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Jul 19, 2023

Jessica Hendry Nelson is the author of the upcoming memoir, Joy Rides Through the Tunnel of Grief, which includes essays on love, wonder, and the fierce bonds between women.

It was the winner of the 2022 Sue William Silverman Prize in Creative Nonfiction from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). 

Her book, If Only You People Could Follow Directions (2014), was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers' Association, named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Review, received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, was reviewed on NPR and twice in Oprah Magazine, and was a finalist for the Vermont Book Award

She is also co-author of the textbook and anthology Advanced Creative Nonfiction: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2021) along with the writer Sean Prentiss.


Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Carolina Quarterly, Columbia Journal, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, Drunken Boat and elsewhere.


Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program and English Department at Virginia Commonwealth University and on faculty in the MFA Program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.