Joanna Greenberg

Writer, Editor, Educator

United States

Joanna Greenberg lives and writes in Northern Virginia, where she teaches high school English. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of California, Riverside. At UC Riverside she was the recipient of a Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship, a Distinguished MFA Fellowship, and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Ana River Review. She is currently at work on her first book, a memoir about finding her biological family via commercial DNA testing, having survived childhood emotional abuse in her adoptive home. When she is not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her brood of senior rescue animals, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Mud Season Review
An Often Contradictory Truth

Nonfiction reader Coty Poynter recently had this exchange with Issue #48 featured nonfiction writer Joanna Greenberg. Here's what Joanna had to say about the tightrope between fact and fiction, the challenge of writing about memory, how pursuing an MFA opened opportunities, and more.

Mud Season Review
Nonfiction Issue #48

Image: "William and George," by William Fillmore, painted stoneware, 12x11x14 in., 2019 It started like this: the second love poem I ever wrote was for you. Before I wrote it, I wrote one to my depression. I was fourteen, and the poem was a long metaphor comparing my unpredictable moods to the weather.

Hippocampus Magazine - Memorable Creative Nonfiction
On Dogs and Dictators by Joanna Greenberg

My mother frequently told me she wasn't sure if she loved me, but she sure did love her schnauzers. Unlike human children, they never talked back.

What I Knew Then, What I Know Now | Thread

What I Knew Then I am in love with Dave. That's all you really need to know about me. I am twenty-one years old, I am only pretty from certain angles, I wear red Keds sneakers and short dresses and red lipstick (it helps with the bad angles), and I'm in love with Dave.

Los Angeles Review of Books
The Case of the Perfect Girl Detective - Nancy Drew - BLARB

Nancy Drew knows all. She knows, at the age of 18, more than anyone else who has ever or will ever live. She can scuba dive, perform advanced mechanical repairs on her blue convertible, and knit charming sweaters for her father. She speaks at least four languages fluently, including, of course, both rare French and Spanish dialects.

Thought Catalog
Celebrating Rosh Hashanah With Mulder And Scully

Recently, over brunch with my old friend from high school, Caitlyn, I found myself blathering on about my love for the show The X-Files. It had been a favorite of mine as a teen when it first aired, and I'd just started re-watching it, obsessively, during a week-long "stay-cation".

Thought Catalog
A Series Of Places I've Been (And Where I'm Going)

1. 10 Castle Harbor Road. I learned to walk and speak and read, sitting under the dining room table for hours with my books. It was safest there, tucked away from my parents' shouting matches. My mother's dream home, with the view of the harbor.

Gandy Dancer

Untamed After Orlando, the flags flew at half-mast for a week. Grieving as I was, I wanted them to stay that way forever. Certainly, our country is full of enough tragedy these days to warrant keeping the flag down a ... Continue reading →

I love being blonde, but I'm giving it up-here's why

"Mommy, it hurts!" "It's ok honey, we have to take pain for beauty." While I was a very precocious seven year old, the concept was above my grasp, but I had already developed a keen understanding of my mother and her rules of engagement, the primary rule of which was never question.