Author photo by James D. Carr
Kim Adrian is the author of two books of lyric criticism, Dear Knausgaard (published as part of a series that aims to "reinvent literary criticism") and Sock ("reflects on the brilliance present in the minutiae of our lives" —Shelf Awareness). Her 2018 memoir, The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, uses the form of a glossary to tell the story of a mother's mental illness. It is part of University of Nebraska's American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff, and is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist. Kim is the editor of The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, an anthology of lyric essays that a review in The Millions praised as providing “a sense of hope about literature and its capacity for evolution and change.”
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Kim's essays and stories have appeared in Agni, Tin House, O Magazine, the Gettysburg Review, the Raritan Review, and many other places. Several shorter works have been listed as Notables in the Best American and Pushcart Prize anthologies and two have been translated into Mandarin for Chinese Literary magazines. Kim's writing has been supported by the Edward Albee Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writing Seminars, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, PEN/New England, The Ragdale Foundation, and others.
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She has taught creative writing in the Nonfiction Program at Brown University, as well as at Boston and Suffolk Universities, and occasionally offers online writing workshops via Zoom, either through Grub Street or independently. If you'd like to learn more about Kim's teaching style, please subscribe to Write On, her monthly, craft-focused newsletter for writers.
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Reading Nancy Drew
"I think this notion that we have to separate the work from the writer is artificial and in reality nobody does that. We all have incredibly personal responses to literature."
"The object of the sock interests me precisely because it’s so ordinary. So ostensibly boring. What’s to say about a sock? (I liked that challenge.)"
"For me, an essay is an investigation, a very organic thing. Every sentence you commit to it opens up the field of discovery a little more and you basically let it work to take you where it needs to go."
"When my sentences were, individually, very pretty, when I tried so hard to make each paragraph 'beautiful,' it was as if I’d botoxed my prose. There was no traction. The story simply didn't advance. It was static."
"Although I'm happy whenever someone finds something beautiful in my work, I'm not personally interested anymore in writing beautifully. I'm interested in illuminating my subject, whatever that might be. It gives me a lot more energy to work in this way."
"Being a people pleaser can be a very dangerous proposition when it comes to writing."
"What Happens When You Write Karl Ove Knausgaard a Letter?"
LitHub (originally published on New Books Network)
"Talking Back to Books"
An Essay Daily Salon, recorded 8/31/2020
"The Face Behind the Mask"
The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR Connecticut Public Radio
"You Can Keep Your Socks On"
The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR Connecticut Public Radio
"Kim Adrian Recommends" 
Poets & Writers
Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet
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View Past Events
Reading with Alden Jones, via Brookline Booksmith / 9.3.2020
Salon with Ander Monson and Stephanie Reents, via Essay Daily / 8.31.2020
PageTurners Reading with Alison Kinney and Rafia Zakaria / 3.12.2019
University of New Hampshire Writers' Series / 11.29.2018
Counterpath Press / 11.4.2018
NonfictioNOW "Writing the Hermit Crab Essay" / 11.3.2018
Green Apple Books in conversation with Amy Wallen / 10.30.2018
Shakespeare & Co. in conversation with Martha Cooley / 10.18.2018
Brookline Booksmith in conversation with Alysia Abbott / 10.3.2018
“Microhistories: Writing Deeply About Narrow Subjects.” NonfictioNOW, Reykjavik, Iceland / 6.2.2017
Object Lessons Reading, McNally Jackson Bookstore, with Alison Kinney
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