A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Newest From Writing Professor Jesse Ball Sets Literary Community Ablaze

SAIC faculty member Jesse Ball (Writing) already has several accolades under his belt—including a Guggenheim fellowship—and his work continues to make a sizable impact on contemporary writing.

The Atlantic just reviewed Ball's How To Start a Fire and Why, noting the novel's singularity and Ball's unique use of literary devices. "Few contemporary American writers can match Ball’s commitment to a singular style," the publication writes. "His isolated towns and villages, we now can see, belong to a rich, vast landscape—a nation-state, a continent, a world."

The review also praises the new depths Ball explores with this book. Interested in the notions of dreams, lucidity, and ambiguity, Ball brings these fluid forms to the table and brings them to life through the perspective of a fire-starting adolescent.

In addition to a review by The Atlantic, Ball was profiled by Chicago Magazine this June. The piece describes Ball's work at SAIC and his feelings about Chicago: "Ball took a teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He found the city 'very American.'" Ball told Chicago Magazine, “New York feels like sometimes it’s not part of the United States. So does L.A. Chicago feels like it’s a big city that’s part of America.” To read the complete review, visit The Atlantic. For the full profile on Ball, check out Chicago Magazine.

Ball was also featured in the Chicago Sun-Times in August.  The Sun-Times spoke with Ball for their Sunday Sitdown feature. The piece, "Writer-teacher Jesse Ball on finding a spark," discusses Ball's new novel and his teaching position at SAIC.