Dr. David Lazar

Illinois, United States

Member Since: 10/04/2013

David Lazar received the first PhD in the United States in nonfiction writing, in 1989. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in General Nonfiction, and an Ohio Individual Artist Fellowship. His books include Occasional Desire from the University of Nebraska Press, The Body of Brooklyn and Truth in Nonfiction (both Iowa), Powder Town (Pecan Grove), Michael Powell: Interviews and Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher (both Mississippi) and Essaying the Essay from Welcome Table Press. Forthcoming: After Montaigne from the University of Georgia Press, Who's Afraid of Helen of Troy, from Etruscan Press. This fall (2014) he is curating a digital chapbook on nonfiction editing for Essay Press.

David Lazar’s essays and prose poems have appeared widely in anthologies such as Bending Genre, Understanding the Essay, Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction, Sentence’s An Introduction to the Prose Poem and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry, and magazines such as Gulf Coast, Black Clock, Sentence, Denver Quarterly, Best of the Prose Poem, and Southwest Review. Six of his essays have been “Notable Essays of the Year” according to Best American Essays.

Lazar created the undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Ohio University, where he taught for sixteen years and was named outstanding professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and directed the creation of the undergraduate and M.F.A. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika, now in its fifteenth year, and in partnership with the University of Nebraska Press. Hotel Amerika has been called one of the essential literary magazines of the United States, and has been represented in Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories,  the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Best American Essays

David Lazar is Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.






Website: lazar.org

Twitter Username: @DavidEssays


  • Who's Afraid of Helen of Troy , Etruscan Press (December 2015)
  • After Montaigne , University of Georgia Press (September 15, 2015)
  • Essaying the Essay , Welcome Table Press (September 15, 2014)
  • Occasional Desire , University of Nebraska Press (2013)
  • Truth in Nonfiction , University of Iowa Press (2008)
  • Powder Town , Pecan Grove Press (2008)
  • The Body of Brooklyn , University of Iowa Press (2003)
  • Michael Powell: Interviews , University of Mississippi Press (2003)
  • Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher , University of Mississippi Press (1993)


  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship(2015)
  • Ohio Individual Artist Fellowship(2005)
  • Ohio University Outstanding Professor Award(2003)


  • Professor at Ohio University (1990 - 2006)
  • Professor at Columbia College Chicago (2006 - )


  • Bachelor of Arts in American History from Bennington College (1978)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Research from Stanford University (1979)
  • Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature--Poetry from Syracuse University (1983)
  • Doctoral Degree in Creative Writing and Literature--Nonfiction from University of Houston (1989)

Genres of Interest

Creative nonfiction, Poetry