“Lyrical essays are more like jazz than a concerto. The idea that lyrical essays are more poetic than logical has allowed authors to play fast and loose with the truth,” writes GD Dess in his Los Angeles Review of Books review of Elisa Gabbert’s essay collection The Word Pretty (Black Ocean, 2018). Think of a current conflict or issue in your personal life that remains unresolved—perhaps you are uncertain where exactly the truth of the matter lies. Write a lyric essay that engages with the seemingly solid facts of the topic, but allow yourself the freedom to veer into stream of consciousness and follow a “more poetic” logic.
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