Bliss Broyard

BA, University of Vermont. MFA, University of Virginia. Author of the story collection My Father, Dancing, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and the memoir One Drop: My Father’s Hidden LifeA Story of Race and Family Secrets, which was named a best book of the year by the Chicago Tribune and was a finalist for the Essence Literary Prize. Broyard’s stories and essays have been anthologized in It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and ArtBest American Short StoriesThe Pushcart PrizeThe Art of the Essay, and others. She has written for The New York TimesNewYorker.comBeliever MagazineThe GuardianElleTime, and many other publications. She is a Founding Advisor of Stories at the Moth, and her stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and in the Moth anthology, All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown. SLC, 2018–

Previous Courses

Nonfiction Workshop


In this course, we will explore how the nonfiction writer engages and holds onto the reader: through storytelling, the progression of an idea or argument, tone and voice, or what Phillip Lopate calls an “aesthetic inevitability.” We will read and discuss essays and memoir excerpts (from writers including James Baldwin, Eula Biss, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Adam Gopnik, and Mary McCarthy, among others) and listen to various audio stories to try to figure out how other writers and storytellers have done it. We will complete short, directed assignments that aim to access compelling biographical or intellectual material and help students light upon their particular concerns and writing style. We will strive to create writing that is vivid, fresh, and beautiful; that struggles toward honesty and precision; that matters beyond the fact that the events depicted are true. Students will be expected to complete two longer works that will be submitted to workshop.