ESSAYS | MEMOIR

MAYA MCCOY | NON FICTION

As a child in Ohio, I only heard so much about this war. I knew that there had been suffering. I knew that Ammah was affected by it—seeing her home after almost twenty years, her birthplace, broken apart in many ways. I understood that war meant irreversible change.

MAYA MCCOY | NON FICTION 2018-04-27T18:25:10+00:00

LIZ HOWARD | NON FICTION

When your dentist pulls the wrong tooth, you will hold your own body at a distance. When your dentist lies about it, you will question what you know to be true—you will question your own sanity. When your dentist pulls the wrong tooth, you will sob for weeks about the pattern in your life of men taking something from you and insisting that they didn’t.

LIZ HOWARD | NON FICTION 2018-04-29T11:12:18+00:00

Ashely Adams | Non Fiction

Did you know you can hear it? It’s the simplest thing. Adjust an old radio or analog TV; listen for the static between channels. There, nestled in the white noise between the country music station and talk radio, are the echoes of creation.

Ashely Adams | Non Fiction 2018-04-23T11:15:25+00:00

Audrey Deng | Non Fiction

“Les escargots, s’il vous plait,” I said confidently to the waiter. “Such a tourist,” said my dinner companion once the waiter left with our orders. “Better tourist than exile,” I replied. “Better exile than stupid,” he said.  You’re paying,” I said. (We ended up splitting the bill.)

Audrey Deng | Non Fiction 2018-04-23T11:15:25+00:00

Suiyi Tang | Essay

i am the face of asian american racial justice, a mockery composed of: displacement and internal insistence on hegemonic modes of dominance, negation, and death familiar to the geopolitical histories of asia proper.

Suiyi Tang | Essay 2018-03-01T12:33:55+00:00

Cornelia Barber | Essay

The news is full of apocalypse. The girls are full to the brim with confidence, lightening, fear. Facebook sends me into spirals of anger and anxiety.

Cornelia Barber | Essay 2018-02-28T17:38:42+00:00

Maia Morgan | A Dozen Tiny Weapons

I remember the dining room table, its vast gleam, the ring of faces. The kids have been excused. They’re watching illicit TV in the den or, if it’s summer, catching fireflies or playing flashlight tag [...]

Maia Morgan | A Dozen Tiny Weapons 2018-03-25T14:09:39+00:00

Sarah Cook | Non Fiction

JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU MEAN: SILENCE, OR MISUNDERSTANDING 1. As a young girl, I did really well in school. But at every parent-teacher conference, the same thing was always said, every year, from every [...]

Sarah Cook | Non Fiction 2018-01-18T15:29:00+00:00

Sarah Sgro | Night Soil

Shit is only loss so far as it concerns the individual (for it feeds the soil, for it builds the earth). Even then I have transformed. Even then I am dynamic and in constant flight. [...]

Sarah Sgro | Night Soil 2018-01-18T01:16:47+00:00

Ruth Gila Berger | A Flutter of Crows Will Do

It is February in Minneapolis, a month of frozen mud and sodden wings, except now oddly warm enough, it rains an iron rain. My wife, Christi drives. Her tires sluice. Exhausted windshield wipers perform accidental beauty; the patterns they leave fracture our light.

Ruth Gila Berger | A Flutter of Crows Will Do 2018-01-22T12:08:22+00:00

Martina Carla Louis | How I Became an Amerikèn

“Your presence is requested at an engagement party honoring …” * In Kreyol, dejwe explains the process of wasting your potential, of becoming ruined, of becoming a lost cause. Dejwe is the process of becoming [...]

Martina Carla Louis | How I Became an Amerikèn 2018-02-03T03:05:18+00:00

Alex DiFrancesco | Home in Three Meals

It’s a delicate process, but easy once you get the hang of it. If it’s done wrong, things curdle. If you do it just right, simultaneously whisking and adding warm to cold, it comes out smooth and resilient to hot temperatures.

Alex DiFrancesco | Home in Three Meals 2017-11-29T23:06:53+00:00

Joseph Parker Okay | every dog i pet in 2016

i got the next round and after that she invited me back to her place. when we got there we were met at the door by 2 barking doggos. one was hers, a dark brown/reddish wiener dog mix who really doesn’t like guys.

Joseph Parker Okay | every dog i pet in 2016 2017-11-30T13:11:14+00:00

Whit Arnold | Tadpole

On TV, we watched a Showtime series called Shameless. I’m easily bored by TV, so instead I looked around his apartment. On a shelf sat a colorful, glass hookah. Seeing it, I asked, “You smoke?”

