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Creative Nonfiction

UMD Assistant Professor Whitney Jacobson
October 21, 2019

Whitney Jacobson, assistant professor in English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies, has recently published several works.

Jacobson's current nonfiction writing project is a collection of essays “exploring skills, objects, grief, beliefs, and traits passed on (or not) from generation to generation.”

You can read her creative nonfiction essays here:

Racking-up Signposts.” Punctuate. A Nonfiction Magazine. May 2019

Death’s Mementos.” Feminine Collective. January 2019

Jacobson believes deeply in the power of writing. “I believe that the written and spoken word is powerful--surely we can all think of words that have stayed with us (for better or for worse) for days, months, or years. Thus, I hope to instill a respect for words and their use in students. I think that given time, practice, and encouragement anyone can write well and find an appreciation for the skill--whether they are writing for personal or professional, creative or technical reasons.

“Creative writing offers me an outlet to explore ideas and feelings I don’t understand yet. I’ve been thinking for years about different pieces of the content in an essay I’m currently drafting. Recent events finally drew out the connections between the pieces and revealed their meaning to me. It’s an incredibly satisfying moment when that situation occurs.”

Reading and studying other people’s words aids the writing process.

Jacobson has also published two book reviews:

Shoreline Review: Fluid States: Essays by Heidi Czerwiec.” Split Rock Review. July 2019

Shoreline Review: All the Wild Hungers: A Season of Cooking and Cancer by Karen Babine.” Split Rock Review. January 2019

Jacobson will be teaching Czerwiec's and Babine's books this spring in WRIT 1006, Journal and Memoir, in addition to Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro, and Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton. She encourages anyone interested in or curious about creative nonfiction to enroll in the introductory class and try writing in the genre.

For more information about Jacobson, visit: