The lyric essay is a rather ingenious label, since the essayist supposedly starts out with something real, whereas the fiction writer labors under a burden to prove, or create, that reality, and can expect mistrust and doubt from a reader at the outset in fiction, lyricism can look like evasion, special pleading, pretension. There is a lyrical sense, as well as a dramatic, an epical, an ethical sense, and it was that in which the old-fashioned essay delighted related the skeptical gaze.
Lyric essay is a contemporary creative nonfiction form which combines qualities of poetry, essay, memoir, and research writing, while also breaking the boundaries of the traditional five-paragraph essay as a genre unto itself, the lyric essay tends to combine conventions of many different genres. Lyric essay is a term that some writers of creative nonfiction use to describe a type of creative essay that blends a lyrical, poetic sensibility with intellectual engagement although it may include personal elements, it is not a memoir or personal essay, where the primary subject is the writer's own experience.
Lyric essay flourishes with the braiding of multiple themes, a back and forth weave of story and implication, the bending of narrative shape and insertion of poetic device such as broken lines, white space and repetition there is a similarity between this form and flash fiction or prose poetry. 6 w e might as well call it the lyric essay because i don’t think “essay” means for most readers what essayists hope it does or, we might as well call it the lyric essay because “nonfiction.
On lyric essays there's a vase of daffodils on my table, and snow on the ground outside: welcome to dc's confused, confusing spring one of my students in the university of tampa's low-residency mfa program is interested in using the lyric essay as a drafting mode.
In adopting the term “lyric,” the “lyric essay” subtly smuggles in the concept of the “lyric i”—a term that connotes, among other things, the notion that a poem’s speaker can transcend the boundaries of the poet’s actual, historical self.