I would ask the people who were generous toward my own work. After class one day a poetry professor said to me, "Hey, there's this guy Basho you would find interesting," and so I found Basho. A fiction teacher told me, "You ought to read Clarice Lispector if you're interested in that sort of in-between stuff," and then Lispector appeared. It's not magic. You just keep your eyes open.
For a while I just couldn't imagine that there was a place for me in nonfiction. I looked around at what we were calling nonfiction and I thought, "Maybe you do have to go to poetry in order to do this other weird thing in nonfiction."
The essay community should have hundreds of anthologies from hundreds of different perspectives that are constantly introducing us to new writers, new work, and new visions for our genre. The whole spirit of these anthologies is that there should never be a last word in how essays are interpreted or what they can be.
You move your life across the country and make a commitment to a place, and to a genre, and then you realize that neither the place nor the genre might be what you thought they were going to be, or that the world you thought you were going to find in school doesn't actually exist.