Richard Gilbert
Richard S. Gilbert.  Photo 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

Richard Gilbert, the author of Shepherd: A Memoir, holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, Baltimore, and teaches writing at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Gilbert formerly served as marketing manager of Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, where he also helped acquire books. In prior years he worked as a newspaper reporter in Georgia, Florida, and Indiana, where he won awards for public service and feature writing and a Kiplinger fellowship to Ohio State University. His essays have appeared in Brevity; Chautauqua; Fourth Genre; Orion; River Teeth; Utne Reader, and other journals. His articles on farming have appeared in Farming: People, Land, Community; Sheep Canada; The Shepherd; and The Stockman Grassfarmer.

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.

My essays, reviews, and more are archived on this site’s growing Selected Prose page.

Draft No. 4

My blog focuses on prose storytelling in creative nonfiction and fiction, 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, the 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


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