Las Vegas, New Mexico — A New Mexico Highlands University English professor will publish eight essays fall semester in top international and national literary journals.
Visiting professor of creative writing Jill Talbot’s new essays appear in Brevity, Fifth Wednesday, Passages North, Carve, and more.
“Essayists write about the personal in order to make it universal and connect with the reader,” Talbot said. “The essay is an interrogatory form — we write about questions, about what we don’t know. It’s the opposite of the old adage of â€˜Write what you know.'”
This year, Talbot’s writing garnered a Notable Essay award in Best American Essays 2014 for her essay “Autobiographies.”
Talbot, who is new to the Highlands University faculty fall semester, has also published three books. In 2012, The University of Iowa released Talbot’s Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction.
“Metawriting is self-referential writing about how we write. This book provides context for the presence of metawriting in contemporary literature within the framework of the digital age’s obsessively self-conscious modes of communication such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Metawriting is very much reflective of where we are as a culture, ” Talbot said.
She co-edited The Art of Friction: Where (Non)Fictions Come Together, University of Texas Press, 2008.
“The Art of Friction is about the elements of both fiction and nonfiction and the blurring of lines between the two. In the 21st century, more and more people are debating and crossing these genre boundary lines,” Talbot said.
Talbot is also the author of Loaded: Women and Addiction, a collection of essays Seal Press published in 2007.
Talbot said she was a scholar before she started writing in earnest. After completing her Ph.D. in American Literature and Film from Texas Tech University, she decided to study creative writing, earning an M.A. in the subject at University of Colorado — Boulder.
“At that point, I gave myself over to writing and teaching writing,” said Talbot, who also publishes fiction, poetry and essays on the on the craft of writing.
This semester, Talbot is teaching freshman composition, creative nonfiction, and graduate writing workshop.
“It’s all writing all the time, which is what I love to do. As a writing professor, it’s such a privilege to see writers progress by making huge leaps and taking risks. After all these years, I still marvel that I’m walking to work with a book in my hand and I get to hear what students think about it,” Talbot said.
“When this opening at Highlands came up, I leapt at the chance to return to the Southwest. The New Mexico landscape always spoke to me and it’s the setting of most of my writing. I feel at home here,” Talbot said.
Talbot brings a wealth of experience to her position at Highlands. Most recently, she was a writer-in-residence and an English professor at Columbia College Chicago. Prior to that, she was an English faculty member at St. Lawrence University in New York, Oklahoma State University, and Southern Utah University.