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Jerry Dennis, Personal Essay and Nature Writing

Jerry Dennis has been on the faculty of the Bear River Writers Conference since its inception and has earned his living as a freelance writer for more than 30 years. His dozen books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including A Walk in the Animal KingdomThe Windward ShoreThe Living Great Lakes, and From a Wooden Canoe, have appeared on national bestseller lists, have been translated into half-a-dozen languages, and are taught in many universities and high schools. His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Orion, Michigan Quarterly ReviewPANK, Mid-American Review, and many other publications. Among his awards are the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, the Michigan Author of the Year Award, and the Great Lakes Culture Award. Visit him at
Jerry Dennis’s blog and website:
“The Great Lakes Author Series”:
“Two Writers & The River – A Conversation with Jerry Dennis & Michael Delp” in Nature Change <> .
Northern Express interview <file://localhost/news/feature/local-author-jerry-dennis-hooked-on-natural-wonders> , “Hooked on Natural Wonders.”
“Five Must-Read Michigan Authors”:


The Possibilities of Non-Fiction

Nonfiction is story-telling rooted in facts and true experience, and its possibilities are endless. We’ll explore the many forms of the genre, including essay, article, memoir, and creative nonfiction, and discuss how elements usually associated with fiction—characterization, dialogue, pacing, structure, voice—can make nonfiction more compelling and effective. Although our goal is to nurture new work, attendees are asked to bring a brief excerpt from something already in progress (no more than one or two double-spaced pages, please) that we can read together and discuss the first morning.