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

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

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM


Why does the essay form continue to surprise readers with its energy, capacity and innovative potential? Three authors of new essay collections, Joanna Eleftheriou (This Way Back), Michele Morano (Like Love) and Sejal Shah (This Is One Way to Dance) discuss the essay as a compelling form for sharing powerful stories. Moderated by Assay journal editor Karen Babine.

Joanna Eleftheriou holds a doctorate in English from The University of Missouri and her scholarship, essays, fiction, poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Bellingham Review and The Common. A contributing editor at Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Joanna teaches at Christopher Newport University and the Writing Workshops in Greece. Her collection of essays, This Way Back, has just been 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. Born and raised in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Michele lives in Chicago, where she chairs the English Department at DePaul University.

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. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Rochester, N.Y.

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. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

This event is co-sponsored by The Seminary Co-op, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave. Books for this event can be purchased by going to The Seminary Co-op event listing

Thanks to promotional partner Chicago Literary Hall of Fame for its support

How to Attend

This event will take place live on CPL's YouTube channel You'll be able to ask questions during the event as well!

Can't make it to the live stream? We'll archive the video on YouTube to watch later as well.


Need captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4015. Requests must be made at least 10 business days before the event.

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