Before & After

Nonfiction / Brianna Pike

:: Before & After ::

Before & After PDF





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 Find her on Insta­gram @Bri33081.