Writing professor Marianne Erhardt is one of 18 North Carolina artists who received the prestigious N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship this year. The 2019 Artist Fellowship Program recognizes literary artists in the categories of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting and play-writing, and in the musical categories of composition and songwriting (2020 awards will focus on choreographers and visual, craft, and film/video artists).
Professor Erhardt received the award to support her work in creative nonfiction. This fall, her story “You Call That Wild” was published in Oxford American. You can read the piece online here. She’s currently working on a series of lyrical essays.
Marianne Jay Erhardt’s writing often centers on the awakening of told, seemingly fixed stories. “These might be names, histories, fairy tales, or formulas,” she says. Her current project is a collection of lyrical essays exploring personal and social mythologies of motherhood in which she writes letters to mothers in works of fiction.
Her own development mirrors some of the themes she explores in her writing, including a constant re-imagining of who she is and who she can be. ‘One story that I’m still working to upend is the story of who I am as writer,’ she says. It is one she continually tries to rewrite in new forms.
Erhardt is an assistant teaching professor and teaches writing at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem and previously taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she earned an M.F.A. Her résumé includes stories in Conjunctions and Phoebe, and most recently, “You Call That Wild” in Oxford American magazine (2019).