Marcia Aldrich was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Pomona College, in Claremont, California, and went on to earn her doctorate in English at the University of Washington. She currently teaches creative writing at Michigan State University. From 2008 to 2011 she edited Fourth Genre, one of the premiere literary journals featuring personal essays and memoirs. She has received the Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by the Amoco Foundation and the MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan’s Quality in Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2010 she was named Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.
She is the author of the free memoir Girl Rearing, published by W.W. Norton, selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series, and subsequently cited in Notable Twentieth Century American Literary Nonfiction, in The Best American Essays of The Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Houghton Mifflin). Several of the memoir essays from Girl Rearing were selected for recognition as Notable Essays in the Best American Essay series, and one “Hair” was published in The Best American Essays, selected by Joseph Epstein. “Hair” has been included in the college edition of the best of the Best American Essays and included in The Beacon Book of Essays by Contemporary American Women. In 2008, “Hair” was included in Laughing Matters, edited by Marvin Diogenes, in a chapter called Observations on Gender.
Since the publication of Girl Rearing, she has continued writing personal essays which have been published in places such as Gettysburg Review, North American Review, Witness, Arts and Letters, Northwest Review, Brevity, The Rumpus, The Butter/Toast, The Normal School, The Kenyon Review, Hotel Amerika, and The Seneca Review among others and recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays.In 2013 her essay “The Art of Being Born,” originally published in Hotel Amerika was selected by Cheryl Strayed for inclusion in The Best American Essays.
Companion to an Untold Story, about a man’s premeditated suicide and a friend’s struggle to come to terms with his act, was selected by Susan Orlean for the 2011 AWP Award in Nonfiction and published by the University of Georgia Press in 2012.
Aldrich has just completed a collection of her essays The Art of Being Born and is at work on Haze, a narrative of marriage and divorce during her college years. She is also editing a collection of essays by contemporary women, Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essay By Women that will be published by The University of Georgia Press in their new nonfiction series CRUX. Her website: MarciaAldrich.com.
"The Art of Being Born," originally published in Hotel Amerika. Selected by Cheryl Strayed for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2013.
"Kincaid's Bite." Fourth Genre, Spring 2012.
"Of Pumps and Death." Normal School, Spring 2011.
ENG 223: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction
ENG 423: Advanced Creative Nonfiction