My new ecourse on visual art inspired creative nonfiction begins Monday! We'll be learning about the panel essay--inspired by medieval diptych and triptych paintings--as well as the visual essay (i.e. the photo essay, pictorial essay, and concrete essay), and the graphic hermit crab essay. This course is suitable for beginning writers as well as creative… Continue reading Spark Your *Visual* Story!
"Worst Case Scenario” is what I’d call a concrete essay following in the lineage of concrete poets, except that it achieves much of what they did not… [It] is worthy of recovering not simply because of how often visual writing gets passed over in magazines and anthologies where our best essays are celebrated, but because through… Continue reading An intro to the concrete essay
"I'm finding the diptych is such an incredibly effective and powerful structure. I'm writing about stuff I never dreamed I'd ever write about." ~ Abby Palmer Virgin and Child with Maarten van Nieuwenhove Hans Memling, 1487 One of the most exciting CNF forms I've discovered recently is inspired by visual art. The diptych essay… Continue reading Mini Lesson: The Diptych Essay
Subject: 1955 Wandering through Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, I discovered an unframed oil painting of a young girl about the age of six or seven. She was on the ground, leaning against a wooden table leg at one of the booths selling vintage ephemera collected from God knows where. I picked up the portrait, took… Continue reading Mirror Image: A Diptych by Rowan McCandless
All because I clicked the shutter at that precise moment. For an eternity, the sun casts shadows that accentuate the angles hidden beneath the baby-soft curves—almond eyes, sharp cheekbones, a refined nose, and a strong, square jaw. An old artifact that belonged to your father—your great-aunt’s Fuji camera—snapped a frame, this moment, in our history.… Continue reading Captured in Black & White: A Diptych by Rachel Laverdiere
1 Woman Knees bent into spring grass, lime-handled trowel turning soft black earth. Gloved hand dropping a seed here, a seedling there. This is what he sees even if he cannot say. She sees the other just as she is seen: a red fox trotting close by a woman turned from her digging. For a… Continue reading Fox and Woman: A Diptych by Carolyn Moore
Thirteen inches of agony, drops of blood painstakingly painted on side wound, wrists and ankles. I couldn’t keep that gory cross—my exact words to Rachelle, who laughed—but also couldn’t recall seeing a religious item donated to the local thrift shop. My mother reminded me it was blessed. Still, I wrapped grandma’s crucifix in tissue paper… Continue reading Diptych 1: Iconoclasts