genre: Nonfiction

A Piece of Cloth

By Nada Siddiqui   

Rain splattered against our bedroom window on a chilly spring weekend morning. I burrowed deeper under the thick cotton comforter, tightened my arms around my husband’s trim waist, and rubbed the lingering wetness of tears on my cheekbones off on his soft sleep T-shirt. That morning, I didn’t want to be comforted or to comfort.… Read more »

Her Hair

By Omid Fallahazad   

When I pick up my 9-year-old daughter from school, the first thing she does, as soon as she clambers up onto the backseat and dumps her heavy backpack aside, is to squeeze her petit torso between the two front seats and, like a trained parakeet, bend her head to offer me my bribe, a kiss… Read more »

Internal Logic

By Tobey Ward   

The test was supposed to be a precaution. I had an IUD, but my period had been light that month, only a few drops of blood. When I put the white stick on the counter, two lines appeared instantly. I was pregnant. This was in the bathroom, in our house in South Philly. A floor-to-ceiling… Read more »

Nature’s Push

By Matt Paczkowski   

Water Richard Halliburton (1900–1939) In February of 1995, when I was four-and-a-half years old, my mother had a nightmare. In her dream, she was at Rockaway Beach with her mother and me – three generations – and I waddled through the sand toward the waves. When she reminisces, my mother mentions the weather first, how… Read more »

White Kids’ Nightmares

By Gail Griffin   

Cri de Coeur Some years ago, in a workshop on whiteness I was leading, a delegation from the local Friends’ Meeting was among the participants. One of them was a very elderly woman, so disabled she was nearly bent double and moved slowly, with great difficulty. I’m saying she had every excuse to stay home.… Read more »


By Dickson Lam   

1 I think of letters as faces. 2 You want that E to look like it’s uppercutting somebody. 3 Back in the day in Chicago, gangs used to have gang cards—almost like a business card—and there were all sorts of dope logos and images and especially lettering. 4 By the way a person writes, you… Read more »

A New Lesson on an Old Hill

By Natasha Israni   

Last summer I climbed an English hill my seven-year-old son said I shouldn’t. On a family road-trip across the United Kingdom, while walking around a sparkling, oval tarn in the verdant Lake District, we reached a fork. So far, we had strolled past giant oaks and leafy copses, quaint fences, and mellow glades—a pleasant enough… Read more »

Back and Forth

By Brandy E. Wyant   

My thoughts won’t turn off long enough to let me fall asleep, so I watch dog agility competitions in bed on my phone. After watching dog after dog attempt the same course, and inevitably commit the same errors in the same places, my eyes start to grow heavy. I know to let another dog or… Read more »

A Sense of An Ending

By Gary Percesepe   

Ghosts Years ago, I found a picture of my mother and father with their first-born son. Tommy is perhaps two years old, balanced on my father’s knee. All three look straight at the camera and smile, dressed in their fifty’s finery. They appear to be in a photography studio, posing for a family portrait. But… Read more »

As Long As I Know You: The Mom Book by Anne-Marie Oomen

By Bronwyn Jones   

As Long As I Know You: The Mom Book by Anne-Marie Oomen We will all experience mother loss. Yet, our mothers are also eternally with us, their formative presences lodging in our beings in ways that run the gamut from interstitial balm to sharp-edged irritant.  How we lose our mothers is shaped by a larger

Attention, Humor, Curiosity, and Poetry. Writing While Parenting by Ben Berman

By Richard Hoffman   

Writing While Parenting Ben Berman Able Muse Press ISBN: 978-1-77349-111-0 One might think a book titled Writing While Parenting would be filled with tips about time- and stress management, about how to straddle the competing demands of parenthood and authorship, but the brief, incisive, funny, profound, and memorable essays in Ben Berman’s book offer us

The Beloved Republic by Steven Harvey

By Richard Cambridge   

The Beloved Republic Steven Harvey Wandering Aengus Press, 2023 “The beech tree rising in our bow window finds its own shape without any help from me.” So begins “A Whole Life” Steven Harvey’s preface that, like the taproot of the tree, anchors the collection of essays in The Beloved Republic. Written over a quarter of

Fairyland, an Interview with Alysia Abbott

Fairyland, an Interview with Alysia Abbott

By Lorena Hernández Leonard   

During our first week of class Alysia Abbott asked “If your memoir was made into a movie, what actor or actress would play you?” The next week, all ten of us memoirists came back with our answers: Salma Hayek, Annette Bening, Claire Danes, Sigourney Weaver… It was June 2021 and I had just embarked on… Read more »



By Corinne Pines   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

My Putin Failure

By A. Molotkov   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

Liza in 17 Fragments

By Kristen Paulson-Nguyen   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

Beautiful Boy

By Alysia Abbott   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.


