Richard Gilbert

Richard S. Gilbert, photographed by Dinty W. Moore

“It takes stamina and self mastery and faith. It demands those things of you, then gives them back with a little extra, a surprise to keep you coming.” —Tobias Wolff, In Pharaoh’s Army

Fiction works its way in, too, in reviews and consideration of technique. But this blog focuses mostly on reading, writing, and teaching narrative nonfiction. Narrative here means storytelling by whatever means of showing and telling. Certain preoccupations have emerged: style, structure, and use of self in nonfiction prose.

There are two literary cultures in America, academic and New York, and I bivouac between them. The camps are permeable, however, and their borders aren’t well policed. At night, desperate riders on dark horses going in both directions thunder past the picket fires.

For its first five years, this blog was called Narrative. As I explained in a 2013 post, I rechristened it in honor of my book’s transforming draft. Maybe the best compliment the blog and I have ever received came in from a fellow writer, though someone I’ve never met, when I wrote about getting a book contract in Spring 2013:

This blog, its urgency, steady fervor and insight into the art has earned you readers. —DeWitt Henry

My Memoir & Essays

For information about my memoir please visit my Book page. I have published essays in a number of literary journals: “Kathy” appeared in Brevity; “A Dry Year” was published in Chautauqua, whose editors nominated it for a Pushcart Prize; “Midnight on the Farm” appeared in Fourth Genre; “Remembering Paul” was published in Memoir (and); “Wild Ducks” appeared in River Teeth; “My Father’s Tractor” appeared in SNReview. On this site I have published excerpts of my memoir, including the story’s first Prologue and parts of the first Epilogue; other samples can be accessed under the blog’s “My Life” category.

Author Bio

Richard with lambs

With Freckles’ last lambs

Richard Gilbert worked in newspapers and university press book publishing, each for more than a decade, was a Kiplinger fellow in journalism at Ohio State, and earned an MFA in creative nonfiction at Goucher College. He has taught writing at Ohio State, Indiana University, Ohio University, and Otterbein University.  He currently teaches English and journalism at Otterbein, on the banks of Alum Creek in Westerville, Ohio. He is married to Kathy Krendl; they have two grown children, Claire and Tom.

Email address:

The blog’s header collage is from “Gathered and Assembled” by my friend Jeff Kallet, an artist in Athens, Ohio. You can see some of Jeff’s art on Flickr.

Original writing on this site is Copyrighted by Richard Gilbert. It may be used freely, for noncommercial purposes, with credit.