New Faculty Spotlight: By the Book with Julia Madsen

Editor's note: Julia Madsen recently joined Lighthouse to teach hybrid and poetry (welcome, Julia!). Keep an eye out for her upcoming classes, like the 8-Week: Online Lyric Essay and Memoir class that begins Monday, October 26. In the meantime, she generously put together a list of some of her more recent, memorable reads below.

Some of my all-time favorite works that I love to teach, read, and view.

  • Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2008) – this film is essential viewing for anyone interested in the personal essay and essay film traditions. Through an enigmatic voiceover, Maddin dives deep into the history of his home/place like a kind of psychogeographic excursion. Watching this film has totally transformed my own thinking and writing about home/place.
  • Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely – I am so captivated by Rankine’s investigation of media alongside her honest and confessional voice, not to mention her pairing of text and image in ways that really explode the hybrid form.
  • Lyric and Personal Essays I have been reading lately – “The Gay Horizon” by Alicia Mountain, “Four Essays” by Marty Cain, “Ghost/Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Haunted” by Dennis James Sweeney, and “Mothering Solo” by Khadijah Queen. All of these folks are some of my favorite writers today.
  • Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock by Hillary Leftwich – This book changed my understanding of the art and craft of the experimental memoir through its arresting poetic/prose vignettes. It is a stunning, beautiful book that I will be thinking about for some time to come.