Nonfiction / Brianna Pike
:: Before & After ::
From the writer
:: Account ::
Up until two years ago, I was writing primarily poetry as it’s been my genre of choice since I finished my MFA in 2009. However, in the fall of 2018 I wrote a lyric essay about the birth of my son and my struggle as a new mother, and I discovered this form opened me up to a whole new way of writing. I am very interested in the idea of grief, and much of my writing, poetry and nonfiction, examines grief in all its different forms. Grief was the driving force behind this essay and has been the focus of several other lyric essays I’ve written in the past year. The form of the essay comes from showing the contrast between the “before” and “after” of grief and how it transforms spaces that one used to love and find comfort in places that are, sometimes, unrecognizable. I also see it as a kind of tour for the audience through a place that was so important to me and to show how grief permeates so many different facets of our lives. The two columns also call back to stanzas and allow a blend, structurally, between poetry and creative nonfiction.
Brianna Pike is a professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. Her poems and essays have appeared in Parentheses, Fish Barrel Review, Writer’s Resist Juxtaprose, Thimble, & After Happy Hour Review. She currently serves as an editorial assistant for the Indianapolis Review and lives in Indy with her husband & son. She blogs at https://briannajaepike.wordpress.com/. Find her on Instagram @Bri33081.