Marilyn’s Writing

Short Memoir and Creative Nonfiction

“The Heart of a Story: Writing Toward Voice”

Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog. March 12, 2020

“Her Imprint: A Mastectomy Postscript”

Pithead Chapel: An Online Journal of Gutsy Narratives. March 2016

“Swinging in the Dark”

I am excited to share my newest essay,  “Swinging in the Dark,” a tribute to my dad, who died on December 19, 2022. It’s about a father-daughter relationship and its reversal of roles in the circle of life, but ultimately it’s about showing up and letting go in the face of fear and uncertainty in all stages of life.

The timing of this publication is especially meaningful to me. The fall that led to my dad’s death happened November 11, 2022, a year ago this past Saturday. The grief hit me like a wave outta nowhere before I realized the significance of the date. I leaned on Steve—literally put my head on his shoulder—and cried my eyes out. Which I suppose goes to show that grief keeps track and lets us know when it’s time to circle back and make space for the ongoing ache of losing someone we love.

Sweet Literary Confections. November 14, 2023

“The Morning Ever After”

The Rumpus ENOUGH series is a dedicated space for work by women, trans, and nonbinary people who engage with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Follow the link and scroll down. “The Morning Ever After”—a micro memoir—is the third essay in this series.

The Rumpus ENOUGH series. November 21, 2017

“Against Memory”

No digital link, but you can hear me read this piece at the virtual video launch for Issue 14. I am introduced by editor Janna Marlies at 9:18 and begin reading at 10:04. “Against Memory” was also a finalist for the AROHO Orlando Prize for Creative Nonfiction.

Under the Gum Tree. Issue 14.

“Sweet Cream and Vanilla: A Breast Eulogy”

Superstition Review. Issue 16.

“The Bruise”

Hear me read this essay by clicking on the audio player below.

River Teeth: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction. Spring 2013.

Guest Article

“When Perfectionism Is a Form of Passive Racism”

“If we wait for perfection, we will never break the silence. The cycle of racism will continue uninterrupted.”

Role Reboot. August 18, 2017

Photo by the New York Times

Contributor to:

The Mentor That Matters: Inspiration from Transformative Teachers, Role Models & Heroes

This anthology includes an essay about my writing mentor Gail Collins-Ranadive, whose course Writing Re-creatively: A Spiritual Quest for Women taught me to honor my voice and my core subjects as a female. No digital link, but you can hear me read this piece, originally titled “Feral,” on the podcast STFU: We Are Not Done Talking Yet “Interview with Marilyn Bousquin.”

Edited by Suzanne Fox. Stories of You Books, 2016

Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers

The story about my mother’s red medical book first appeared on the page in 2009 in Kate Hopper’s course Use Your Words, which became this amazing craft book. Though I was not ready to write publicly about the red medical book in 2009, a piece of my writing is featured in this book as an example of Writing Your Partner. No digital link to this piece, but I highly recommend Use Your Words. Kate’s chapter “Voice in Creative Nonfiction” is one I return to—and teach—again and again.

by Kate Hopper. Viva Editions, 2012

Nonfiction Children’s Book

Virginia Durr: Voice for Freedom

Before I began writing memoir and creative nonfiction, I worked as an educational writer and editor. I loved writing this book about Virginia Durr, a white woman from Montgomery, Alabama, who befriended Rosa Parks and spoke out against racism in the 1950s.

Reissued as ebook, 2018. Zaner-Bloser, Inc., 2008

Memoir Craft Talks

“Tell It Slant”: How to Craft the Emotional Truth at the Heart of Your Memoir

Craft Talk for National Association of Memoir Writers as part of the teleconference Memoir as Testimony: Writing Your Truth in the #MeToo Era.

November 9, 2018

So What? The Reflective Voice in Memoir and Why It Matters

Craft talk for National Association of Memoir Writers.

December 4, 2014

Memoir Book Reviews

“The Dead Baby Lives”

A Review of Ordinary Trauma by Jennifer Sinor.

River Teeth. November 9, 2017

“The Infinitely Unending Art of Judith Kitchen”

A Review of The Circus Train by Judith Kitchen.

River Teeth. December 1, 2014

“The Syntax of Motherhood: A Review of Bring  Down the Little Birds”

Literary Mama. April 12, 2012

Book Note: Biting the Moon

Literary Mama. October 17, 2012

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