The Lyric Essay

Today I was going through old essays from my undergrad years and found my final portfolio for my lyric class. It reminded me how the study of the lyric essay transformed my writing. It is amazing how one strategy can change the end game. So, I thought I would share some thoughts with you.

Lyric essays are creative. They are undefined, bending of genre, robust poetry…it is an essay written in a way that doesn’t look or feel like an essay.

Montaigne says it best. “My ideas follow one another, but sometimes it is from a distance and look at each other, but with a sidelong glance”


“Painting myself for others, I have painted my inward self with colors clearer than my original ones.”

Ideas follow one another in lyric essays but usually don’t meet up consecutively as an average essay does. Try reading “Fidelity” by Sherry Simpson. It is an excellent representation of a lyric essay. If you take a look at “Witness” my own hermit crab lyric essay, you will understand how to write a personal essay under a disguise. 

I encourage you to give it a try! 

Happy writing!


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