappearing glacial landscape in Norway.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center