Emily Fontenot


Graduate Student


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Creation Date

Spring 2022


A Cajun girl from south Louisiana, studying for and writing out her specialization exam for her PhD in English in a coffee bar in Bloomington, Illinois. My research focuses on the power of creative writing to dismantle monolithic ideas, particularly of the US south. Through the use of different literatures—fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, criticism, poetry, and so many others—I study writers who attack head-on the nonexistent monolithic south. As I learn from and ponder on these writers and their work, my own fiction grows and adapts, doing its own resistance work which I hope to see out in the world someday. From the image and from the view of me doing this work, I may not seem to be the typical southerner one would expect, but as Ernest J. Gaines once told me, “We carry the south with us.”


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