the spirit of disruption

The Spirit of Disruption: Selections from The Normal School 28 essays from the first decade of The Normal School magazine — a standard-bearer for creative nonfiction today. From a diverse list of authors, the anthology offers startling reflections on the exceptional and the everyday. An essential guide to the art of nonfiction, with new commentary from each contributor. Edited by Steven Church, the anthology is ideal for any class focused on the breadth and scope of the contemporary essay. 

Joe Bonomo • Kristen Cosby • Timothy Denevi • Silas Hansen • Caitlin Horrocks • Todd W. Kaneko • Matthew Komatsu • Dickson Lam • EJ Levy • Patrick Madden • Brenda Miller/Julie Marie Wade • Thomas Mira Y Lopez • Ander Monson • Rick Moody • Dinty W. Moore • Jaclyn Moyer • Aimee Nezhukumatathil • Jericho Parms • Elena Passarello • Lia Purpura • Colin Rafferty • David Shields • Margot Singer • Ana Maria Spagna • Natalie Vestin • Jerald Walker • Rachel Yoder

Editor Steven Church is available for interviews, Skype visits, or other consultations. You can reach him at Also stay tuned for upcoming "Reader Resources" featuring writing activities from our contributors that are inspired by their essay in some way, as well as interviews, excerpts, and other related content. 

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The Normal School Nonfiction series from Outpost19

Steven Church, Series Editor

The Normal School magazine and Outpost19 Books are proud to announce a new book series dedicated to thought-provoking works of creative nonfiction, essay, and literary journalism.


Once More to the Ghetto and Other Essays by Jerald Walker is the first title in the series, to be published Spring 2019.

Once More to the Ghetto and Other Essays is a collection of linked explorations of race, identity, family, and community. Combining spare, unflinching prose with a razor sharp wit, Walker takes on both individual and institutionalized forms of bias and racism, pulling no punches and sparing no one, including himself, in this exciting new collection from one of America's most acclaimed essayists. Whether he’s tackling the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, exposing the myopia of academia, paying homage to his writing mentor, or exploring what it means to come home again to Chicago, Jerald Walker’s work seamlessly blends humor, personal revelation, and cultural critique.

Jerald Walker is the author of The World In Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult and Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion and Redemption, winner of the PEN New England/L. L. Winship Award for Nonfiction. He is a professor of creative writing at Emerson College and his writing has appeared in he Harvard Review, Mother Jones, the Iowa Review; the Missouri Review; the Oxford American; the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Creative Nonfiction, as well as four times in Best American Essays.

The advisory board for The Normal School Nonfiction Series includes Robert Atwan, Sophie Beck, Anitra Budd, Hattie Fletcher, Jeffery Gleaves, Kerry Howley, Ander Monson, Dinty W. Moore, Kristen Radtke, Matt Roberts, Emily Smith, and Steve Woodward.

Stay tuned for more details. For review copies, contact Jon Roemer at Outpost19.


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