Voice First: A Writer’s Manifesto

Sonya Huber
Published in 2022
by University of Nebraska Press

Through Voice First, the author of Supremely Tiny Acts: A Memoir of a Day (Mad Creek Books, 2021) and Pain Woman Takes Your Keys, and Other Essays From a Nervous System (University of Nebraska Press, 2017) offers a resource for writers to navigate and explore the concept of voice. “Voice is a term that vexes writers and teachers. We use it quite a lot, and we know it when we see it, but most of us have struggled to define where it comes from or how to encourage it,” writes Huber, arguing for a more complex and updated definition that includes multiple voices. Through essays and writing prompts, Huber helps writers identify, develop, and experience the many voices used when writing. Featuring chapters such as “Time and Place Grow Voices,” “Embodied Voices, Racialized Lives,” and “Editing and Revising with Voices,” the book investigates how identity markers—such as gender, place of origin, race, and ethnicity—can influence and shape how writers encounter voice, offering a timely and inclusive discussion of the elusive literary term. Huber guides writers every step of the way with relatable anecdotes and references, and gets to the heart of how voice “gives us a sense of connection to another live human presence, creating a real and complex moment of communication.”  

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