Whit Arnold | Tadpole 2017-11-30T11:42:00+00:00

Lucie Bonvalet | Florence: a portrait

But if I look at the etymology, I find the Greek, nemein, "give what is due" and that nemesis literally means "retribution". So why has it become intertwined in my memory with a forest of black mirrors?

Lucie Bonvalet | Florence: a portrait 2017-11-30T15:25:40+00:00

Chloé Cela | This Skank Woman

This Skank Woman has no choice but to surrender to the hospital ambiance; the noise and patronizing nurses with good intentions, most of the time. The TV is showing the treatment of rhinos in Africa.

Chloé Cela | This Skank Woman 2017-10-29T21:42:26+00:00

Gina Keicher | The Four-Day Win

The Four-Day Win Family legend has it that one day I walked into the kitchen from the two-car garage, my hands cupped piously as if carrying a communion wafer. I approached my mother [...]

Gina Keicher | The Four-Day Win 2017-09-19T21:01:35+00:00

Lauren Turner | QUIT DYING TO DIE

Flirting with suicide, I spent three apathetic years with Bulimia Nervosa, before I decided I wanted to live. A month into recovery, doctors discovered tumors on most of my major organs. My body is now [...]

Lauren Turner | QUIT DYING TO DIE 2017-09-19T17:41:32+00:00

Naima Coster | Reorientation

Winner of the 2017 CA Non-Fiction Prize judged by Roxane Gay The hallways at Spence were blue and narrow. They wound one into another, and I couldn’t tell how many times I [...]

Naima Coster | Reorientation 2017-09-28T09:30:19+00:00

Natalie Frazier | Black Queer Twitter: The Sex Manual

@Dopegirlfresh once tweeted that her first queer sexual encounter was like homecoming. I read that months before I had sex with a woman for the first time, but it stuck with me. Somehow it resonated [...]

Natalie Frazier | Black Queer Twitter: The Sex Manual 2017-09-19T18:10:49+00:00

Anna Kaye-Rogers | The Witch

Tendrils of dark hair dangle from her bun; refusing to be ordered and catalogued.  She is wrapped in a dark sweater that has no end and drapes over itself.  If she was a color, she [...]

Anna Kaye-Rogers | The Witch 2017-09-19T18:11:22+00:00

Mez Breeze | Attn: Solitude

Mez Breeze has been working for a good long while (since the mid 1990’s) to produce a splodge-like array of award-winning digital fiction, books, VR + AR experiences, games, experimental storytelling, interactive fiction, and othergenre-defying output that often can’t quite be categorized into neat little boxes (pssst: she secretly enjoys this fact).

Mez Breeze | Attn: Solitude 2017-07-17T17:15:09+00:00

Troy Onyango | The Ghost of Nina Simone; Or the Remains of an Existence Spiraling Towards the Nadir.

The sky is the colour of a sketch artist’s thumb when the bus sneaks its way out of the bus station, headed for the port town of Kisumu – home; a place so distant it requires at least a week of mental preparation and enough love for those whose existence make up that word.

Troy Onyango | The Ghost of Nina Simone; Or the Remains of an Existence Spiraling Towards the Nadir. 2017-07-17T14:49:49+00:00

Ayden LeRoux | Pillowbook

I never slept in this bed, though at one time I longed to. Instead it was left unconsummated. The summer when I imagined sleeping here, I went to have my tarot cards read over and over and over again.

Ayden LeRoux | Pillowbook 2017-07-22T23:29:10+00:00

Marta Balcewicz | Lies in the Gymnasium

“Guadalajara!” she said to me a couple more times in that locker room, with the showers thundering in the background and naked women slapping their suits down on wet benches. “Guadalajara.”

Marta Balcewicz | Lies in the Gymnasium 2017-07-17T11:51:45+00:00

Lindsey Webb | Apology

When I’m young, it’s the season of the rabbit—cute, horrible, skinny, sprinting under the sagebrush when a truck comes up the dirt road.

Lindsey Webb | Apology 2017-07-18T22:29:49+00:00

Gabby Vachon | Meth(od) Man

He, on the other hand, actually did meth, which was less cool that I thought. He looked more like a coke guy to me, but what do I know about what a coke guy looks like? As a child I smelled pot on my street and wanted desperately to call 911, so I'm not exactly what you would call "street savvy".

