Eula Biss is the author of three books: On Immunity: An Inoculation, Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays, and The Balloonists. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers' Award. She holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and a M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Third Coast, and Harper's. Eula Biss and John Bresland are the Chicago-based band STET Everything.
“My work as an essayist is heavily influenced by poetry, and I was lucky to be reading Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath as I was finding my way as a young writer. I count that as one of the reasons why I tend to think of personal narrative—particularly when it concerns the body or domesticity—as a perfectly viable space for intellectual exploration.” [Link]
“It is useful to me when I find the form the work is going to take—that is extremely useful—but I rarely decide before I write what it's going to look like formally. I find that through the process.” [Link]
“Yes, a certain unstaved vulnerability is characteristic of who I am as a person, but in my writing I consider vulnerability a tool. A vulnerable persona can be instrumental in an essay, particularly an essay that is working to avoid the pitfalls of righteousness.” [Link]
“The problem with the term ‘organic,’ just as with the term ‘lyric essay,’ is that a genre, or category, or term doesn’t determine what’s good and what’s not good….” [Link]
“Writing about race is a place that I found myself mostly because that’s a place where I wanted to clarify my own thinking.” [Link]
“Neither of us knew what the words meant at the time, and both of us were utterly horrified when we looked them up. ‘Meretricious’ means ‘of, or relating to, a prostitute’—to which I’ve learned to say, bring it on!” [Link]