A Mollusk Without a Shell: Essays on Self-Care for Writers offers multiple perspectives and vital insights on caring for the artist behind the creative work. Julie Brooks Barbour and Mary Biddinger have compiled a reader-friendly collection of brief essays that address challenges faced by many contemporary writers. Each essayist also includes a writing prompt to help spark inspiration for readers. This volume is ideal for writers at various stages in their careers, from beginners to mid-career writers, and to those returning to the page after time away.
About the editors
Julie Brooks Barbour’s most recent poetry collection is Haunted City (Kelsay Books, 2017). Her work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Whale Road Review, Escape Into Life, Moon City Review, Gone Lawn, Menacing Hedge, and Allium, A Journal of Poetry and Prose. She teaches writing at Lake Superior State University where she edits the journal Border Crossing.
Mary Biddinger’s most recent poetry collection is Department of Elegy (Black Lawrence Press, 2022). Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Diode, A Dozen Nothing, and Pithead Chapel, and have been featured on Poetry Daily and The Slowdown. Biddinger’s flash fiction has been published in Always Crashing, DIAGRAM, Gone Lawn, and Southern Indiana Review, among others. She teaches creative writing at the University of Akron and in the NEOMFA program, and serves as poetry editor for the University of Akron Press.
Contributors to this volume are Kelli Russell Agodon, Abayomi Animashaun, Emily Corwin, Mixby Dickon, Sarah Freligh, Suzanne Frischkorn, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Charles Jensen, Lee Ann Roripaugh, and Jenny Sadre-Orafai.
Praise for A Mollusk Without a Shell
The essays of A Mollusk Without a Shell emphasize the care of the creative mind and body. Poets tend to create their own practice; these essays don’t dictate to poets what they should do for self-care, but rather provide alternative routes to consider, certain actions or outlooks to pay attention to while tending to their creative lives. This well-organized collection of essays is a love letter to poets, a guide for the care of the actual writer behind the pages.
—Gale Marie Thompson