Gabby Vachon | Meth(od) Man 2017-07-17T01:09:02+00:00

Corinna Chong | Thieves

“Sturdier than the old one,” my mum said, “and it’ll keep the draft out.” A new door to cover the evidence that our house was not secure, but permeable. Walls like sieves, find a hole and enter.

Corinna Chong | Thieves 2017-07-17T01:07:17+00:00

Tia Lucas | Working Class Mouth

I only remember my friends as having little teeth as so I can’t comment on their current state or the orthodontia sagas they may have endured. I should add here that I was also a thumb-sucker.

Tia Lucas | Working Class Mouth 2017-07-17T01:01:22+00:00

Natasha Young | Letters from Angel

Post-coital tristesse (PCT) or post-coital dysphoria (PCD) is the feeling of sadness, anxiety, agitation or aggression after sexual intercourse. Its name comes from ...

Natasha Young | Letters from Angel 2017-07-19T16:09:02+00:00

Omar Sakr | ghosting the ghetto

excerpted from These Wild Horses  for Steven In their third floor brick flat, the one tucked into the asphalt folds of Warwick Farm, past El Toro motel, down where the winding road straightens out opposite [...]

Omar Sakr | ghosting the ghetto 2017-05-06T16:59:06+00:00

Matthew Mastricova | Heartnote

The sample was cheap and small and arrived five days after I ordered it. With no brand, no bottle, and no color, it looked like water. It was called Hg. I had chosen the sample [...]

Matthew Mastricova | Heartnote 2017-05-06T18:33:20+00:00

Christa Parravani | Back At Home

Operation Desert Storm played on television. The picture was faintly out of focus, a smattering of grainy night scenes and bullet riddled stucco buildings. On screen, small details were nearly impossible to see. Faces and [...]

Christa Parravani | Back At Home 2017-05-06T16:57:45+00:00

Donald Quist | Excerpt from Harbors

Excerpt from Donald Quist's essay collection Harbors from Awst Press. Available for order here. Lesson Plan Week 1 (Introductions) Course Title: ENGLISH-IV (Academic Writing for Second Language Learners) University Course Number: BG2001 Section: 434 (0:00) / (1:30) Greet [...]

Donald Quist | Excerpt from Harbors 2017-05-05T22:26:43+00:00

Rem + Rom | Excerpts from A Raft Manifest

The feral twin brothers Rem + Rom come born from the Columbia river delta, fathered by a rogue member of the «Clueless + Lark» expedition + reared by a she-wolf, before morphing into [...]

Rem + Rom | Excerpts from A Raft Manifest 2017-05-05T22:26:51+00:00

Nina Yun | Han

In the vice of winter no one wants the raw, unless it is the orange yolk from an egg, and even then we drop it into a boil of stew. The sun is bright, and [...]

Nina Yun | Han 2017-05-05T22:26:54+00:00

David Olimpio | Excerpts from So That We May See Eternal

Excerpt from David Olimpio‘s essay collection This Is Not a Confession from Awst Press. Available for order now here. RELATIVE TIME You wouldn’t think a boy of six would be excited to get an alarm clock for [...]

David Olimpio | Excerpts from So That We May See Eternal 2017-05-05T22:27:00+00:00

Sarah Gerard | Excerpts from BFF

Excerpt from Sarah Gerard's essay collection Sunshine State, out April 11, 2017 from Harper Collins. Available for pre-order now here. Lies I heard you tell yourself: Vitamins from fruits and vegetables are concentrated most densely in [...]

Sarah Gerard | Excerpts from BFF 2018-02-15T18:57:18+00:00

Visage | Matt Erickson

2 A few months ago, I read an article in the Times about a just-solved case opened in 1995, an anonymous car crash victim, the opposite of a missing person: found body, no identity. Facts [...]

Visage | Matt Erickson 2017-05-05T22:27:37+00:00

Faith Adiele | How to Make a Metaphor in Black & White

  SOURCE LEGEND From a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, headed in what he mistook for the correct direction—towards Africa—my black father panicked. A few days before, he’d received an urgent [...]

Faith Adiele | How to Make a Metaphor in Black & White 2017-05-05T22:21:01+00:00

Max Cohen | Letters to Taylor

Dear Taylor, The apartment’s been shifting into a mild hell dimension for months now, so I’ve been leaving it more and more, finding new places to hide in. Except! Except maybe I should turn around [...]

Max Cohen | Letters to Taylor 2017-05-05T22:21:40+00:00

Emily Siegenthaler | Ketchup

On the phone we decide to check out the mansion of the condiments empire heiress—the intricate brickwork and the midnight guards who sleep outside for $10 an hour. I always say yes to a new [...]

