Senior Project Advisor

Brenda Miller

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021


creative nonfiction, nonfiction, home, creative writing, prose, poetry, prose poems, teaching, college application, college, college application essay, childhood, high school, lyric essay, hermit crab essay, braided essay


Greenhouse is a chapbook of creative nonfiction lyric essays and poems about what it means to be at home, fragmented forms echoing my own varied definitions. The writing in this chapbook returns to ideas I have explored for years, expanding on my original college application essay titled “Home” to think about what it means to be at home, what defines a home, and how I am currently building one.

While I was not familiar with the term “creative nonfiction” at the time, my college application essay was my first introduction to the genre, allowing me to reflect on my childhood home in rife specificity and sensory detail. This essay acts as the prologue to the book which the rest of the essays build on both in background and shape, evolving from traditional prose to the fluid forms of hermit crab and braided essays, prose poems, and other lyrical ways of writing.

These varied creative nonfiction lyric essays and poems provide new frames of reference for ideas I so often circle back to. Throughout the chapbook, research intertwines with emotional truth and memory. Most importantly, the idea of home encompasses numerous places, more than that first-written house, demonstrating home as an idea and a feeling more than a place.

This work is relevant not only to my experience as a writer, but as a future English teacher, showing what exactly is possible when work written in academic, measured contexts is expanded to value personal healing, reflection, and creativity. As I reflect on my experience as a young writer in high school and on my current teaching goals, this work will shape how I introduce creative nonfiction to my future students and demonstrate the genre’s value as self-understanding, navigation of the world, and preparation for personal, reflective writing such as that of the college application essay.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Home--Anecdotes; Universities and colleges--Admission--Anecdotes


chapbooks; anecdotes




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