S182. On Girdling Digression: Plutarch’s Influence on the Contemporary Essay

Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


The malleable parameters of the contemporary essay, while sometimes overwhelmingly myriad, can be traced to the tenets perpetuated by Plutarch, the first known pioneer of the essay, in the first and second centuries AD. Panelists discuss the ways in which Plutarch engaged various cultural constructs, including, but not limited to ceremony, food, introversion, space and time, and how such meditations have impacted the stylistic philosophies that shape much of the literary essay writing of today.



Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books, The Mad FeastPreparing the GhostPot Farm, and Barolo, and the poetry books, The Morrow PlotsWarranty in Zulu, and Sagittarius Agitprop. He teaches at Northern Michigan University.

Adrianne Kalfopoulou is the author of two collections of poetry. Her book of essays, Ruin, Essays in Exilic Living engages with issues of transnational identify and critical inquiries into late capitalism's austerity-ravaged Greece. She directs the writing program at Deree College in Athens, Greece.

Elena Passarello is the author of two essay collections: the forthcoming Animals Strike Curious Poses and Let Me Clear My Throat. A recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award, she coedits the In Place book series for West Virginia University Press and teaches in the MFA program at Oregon State University.

Inara Verzemnieks is a member of the faculty of the University of Iowa's nonfiction writing program. Before receiving her MFA, she worked for thirty years as a newspaper journalist. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, she is also the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center