The Balloonists

Eula Biss holds a BA in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her second book, Notes from No Man's Land, received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her work has also been recognized by a Pushcart Prize, a Jaffe Writers' Award, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. She teaches writing at Northwestern University and is working on a new book about myth and metaphor in medicine with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and an NEA Literature Fellowship. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Best Creative Nonfiction and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Columbia, Ninth Letter, the North American Review, the Bellingham Review, the Seneca Review, and Harper's.


“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]

~ Hot Metal Bridge

“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]

~ Gulf Coast

“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]

~ Dislocate

 “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]

~ The Ithacan