Recent graduates Laurel Brown ’18 and Sarah Kloos ’18 credit their individual works recently being published in national literary journals to coursework conducted as students in “Literary Journalism” with Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and English Literature Geoffrey Babbitt.
Appearing in The Nasiona – a creative nonfiction magazine and publishing house –Brown’s piece “Open Season” is a blend of personal memoir, creative nonfiction and photography that explores what it means to be a woman in America.
“Open Season” was also nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize, an American literary honor that recognizes the best poetry, short fiction and essays published by small presses.
Brown, who graduated magna cum laude in anthropology and writing and rhetoric, says her passion for writing began as a means of expression, and developed through her exploration of anthropology at the Colleges.
“Literary Journalism helped me realize the possibilities of writing,” says Brown. “I’ve always written about my thoughts and observations in life, but didn’t realize they’d fit into this really obscure, free-form genre until I took the course and learned just how flexible and thematically-driven such writing can be.”
Kloos’ essay “Pain d’Epi” was published in Entropy Magazine. The essay, a meditation on food as language, began as her first writing assignment for the “Literary Journalism” course. Graduating summa cum laude in English, Kloos says the workshop environment throughout the semester gave her a “powerful space to explore the genres of writing.”
“Professor Babbitt’s instruction always offered space for me to decide what worked best for my piece,” says Kloos. “Working with him on ‘Pain d’Epi’ not only shaped this piece of writing, but also gave me a lot of insight into the process of publication. I will be using tools he taught me for years to come.”
Kloos is currently working in Cleveland, Ohio for Lake Erie Ink, a youth writing center that creates space for creative expression through the literary arts.
Since graduating, Brown attended “The March: Bearing Witness to Hope,” a student leadership program and mission to Poland with the Colleges. In addition, she has worked and traveled to 10 American cities. Now also in Cleveland, Ohio, Brown works as a freelance photographer.