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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!


Solstice Magazine Honors Martin Luther King

By Danielle Legros Georges and Richard Hoffman   

In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, we are sharing two pieces that reflect on our current socio-political landscape. Read Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges’ essay “American Without Prefix” and Solstice Magazine’s Nonfiction Editor Richard Hoffman’s poem STATE OF THE UNION.


Protesting Police Brutality: From Taking a Knee in the U.S to Striking in Catalan

By Chetan Tiwari and Sandell Morse   

Today, in our continuing series on social justice issues, we feature two pieces that deal with protest and how it is talked about within a society. In “Focus,” Chetan Tiwari writes about Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the national anthem at NFL games, and how our discussions about this veer away from the topic of police brutality to patriotism and other “weapons of mass distraction.” In “A Cautionary Tale,” Sandell Morse shares her experience visiting Catalan during the National Strike, held to protest police brutality, Finding that civility prevails in the discussions she heard about this charged topic, Morse worries that the United States, with its current less-than-civilized approach to political discourse, may become “a cautionary tale” for the Catalonians


Taking a Stand Against Racism: Never Too Early, Never Too Late

By Vanessa Lewis and Jen Minotti   

The first two guest posts in our series addressing social justice. In the first, Jennifer Minotti confronts fellow parents after one of their children uses a racial slur against her daughter. In the second, Vanessa Lewis challenges the idea that to “take a knee” during the anthem at a football game is unpatriotic.


The Dark Courage of “Writing Through Postpartum”

By Rachel Berg Scherer   

I adored the process of having my first baby. I was so thankful to be pregnant, I loved labor, and I loved giving birth. It was overwhelmingly empowering and powerful and transformative. I would give birth every day for a month if it meant I didn’t have to live with a newborn again.


We Play Hard: Artists of Color on Play and Relaxation

By Rochelle Spencer   

“As African Americans, when we play, we play hard,” says Johnnie Davis, Director of Serenity House, a program that provides services for women who have been raped or molested, and experience homelessness, and/or mental health or emotional issues, tells me inside Serenity House’s ocean-colored walls. 


Writing, Meditation, and the Art of Looking

By Marilyn McCabe   

I took a class to learn how to meditate. It didn’t go well. At least I didn’t keep falling asleep, like one guy did. I was always thinking about food. (This kind of stuff seems to have that effect on me — I took a yoga class some years ago, and all I could think about was: Is this over soon so I can go have a beer? And I don’t even really drink beer.)


Choosing America

By Shilpi Suneja   

Two days after Srinivas Kuchibhotlas was shot dead at a bar in Kansas, his wife Sunayana Dumala spoke at a press conference about her concern for staying on in America. “I often asked my husband,” she revealed, her voice breaking, “are we doing the right thing (by) staying.” Sunayana’s fears hint at the awkward moral burden immigrants from the Indian subcontinent place upon themselves.


Truth as a Hammer: Managing the Politics of Family

By Jill Johnson   

Sorting through files in my parent’s office after they’d moved into assisted living, I found an old newspaper clipping–an editorial Mom had written. I paused at her bio: activist, teacher, homemaker. The description evoked a woman with defined lines, neat and contained.


Race and Disability as Construct: Lisa McKenzie’s “What Lasts”

By Lisa McKenzie   

I was sitting with my husband outside an ice cream shop on the east side of Cincinnati, watching our son caper around a park with his buddies from Shakespeare Camp, when my husband observed, “I don’t feel white here.”

My husband is white. Half white. He is also half Chinese.