Barrie Jean Borich

Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Apocalypse, Darling (Ohio State University Press: Mad Creek Books/Machete Series in Literary Nonfiction 2018) which has been shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award. PopMatters said, “Apocalypse, Darling soars and seems to live as a new form altogether. It’s poetry, a meditation on life as ‘the other,’ creative nonfiction, and abstract art.” Her memoir Body Geographic (University of Nebraska Press/American Lives Series 2013) won a Lambda Literary Award in Memoir, an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction, and a 2013 Forward INDIE Bronze Award for Essays. In a starred review, Kirkus called Body Geographic “an elegant literary map that celebrates shifting topographies as well as human bodies in motion, not only across water and land, but also through life.”

Borich’s book, My Lesbian Husband (Graywolf 1999, 2000), an LGBTQ classic, won the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. In her Lambda Literary essay about Borich’s body of work, Julie Enszer wrote, “My Lesbian Husband situates lesbian relationships in a complicated, messy world of long-term intimacy. While the title heralds lesbianism as its center, the book explores broader, human questions about relationships, using lesbian not as a norm, but as an interesting alternate data point, a place to center attention at the margin to illuminate a whole.” About Borich’s first book, Restoring the Color of Roses (1993), published by independent feminist publisher Firebrand Books, Enszer wrote, “Borich both describes what happens when women lie with women and also responds to persistent debates about gender roles and role play within lesbian communities with a full-throated defense of femme, femininity, and beauty as relevant and meaningful to lesbians.”

A new essay from Borich, “Christopher and His Nonfictions,” will appear in Isherwood in Transit, a forthcoming book from the University of Minnesota Press exploring the locations of novelist and autobiographer Christopher Isherwood’s work. Borich’s essays have been anthologized in: Critical Creative Writing; Waveform:Twenty-First Century Essays by Women; and in After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays, and have been cited in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading. She is the recipient of The Florida Review Editor’s Prize in the Essay and the Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize, and her work has appeared in EcotoneThe Seneca Review, Hotel AmerikaIndiana Review, TriQuarterlyPassages North, The Washington PostThe Rumpus and many other literary journals.

Borich is an associate professor in the English Department and MA in Writing and Publishing Program at DePaul University in Chicago. She leads writing workshops for graduate and undergraduate students at DePaul, teaches courses in LGBTQ memoir and the history and practice of the American literary magazine, and she edits Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts. A Chicago native, Borich lives with her spouse Linnea in the city’s historic Bryn Mawr District of the Edgewater Beach neighborhood, one of the most culturally and internationally diverse community areas of the city and recently voted the sixth “gayest” neighborhood in the United States.


Read a profile of Barrie Jean Borich in the The Printer’s Row Journal of The Chicago Tribune.