By Bridget Verhaaren   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

Two Eternities

By Steven Harvey   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

Backtalk and Backlash

By Richard Hoffman   

This piece is part of our Winter 2022 print issue, available for purchase here.

The Lid and the Jar

By Elisha Emerson   

You held my eyes from the back of Advanced Studies of Dramatic Literature as if you were a tousled debauchee from an unrated foreign film, the kind with a sophisticated plot line, sure, but also plenty of straps, leather, and velvet. Years after our son’s autism diagnosis and days after your own, we sit at… Read more »


By Lynda Rushing   

It’s morning and I am about to open the refrigerator when I see my mother squatting on the floor, shaking a thin line of white powder along the baseboards. Her face is furrowed in concentration, her forehead slicked with sweat. I’m ten, it’s the first day of summer vacation, 1967, and a long stretch of… Read more »

On Raising Black Children in Whitopia

By Julia McKenzie Munemo   

We sit in a line on a bench in Washington Square Park, my first son, me, my second son. Suitcases flank us—two of us are headed to the train station and on back home. One of us will stay here in the city of his birth. I can’t hear their voices because what I’m thinking… Read more »

Pea Princess

By Lisa K. Buchanan   

A former public-school teacher, she was fluent in multiple languages and said she had a graduate degree. Born into the post-war prosperity of the 1950s, she was raised in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, three generations of her family in the same single-family Edwardian, recently valued at up to four-million dollars. Her father had been… Read more »

20 Infusions

By Diana Tokaji   

  Pliny, the Elder, a Roman naturalist (AD 23-79), believed Borage, or Starflower, to be an anti-depressant, and it has long been thought to give courage and comfort to the heart.    20 Infusions   1. Suddenly I cannot imagine offering my arm. The German nurse with her V-neck whites, her fair hair and kind… Read more »

Fugitive in the Woods

By Ashley Memory   

The first day I ever heard the name Cody Lee Moffitt was in late January. I’d just finished a lunch of peanut butter and crackers when my phone beeped. A friend, Ray Kearns, had posted a note on our church’s message board. There’s a man on the loose who wrecked on Gopher Lane. Drug deal… Read more »

Family Poker

By Amory Rowe Salem   

1. My father was twelve when he learned that his mother had kept a part of herself hidden. Five of them were standing at a Customs desk at Orly airport in Paris in 1957: my father, his older brother, his younger sister, their parents. The Customs officer held the family’s passports like a royal flush,… Read more »

The Takeover

By Zibiquah Denny   

  “It’s more than just a rock to us, it’s a stepping stone to a better future.” –John Trudell as told to a reporter after the takeover of Alcatraz Island                   They kicked in the doors at the crack of dawn. It was the first direct action by the Milwaukee American Indian Movement (AIM)… Read more »

The First Time I Told Someone

By Richard Jeffrey Newman   

  1. I never knew his name. When I picture him now, I see a man somewhere between my age—I’m fifty-nine—and ten or fifteen years younger. I don’t think of myself as old, but I think of him as “the old man in my building,” because that’s what he looked like to my twelve-year-old eyes.… Read more »

Half Empty, Half Full

By Lena (Sunada-Matsumura) Newlin   

  Two halves.  Together do they make a whole?  United, do they intertwine, mix, meld?  Half.  Can half alone, by itself, be whole?  Can half be complete?  What do you get if you double half?  Is there such a thing as a whole half?  What does it feel like to be half?  What does it… Read more »

A Fable for Yesterday

By Alexis Lathem   

  There is a farm in the heart of the Green Mountains that sits by a winding road near a bend in the river, its two-hundred-year-old brick house lording over the valley, a backdrop of forested mountains behind it. It is nestled in the landscape, as a New England farm is supposed to be. A… Read more »

Waiting for the Bees

Waiting for the Bees

By Trisha M. Cowen   

May 27, 2020 Today, we dig. Bees circle our heads and our hands, inspecting our movements in the grass, their grass. Ella, my fairy-like child, wants to plant a whole field of sunflowers on our front lawn. We have purchased a single pack of seeds. Perhaps it is too late in the season to plant… Read more »

