Dance, Romance, Culture: Women Writers on the Essay’s Power

Why does the essay form continue to surprise readers with its energy, capacity and innovative potential? Three authors of new essay collections, Joanna Eleftheriou, Michele Morano and Sejal Shah discussed the essay as a compelling form for sharing powerful stories, in an event moderated by Assay journal editor Karen Babine.

Joanna Eleftheriou's scholarship, essays, fiction, poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Bellingham Review and The Common. Her collection of essays, This Way Back, was released by West Virginia University Press.

Michele Morano is the author of the memoir-in-essays Like Love and the travel memoir Grammar Lessons. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Essays, Fourth Genre, Ninth Letter and Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women. 

Sejal Shah is the author of the debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance. Her stories and essays have appeared in Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads and The Rumpus

Karen Babine is the author of All the Wild Hungers and Water and What We Know, both winners of the Minnesota Book Award for memoir/creative nonfiction. She also edits Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies