R137. Courting the Peculiar: the Ever-Changing Queerness of Creative Nonfiction

Room 3B, Washington State Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, February 27, 2014
10:30 am to 11:45 am


What do we mean when we claim that creative nonfiction is a queer genre? Four queer-identified panelists collectively position creative nonfiction as a genre welcoming of writers and writing that embraces the peculiar, courts the unconventional, and opens to forms yet to be imagined. At the turn of the 20th century, Gertrude Stein in Tender Buttons proposed: “Act so that there is no use in a center”; how can practitioners of creative nonfiction today use language to express truths still to come?



Ames Hawkins is an associate professor in the Department of English at Columbia College Chicago. Her most recent work appears in Polari, Water~Stone Review, Off the Rocks, and Interdisciplinary Humanities. Her essay, “Optickal Allusion,” was selected by Robert Atwan as a notable essay of 2011.

Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Body Geographic. Her previous book, My Lesbian Husband, won the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. She’s a member of the creative writing faculty of the English Department and MA in Writing and Publishing Program of DePaul University in Chicago.

Mary Cappello is the author of four award-winning books, most recently, Swallow. With recent essays in the Georgia Review, Salmagundi, and Cabinet magazine, she is the recipient of The Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination, the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

K. Bradford is a poet, performer, and cultural worker whose work has appeared in literary journals and experimental performance venues. After teaching poetry and literature at Columbia College Chicago for nearly a decade, she is pursuing a dual MFA in Writing and in Art + Technology at CalArts.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center