S137. Does Gender Matter? Wrestling with Identity and Form in the Golden Age of Women’s Essays

Marquis Salon 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 am to 11:45 am


In 2014, The New York Times asked if it’s a golden age for women essayists. Cheryl Strayed gave a qualified yes. But while a wave of women’s essays is shaping the literary scene, women are underrepresented in journals and the standard-bearer, Best American Essays. Our panel explores the literary fallout from this paradox, the shape-shifting nature of essays, why it’s tricky to identify as a woman writer, the effects on our work when asked to write as women, and the complications of invisibility.



Jocelyn Bartkevicius has received the Missouri Review Essay Award, the Annie Dillard Award in Nonfiction, the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize, and other awards. Her essays are in the Hudson Review, Bellingham Review, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, Waveform: 21st Century Women Essayists, and elsewhere.

Marcia Aldrich is the author of the free memoir Girl Rearing and of Companion to an Untold Story, winner of the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction. She is at work on Haze, a narrative of marriage and divorce during her college years. She has edited Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women.

Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Body Geographic, winner of a Lambda Literary Award in memoir, and My Lesbian Husband, winner of a Stonewall Book Award. She's an associate professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where she edits Slag Glass City, a journal of the nonfiction urban essay arts.

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

Jericho Parms is the author of Lost Wax. Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, the Normal School, Hotel Amerika, Brevity, and elsewhere. She is the assistant director of the MFA in writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches at Champlain College.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center