photographer bios

ayva valentine kunes is a creative writing and philosophy major at Susquehanna University. When not busy reading or writing she can often be found with her camera in hand. abigail krautheim is a sophomore student at Susquehanna University studying publishing & editing and is a double minor in marketing and professional & civic writing. She …

per aspera ad astra

amy jarvis erik kirkland memorial prize winner abigail krautheim syncope & collapse This summer, I dreamt about alien abduction the night before I had my MRI. It was a last-ditch attempt to figure out what was wrong this time in my mess of a body before I left to study abroad. I was strapped down …

letter from the editors

ayva valentine kunes Dear Reader, It was only last year that we created this website—our effort to progress alongside a rapidly changing industry and to create more space for the ever-growing talent of SU’s literary community. We never imagined that an online presence would hold this much significance in 2020. Though we are disappointed that …

2020 masthead

jane seibert CO-EDITORS: hannah phillips & bri murphy PRINT DESIGNERS AND CO-EDITORS: deon robinson & abigail krautheim READING BOARD HEADS: lydia gilliam & deon robinson READING BOARDS: christopher doulis, patrick durney, jason ferris, lydia gilliam, abigail krautheim, steven christopher mcknight, cara weaver COPYEDITORS: julie bauer, emily bell, tyla parks, noelle thomas, alaina walls FACULTY ADVISORS: …

2020 virtual launch

Meet our staff, listen to some readings, and hear our guest judge’s comments on the Kirkland Prize finalists and winner! Featured readers include Amy Jarvis, Sarena Pollock and Taylor Rose Meehan.

translucence

kaila snyder artist statement The air in the cavern was crisp, cool and damp. As I moved, sneakers softly treading across soil untouched by sunlight, taking in the dark shadows of the natural sculptures that surrounded me, I couldn’t help but feel as if I wasn’t alone. I wondered if he was there, watching me. …

theory of trapped animals

an excerpt from a memoir deon robinson jane seibert Now, falling forward at 30 mph off a skateboard speeding downhill wasn’t the best moment of my life, but I remembered when a kid in my homeroom class taught me how to Judo roll. I put both my hands together to form a triangle and shifted …

looking sixteen

nikki borgel Erik Kirkland Memorial Prize Finalist cara roets   I wear my hair in pigtails to work. Two Dutch braids starting at the front of my head and curving down behind my ears. I work outside at the local baseball stadium and it’s hot and the health inspector says your hair must be up. I …

2020 print issue

cara roets In addition to our online issue, Essay also publishes a print issue featuring a different set of works by talented nonfiction writers. This year’s print issue contains work by Jason Ferris, Megan Shaffer, Taylor Rose Meehan, Sarena Pollock, Ellen Smith, Steven Christopher McKnight, and Daniel Sellers.  While we are unable to distribute a …