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Essays on the Essay and Other Essays

Eric LeMay

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Eric LeMay has taught writing at Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago. He is currently on the faculty of the writing program at Ohio University, his alma mater. He serves as an associate editor for the New Ohio Review and the web editor for Alimentum: The Literature of Food. He is also a host on the New Books Network. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Gastronomica, Poetry Daily, the Best Food Writing series, and other venues. He lives in Athens, Ohio, with his wife and fellow writer, Kristin LeMay. (taken from http://www.ericlemay.org) 


"Eric LeMay is the future of the essay, but fortunately he's here now. He writes and assembles and creates and builds and digitizes essays. He takes new media and uses those media to show us what the essay can be by remembering what it has been while transforming it into something it has never been. His essays are sometimes videos, sometimes digital games, sometimes video games, sometimes text taking us to new places. He writes an essay about the essay that asks if it's an essay. He writes an essay about nonsense that makes sense out of nonsense, and blessedly, nonsense out of sense. He essays are about bees and babies and randomness. They're all beautiful and unsettling, and I admire him and them very much."

- Ned Stuckey-French, author of The American Essay in the American Century


"The first collection of its kind, Essays on the Essay and Other Essays combines the delight of a Wu-Tang name generator with glimpses into NSA search-monitors and the ways a baby is like a 'readymade.' LeMay’s elegant digital forms invite readers to join in his essay-making; they show us how essays have always relied on chance and multiplicity in shapes as reflexive and as boundless as a Möbius strip."

- Sarah Minor, author of The Persistence of the Bonyleg: Annotated


“'Is an essay about the essay actually an essay?' Sometimes I fear there’s no more fun left in the world—then I am confronted by the Wonderlandgenius of Eric LeMay’s newest curation and I am relieved, fun and world. Meditating on a variety of existential questions about the nature of things, metaphors, words, bees, children, dragons, friends whose names are not John, the imagination and the imaginary, LeMay takes to task our relationship with things and facts. Internet, social media, the immediacy of information, the overwhelming-ness of it, what is and is not trending—all this has changed the way we read and learn. Here’s an essay that struggles with that change, remains caution of it, and is also in love."

- Leia Penina Wilson, author of i built a boat with all the towels in your closet (and will let you drown)


"This little gem of a collection is full of diversions, surprises, and keen thoughts about the parameters of the essay and the raw materials that help shape/shake it. Reading these essays—though I suspect the act of encountering LeMay’s work involves something even more than 'reading'—is a heady delight."

—Elena Passarello, author of Animals Strike Curious Poses


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