Figure Out the Damn Year

Figure Out the Damn Year

By Dave King   

“Oh, wow,” says my husband. “I blacked out.” He and I are sprawled on our bed; we’ve just had sex, and I’ve got my arm around him. “You dozed off,” I say. “Both of us did.” It’s the Monday after Pandemic Thanksgiving, a gray day in upstate New York. A kitty circles the bed, the… Read more »

Care and Keeping

Care and Keeping

By Jen Dupree   

You’ve been having some trouble with your bowels, so we’re at the gastroenterologist’s office. The nurse leads us into an exam room and says, “Okay, just hop up on the table.” I laugh because I think she’s making a joke. It’s clear you can’t hop. If she looked closely, or looked at you at all,… Read more »

Two Lives

Two Lives

By Clara Bosak-Schroeder   

I came to the Brooklyn Museum to see Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party but it was the work of Judith Scott that stopped me in my tracks. I do not like sculpture much, I do not know how to feel about it. My mother had died three years before and I was thinking of her when… Read more »

If You Don’t Know Me by Now

If You Don’t Know Me by Now

By Celeste Mohammed   

I was initially surprised when the Solidarity Book Project, which is a social justice initiative of Amherst College, Massachusetts, invited me, a Trinidadian writer, to contribute to a communal monument to solidarity. However, when I read the Project’s espoused aim of pushing against legacies of anti-Black racism and settler colonialism, I had to concede the… Read more »

The Price of Membership

The Price of Membership

By Jane Shiau   

In 2014, my parents announced they were leaving Massachusetts and retiring to California. I marched into my therapist’s office and flung myself onto the couch to cry. I couldn’t believe they were abandoning me. Worst of all, I told my therapist, was that now I was going to have to be an adult and buy… Read more »

The Seminarian and the Sex Worker

The Seminarian and the Sex Worker

By Lance F Mullins   

I am a Christian minister who once spent the night with a sex worker named Adam. Although, to be technical about it, I was a first-year seminarian – not yet a card-carrying minister – when I spent the night with this sex worker. And since we’re being technical, I didn’t actually spend the night with… Read more »

That Night

By Jill Frances Johnson   

We’d driven north for five hours straying off the highway to admire the countryside along billboard-free roads. I’d point to white houses with green trim, that one, like that, imagining a future when we’d own a house instead of renting. Thom’s new broadcaster’s license was in his pocket. One suitcase, orange crates of LP records… Read more »


By Robbie Gamble   

We didn’t arrange for a week of travel in the south of Wales in order to trail in some literary wake of Dylan Thomas. Anna wanted to relive some of her travels during her university days at Cambridge, and she thought I would be thrilled with the opportunity to hike through rugged greening landscapes. But… Read more »

Portrait of the Artist as a Black Man

By Herb Harris   

  When you turn the corner And you run into yourself Then you know that you have turned All the corners that are left Langston Hughes     The more I stared at the drawing, the more alien and unrecognizable it became. I had labored over every line, but it was not the person I… Read more »

The Heaviness of Hair

By Roz Roseboro   

                                                                                                              “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2   I swirl my Sonicare in small circles to remove the invisible plaque the dentist assures me is there. Diligent dental hygiene practices seem a small price to pay to have my natural teeth for the rest of my… Read more »

A Letter for David Buckel

A Letter for David Buckel

By Steve Fellner   

–LGBT civil rights lawyer and environmental activist David Buckel engaged in self-immolation to protest using fossil fuels for their destruction of global welfare. I dream of sounds: a body burning in the middle of Brooklyn Park, gasoline dousing the body of a man, the light, the flame, the drop of a plastic Ziploc bag on… Read more »

The Chess Players of Dupont Circle & I

By Kerrie L. Kemperman   

Through the mist, Washington, DC’s stately lamp-lit brownstones and tree-lined streets could have been Paris — I was far from the wild woods, tilled acres, and sturdy farmhouses of my rural childhood. With a fluttering in my ribcage, I felt giddy going outside into the night, alone with my umbrella. When the mist changed to… Read more »

Endure, My Heart

By Michael Sheehan   

ἀλκὴν δ’ εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος ἂν εἴποι   The last time I spoke to my uncle Lary was on January 19, 1992, the day before he was to go into surgery. It was an operation he wouldn’t wake up from. He was having his hip replaced, one of a series of surgeries he’d had. He… Read more »

Letter to My Black Daughter

By Kerry Herlihy   

Dear One, In the first hours after you were born in a small hospital on the coast of Maine, I traced my fingers around the gray-blue birthmark that looked like a map of America bleeding into your back. I felt your cheek and puckered lips on my naked chest and all I once knew dissolved… Read more »