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Lexicon of a Pandemic: Language as a Virus

By Eduardo Mendieta   

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle provided us one of the most important definitions of what it means to be human, namely that we are “zoon politikon” –that we are political animals. Aristotle added some nuance to this definition when, in his Politics, he said that humans, in addition to being political animals, are also “zoon echon… Read more »


pandemic blossoms

By Tina Scott Lassiter   

I am one of many entrepreneurs who watched an invisible nemesis whisk away current and potential business as the coronavirus moved across the map. Add to that the disappearance of funds from my retirement portfolio. One morning, I woke with tears in my eyes that led to a good sob before I began my daily… Read more »


Sober and Single in Coronatimes

By Lindsay Hosmer   

In early January I was struggling to quit drinking again after a relapse. I would go for a week, twelve days, then find myself walking into a liquor store and buying four nips of Absolute vodka. Yes I’m an alcoholic, my purchase affirmed to the clerk. I had given up caring. Whoosh, the first one… Read more »


Something That Must Be Said

By William Torphy   

Forty-seven percent (that’s 47%) of Americans do not have $400. in cash available for an unexpected emergency.      This is a statistic that has stuck with me for a very long time, one that reveals most directly a dysfunctional economy, and now with the Covid-19 crisis places at least half of all Americans in deep financial… Read more »


Ungovernable Little Savages: Belief in a Time of Pandemic

By Lori Michas   

Living mere blocks from the university where I work, it is easy to see the vast generational divide in how we view and are experiencing the COVID-19 virus pandemic.  Online, a colleague made a post to Facebook pleading with others to join in calling Idaho Governor Brad Little’s office to urge for more stringent social… Read more »


Dispatch from the Covidicene Era

By Robbie Gamble   

I’m a nurse practitioner and I’ve been working at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program for twenty years. Yesterday, March 25th, I was called in to work at our main facility, on a floor where one wing is hastily being transformed into a COVID-19 unit, where we can receive homeless folks who have been… Read more »


What to say when there is no one to blame, or is there?

By Herman Axelrod   

To think about the implications and permutations of the coronavirus is a daunting affair with no clear-cut solution.  The thought of being volitionally incarcerated in one’s home would have been inconceivable a few short months ago. Perhaps a few short weeks or even days ago. The point is, according to most credible intelligence, commit to… Read more »


Interview With DeBorah Gilbert White On Homelessness

By Francis Annagu   

Talking with DeBorah Gilbert White, founder of HerStory Ensemble: an American NGO, which supports the empowerment of women who’ve experienced homelessness, or are at the risk of homelessness. HerStory Ensemble promotes education, awareness, economic development, and advocacy to end homelessness. In this exclusive interview with DeBorah Gilbert White, we talked about critical issues on homelessness in America,… Read more »


Aaron Wallace

The Duplicity of Hiring Veterans

By Aaron Wallace   

America’s current obsession with veterans and supporting them has seeped into our daily routines since the initial invasion of Afghanistan almost twenty years ago. Eateries and oil change shops offer discounts; furniture stores back their commercials with rippling red, white, and blue graphics; and there is always a pro-military bumper sticker in the afternoon rush… Read more »


Plagiarism

By Ruth Hoberman   

“Is it not strange that sheep’s guts could hail souls out of men’s bodies?” Benedick asks as he listens to Balthasar sing and play his lute in Much Ado about Nothing.  “There’s part of me, lying on a page,” I sometimes think reading a poem, feeling delight, wonder, and perhaps a touch of envy. “Why… Read more »


Rooster Man

Rooster Man

By Buff Whitman-Bradley   

On the way to the demonstration to protest the big-business theft of water from indigenous peoples, I passed by a crowded bus stop and noticed in the clutch of waiting commuters a grimy, disheveled man carrying a magnificent russet and black rooster perched on his forearm, a bird of tremendous dignity and aplomb. A bus… Read more »


Greta Gerwig Was Not Nominated for Best Director: Why It Matters

By Eileen O'Connor   

Little Women is nominated for an Oscar for best picture and writer/director Greta Gerwig for best adapted screenplay. This recognition by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is well-deserved. But it is not enough. Gerwig deserves a nomination for best director. If Little Women wins the 2020 Oscar for best picture, the award… Read more »


The Trans Woman in the Library by Marie Manilla

By Marie Manilla   

She was a big girl. Over six feet with enormous hands. She wore a skirt, silk blouse, and oversized pumps. Black hair framed her face like curtains. It was 1994, long before Caitlyn Jenner put a famous face on the puzzle my English class was trying to solve. The library was transitioning to a computerized… Read more »


