The Power in "You": Experimenting with 2nd Person POV in CNF

Breakout Session


CNF writers tend to gravitate toward the first person POV—the singular “I”. But what happens when we challenge the norm and experiment with the ever elusive, sometimes frowned upon second person point of view? What effect does changing the “I” to “you” have on the writer? On the reader? With example excerpts by authors like Claudia Rankine and Carmen Maria Machado to guide us, we'll examine the power of second person POV particularly for marginalized writers and folks writing about trauma. We'll consider ways to experiment with POV in our own CNF, focusing on the importance of consistency, and ultimately strengthening our narrative voices.

Key takeaways from this session:

  • Explore the ways in which writing in the second person POV can serve marginalized writers and folks writing about trauma
  • Analyze the use of second person POV by acclaimed authors
  • Consider ways to experiment with second person POV in your own writing

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  • Jackie Domenus

    Jackie Domenus is a queer writer and educator from New Jersey. A graduate of the 2021 Tin House Winter Workshop, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pigeonholes, Foglifter Journal, Entropy, Hooligan Mag, and elsewhere. She earned her MA in Writing at Rowan University and serves as a publishing...