Creative Nonfiction from Student Writers

April 10, 2014

On Thursday April 10th, eleven students read pieces of their own work at the annual Nonfiction Reading Series Student Nonfiction Reading, hosted by The Writing Program. Professor Minnie Bruce Pratt and Ivy Kleinbart co-coordinators of the Student Nonfiction Reading, and Professor Eileen Schell, founder and coordinator of the Nonfiction Reading Series, organized the event. The work showcased was developed in WRT 114, WRT 422, WRT 438, and CCR 738, during the 2013-14 academic year. Student readers included Johnathan Harper, Naomi Falk, Kaitlyn Woelfel, Brent Elder, Eashaa Parekh, Jessica Palomo, Daisy Hayes, Haskell King, Anastasia Selby, Emily Latainer, and Erika Sandoval. Below are some insights readers shared on their topic of choice and the course that inspired them.

—story by Kylie Daniels-Diehl

I wrote my piece, "Me Looking My Age," in Professor Schell’s WRT 422 class last semester. It describes a rather shoddy adventure I took as a fourteen year old to a festival in downtown Seattle. I created nearly my entire graduate school portfolio using work created during that semester. A writing workshop isn't just for "writers" or people who like to label themselves as such. Having 15 other students in a course who are willing to push your work to its full potential is absolutely invaluable.—Naomi Falk

"Prompts" is an excerpt from a series called Birthday Poems​. After spending Christmas alone, Birthday Poems was a response to my upcoming birthday and dealing with the isolation of living hundreds of miles away from any friends or family I might have spent it with. Birthday Poems were written in John Colasacco's WRT 422: Visions and Voices​ class, and at his encouragement I excerpted a few of the poems for the reading.”—Johnathan Harper

I stumbled into WRT 114 with Ivy Kleinbart really quite accidentally in the fall of my freshman year. Not only did I discover this passion for writing I never really knew I had, but 114 became an outlet for me to discuss my transition into college life, and I have Ivy to thank for being the first person I felt that I could really open up to. In "Not so Anonymous Alcoholics" I explore my complicated relationship with alcohol, and the unique role it has played in my family dynamic.—Kaitlyn Woelfel

I shared a piece that I wrote last Maymester in CCR 638. I started the class knowing I wanted to write about my recent experiences doing inclusive education development work in Kenya. Minnie Bruce's class was emotionally intense, but in all the right ways. We were all consumed in our own work, and the work of our classmates. It was one of the most challenging, productive, and rewarding academic experiences of my life.—Brent Elder

Most of the stuff I write are character pieces. So this piece is a character vignette, basically a compilation of character portraits, mostly provocative characters from Latin communities. I wrote this for WRT 422 with Minnie Bruce, and she was so great. I really enjoyed the class because of her; it was my favorite class.—Jessica Palomo

My piece comprises brief anecdotes from my life back in Bombay and interweaves segments of Indian culture that have thoroughly embedded themselves in my life today. It's also significantly about my family and the struggle that surrounds missing them beyond belief (they're all back home). I developed it in WRT 114 under Santee Frazier's guidance, and [WRT 114] continues to remain one of the best classes I've taken in college.—Eashaa Parekh

May 2014