F250. Breaking the Body: Women Writers Reconfiguring Creative Nonfiction Forms

Room 211 C&D, Level 2
Friday, April 10, 2015
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Within the evolution of creative nonfiction lie specific challenges for women writers breaking traditional forms—through the writing process, publication, and reception. Craft is often overlooked when a woman’s writing includes personal elements, especially of body and sexuality. Four writers with distinctly varied styles discuss scrupulously crafting innovative work, and then navigating its reception in a culture with still rigid conceptions of form, its limits, and who can break them.



Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart, and currently finishing a collection of essays and a novel. She is assistant professor of creative nonfiction at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Elissa Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of a memoir, My Body Is a Book of Rules. She serves as adviser for the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and faculty for the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water, the debut novel Dora: A Headcase, three books of short stories, and a critical book on war and narrative. Her writing awards sit next to her swimming awards. She writes and swims in Oregon. 

Joy Harjo has authored the memoir Crazy Brave; four CDs of music; books for children and young adults; and seven collections of poetry, including In Mad Love and War, recipient of an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her many honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based nonfiction and fiction writer. Her long-form essay concerning women and prostitution in Morocco appeared in Harper's, and she is at work on a book of creative nonfiction.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center