Briallen Hopper

  • Briallen Hopper profile photo
Associate Professor
Assistant Director, MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation
Faculty Advisor, Utopia Parkway Journal
Klapper Hall, Room 705

You can find my website here.

Research Interests

I write essays, cultural criticism, and memoir. My first book, Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions, celebrates under-sung forms of love including friendship, siblinghood, and caregiving. It was a Kirkus Best Memoir of the Year, a CBC Best International Nonfiction Book of the Year, and a Finalist for a Washington State Book Award. My second book, Gilead Reread, is forthcoming in the Rereadings series from Columbia University Press. It is a critical memoir in dialogue with Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead novels.

My writing has been published in Avidly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Columbia Journal, Curbed, Document Journal, Longreads, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Inquiry, The New Republic, New York Magazine/The Cut, The Paris Review, Public Books, Religion & Politics, The Revealer, The Washington Post, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.

I am a contributing editor at And Other Stories, an award-winning UK-based independent press, and co-editor-in-chief of Killing the Buddha, an online magazine of religion, culture, and politics.

Teaching Interests

I regularly teach English 211W: Writing Nonfictional Prose, the introductory creative nonfiction class, and English 303W: Nonfiction Workshop, an advanced nonfiction workshop with a thematic focus (e.g. Writing about Family, Writing about Religion and Spirituality, or Writing about Social Issues). I also teach English 221: Editorial Practices, a practical introduction to the world of editing and publishing.

In the MA program, I have taught versions of English 781 on Protest Prose and Public Writing. I also teach Public Writing at the Writing Center at CUNY Graduate Center.

In the MFA program, I teach many versions of English 757: Creative Nonfiction Workshop, including Memoir Plus (focusing on researched memoir), Essay Medley (exploring a variety of essay genres), Writing about Family, and Writing about Religion and Spirituality.

Selected Publications

Gilead Reread (Columbia University Press, forthcoming)
Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions (Bloomsbury, 2019)


“Sirenland,” The Yale Review, April 8, 2020
“Learning to Write about Religion,” The Revealer, December 10, 2019
“On Spinsters,” Los Angeles Review of Books, July 12, 2015

Book Chapters

“Everybody’s Protest Essay: Personal Protest Prose on the American Internet,” in The Edinburgh Companion to the Essay (Edinburgh University Press, October 2022)
“Sex and the Single Frump,” in Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Update Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic (Harper Perennial, May 2022)