Lost and Found

By Jean Trounstine   

“This hospital would be impossible for anyone with a normal brain to navigate,” Barbara says, eyes flashing anxiously. We stand arm in arm, staring at the colored squares and rectangles on the wall map that shows Building A connecting to Building C via hallways called B. I’ve never looked at a hospital floor plan before… Read more »


Martha Nichols

Interview with Martha Nichols

By Lee Hope   

Interview with Martha Nichols, editor of Into Sanity, Interview by Lee Hope Editor-in-Chief, Solstice: Essays about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Living In Between — A Talking Writing Anthology Could you describe how you see the “ancestral threads” of mental illness permeating many of these essays? Could you give a few examples? The image of… Read more »


The Vestiges of Theaters of War

By Nelson Lowhim   

In this post,author and veteran Nelson Lowhim reflects on PTSD and the discussions that happen, and don’t happen, between veterans and civilians. I recently went to a dramatic reading of the Sophocles play Ajax, hosted by Theater of War, a group that uses theater to explore PTSD, trauma, and other difficult topics. In the production,… Read more »


Review: SWEET MARJORAM: Notes & Essays by DeWitt Henry

By Susan Tepper   

SWEET MARJORAM: Notes & Essays By DeWitt Henry MadHat Press, Plume Editions, 2018   Transparency is the word that kept ringing in my head as I read through this book’s eclectic compilation of life and its anticipations, in chapters with titles such as: On Dreams, On Silence, On Blood, On Weather, On Dignity, On Courage,… Read more »


A Writer-Photographer’s Poignant Essay about Smelter Town

By William Crawford   

Managing Editor’s Note:  In this piece by William Crawford, his photo of a cemetery in a town devastated by contamination from mining triggers a touching essay about the birth and death of a town and the melancholy words of Tom Rush, a popular folk singer-songwriter from the 1970’s.  The underlying poisoning of the town is a story… Read more »


Misogyny and the Acceptance of Violence Against Women

By Patricia Carrillo   

Note from Intern Anita Ballesteros: Patricia Carrillo Collard, in this week’s powerful blog post, snaps the reader to attention.  Patricia challenges us all to look deeper within ourselves with her reflections on societal acceptance of violence against women and marginalization of women as a result of conscious — and subconscious — misogyny. MISOGYNIST — WHO,… Read more »


The Immigrant Experience Then and Now — and Hope for the Future

By Diane O'Neill   

Note from Intern Anita Ballesteros:  This week in our guest blog post, Diane O’Neill writes about her personal experience as a descendant of Irish immigrants, and her views on the social and political climate surrounding immigrants in America today.  America is built on many nations, and her piece speaks to the current perceptions and the… Read more »


Finding Unexpected Hope for Diversity in 2018 Olympic Skating

By Jane Shiau   

Note from Intern Anita Ballesteros:  In Jane Shiau’s guest blog post this week, she shares her personal humorous and uplifting account of finding a sense of belonging in America through Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon.  This short piece resonates with the challenge of feeling welcome in today’s multicultural environment. A WRITER FINDS HOPE IN OLYMPIC… Read more »


Deadly Love: The Cost of Silence on Domestic Violence

By Anita Ballesteros   

Last week, a young woman, 20 years old, a classmate of my son’s from kindergarten through graduation, was murdered. In the sleepy bedroom community that we live in, such news is always shocking. There is a bubble of safety, or the illusion of it, that surrounds us here. She was killed — no, not killed, violently slaughtered – by her boyfriend, in a wealthy, predominantly white suburb close to Boston.


Neurodiverse Students Need Creative Arts

By Donnie Welch   

I run poetry workshops for students with developmental disabilities. Every week I meet with thirty-six students to work on the writing of original poetry. By and large, creative work and arts education is met with skepticism in neurodiverse education. It can be cute to do the occasional, holiday art project, but researchers can’t track data from it, school districts can’t quantify the results of it, and, as a result, schools can’t fund it.


Poetry as Penumbra in the Midst of Political Upheaval (and meet our new intern!)

By Robbie Gamble and Anita Ballesteros   

Managing Editor’s Note: Today we feature poet, essayist, and social justice activist Robbie Gamble. Robbie considers the purpose and function of poetry in the context of this year’s solar eclipse and political upheaval, writing that poetry can help us “explore the emotional nuances we are experiencing at the edge of all the chaos.”

First, read an introduction by our new intern, Anita Ballesteros. Anita comes to Solstice Magazine from Lesley University’s MFA program, where she studies fiction writing. As you’ll see, Anita has led a fascinating life full of travel, diverse experiences, education, and motherhood. Welcome Anita!