Donna Seaman

Reading on Earth

In “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "there is then creative reading as well as creative writing.” Emerson also wrote, “I do not feel as if my day had substance in it, if I have read nothing.” Reading has been my lifelong passion, and I have tried to read creatively as a reviewer, critic, and literary journalist. And I, too, feel that a day lacks "substance" if some part of it hasn't been spent reading. Reading with high curiosity and receptivity. Books illuminate minds and worlds. Literature breaks the isolating fever of the self.

So I read, and I write about books. Primarly for BOOKLIST, published in Chicago by the American Library Association, where I'm a senior editor. I also review books for the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star, and other venues.


I'm proud to be a recipient of the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism; the Writer Magazine Writers Who Make a Difference Award, the Literacy Chicago Literacy Hero Award, the Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago’s Story Week Achievement Award, and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.

Selected Works

Interview
This "Encounter" with Erik Larson illuminates many crucial aspects of the art of researching and writing creative nonfiction.
Editorial
It was a thrill to select stories by Christine Sneed, Joe Meno, Achy Obejas, Bayo Ojikutu, Melissa Fraterrigo, James Carpenter, Dave Schultz, and Frank Bergon.
I guest edited this issue
A grand celebration of the language of the land
Edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney
Anthology edited by Alison Swan
Essays, poetry, and stories about the Great Lakes
Author Interviews
Writers on the Air brings to print Donna Seaman’s vibrant author interviews from her Chicago-based radio program, Open Books.
Fiction anthology
"These compelling short works... remind us of how important it is to go where the wild things are."
--O Magazine