1: Skip to content 2: Skip to navigation

MFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Barrie Jean Borich


Barrie Jean Borich Profile
  • Personal


Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Body Geographic (University of Nebraska Press/American Lives Series), winner of a Lambda Literary Award in Memoir, an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction and a 2013 IndieFab Bronze Award for Essays. In a starred review Kirkus called Body Geographic “an elegant literary map that celebrates shifting topographies as well as human bodies in motion, not only across water and land, but also through life.” Borich’s previous book, My Lesbian Husband (Graywolf), won the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. Her work has been cited in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading, she’s the recipient of The Florida Review Editor’s Prize in the Essay and the Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize, and her work has appeared in Ecotone, The Seneca Review, Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, TriQuarterly, and The Washington Post. Borich teaches at DePaul University in Chicago, and edits Slag Glass City, a creative nonfiction and new media journal focused on sustainability, identity, and art in urban environments. A Chicago native, Borich spent many years living in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota where she was the first nonfiction editor of Water~Stone Review and a faculty member in The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University. She lives now with her spouse Linnea, a few blocks from Lake Michigan, in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, which was recently voted the most “incomparable” gayborhood in the world.

Mentor. Workshops and classes in nonfiction.

Statement: “Writing is a process: part thought, part instinct, part wish. Every honest draft holds some glimmer of what your work might become. To write is to try, try, and try again, until we’re stunned to arrive at the revelation of new understanding. Through study of creative nonfiction literary form and strategy we find new ways to uncover meaning and render actuality, which is why I ask students to analyze craft. Yet I no longer believe, as I did when I began teaching over twenty years ago, that my first job is to identify and repair flaws on your draft pages. Editing too soon is futile. Writing is revision. Critique is suggestion. First I help you identify and re-identify the intention, voice and form of your project, and will often suggest you write it again, with one ear keyed to what you know and the other open to ongoing attempt. Write until you’ve surprised yourself; then we’ll attend to the sound, pace, texture, language, image and other points of unfinished beauty.”