Emily Siegenthaler | Ketchup 2017-05-05T22:27:25+00:00

Paul Lisicky | Two Pieces

HOLLER  Now when the screen summons up Politician X, I do a start. Not because I'm dreading your elation at his latest surge, but because you're dead, and I will never holler at another human [...]

Paul Lisicky | Two Pieces 2017-05-05T22:27:28+00:00

Vi Khi Nao | Washing Dishes

I asked my coworkers if they thought kissing was like washing the dishes. A few of us looked away, including myself, over a strewn pile of essays. The question hung in the air like a [...]

Vi Khi Nao | Washing Dishes 2017-05-05T22:27:45+00:00

Vi Khi Nao | The Sleeping Pill

After I graduated from college with dual degrees in Art and Spanish, I fell asleep. I slept without knowing that I slept and that sleeping covered an entire continent of sleep for six full years. [...]

Vi Khi Nao | The Sleeping Pill 2017-05-05T22:25:00+00:00

Disquiet | Mariam Williams

I tried to write this pretty, but five false starts in, I give up and state it plainly: I think I have something akin to survivor’s guilt. “Ridiculous,” my father says. “Guilt is for people [...]

Disquiet | Mariam Williams 2017-05-05T22:27:54+00:00

Gabe Bump | Breakaway

1. I haven’t dreamt of Abe Lincoln and Barack Obama playing one-on-one atop a gigantic bronze Marv Albert bust. That wouldn’t hurt my spirit. 2. What kind of husband will I be? 3. What kind [...]

Gabe Bump | Breakaway 2016-07-09T08:16:06+00:00

Cheryl Collins Isaac | Osmosis

Her white, spaghetti-strapped blouse is ripped in the middle, and a broken strap hangs off the shoulder of her body sprawled on the dirt ground: legs spread apart, jeans unbuckled and halfway down her thighs, [...]

Cheryl Collins Isaac | Osmosis 2017-05-05T22:32:41+00:00

Ellen Korman Blum | The Train Ticket

Of the half dozen languages my immigrant parents knew, Polish was the one used for secrets−−anything we children were not to understand. A few years after they had both passed away, I visited my family’s [...]

Ellen Korman Blum | The Train Ticket 2016-02-10T23:17:00+00:00

Ron Carlson | Tayari Jones

“TAYARI JONES ON RON CARLSON” IS FORTHCOMING IN THE ANTHOLOGY A MANNER OF BEING: WRITERS ON THEIR MENTORS (UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS PRESS) EDITED BY ANNIE LIONTAS AND JEFF PARKER Ron Carlson taught me how to [...]

Ron Carlson | Tayari Jones 2016-03-04T11:59:53+00:00

Mary Gaitskill | On the Old Guy

"Mary Gaitskill on the Old Guy” is forthcoming in the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors (University of Massachusetts Press) edited by Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker The only mentor I’ve had [...]

Mary Gaitskill | On the Old Guy 2016-02-10T23:17:04+00:00

Laura Warman | My Numerology

  1 One. The number most embodied, the number most claimed. “I am number one.”- Michael Jordan, Marilyn Monroe. The first chapter of Numbers is just documentation of a census of the Israelite community. There [...]

Laura Warman | My Numerology 2017-05-05T22:34:01+00:00

Gabe Bump | House Cat

You move back home and Housecat is already there. You’re both back in the rooms you grew-up in. Figuring shit out, you both call it. Housecat’s four years and five inches ahead of you. Housecat’s [...]

Gabe Bump | House Cat 2016-07-09T08:16:23+00:00

Richard Z. Santos | Hospital Food

There’s no homegrown cuisine in Washington, DC—no pizza, no bagel, no crab, no collard greens, no BBQ that embodies the District. The best DC can manage, when pressed on the issue, is either the half-smoke [...]

Richard Z. Santos | Hospital Food 2017-05-05T22:35:54+00:00

Karie Fugett | American April

The first time I saw an amputee was in April 2006 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I was twenty years old. The man was attractive, probably in his late teens to early twenties, with overgrown brunette [...]

Karie Fugett | American April 2017-05-05T22:35:58+00:00

Resa Alboher | Gogol Was a Realist

In the early 90’s, just a few years into our marriage, when John and I were living in theobshaga, a shitty Russian university dormitory, on the windiest part of Vasilevsky Island out there on the [...]

Resa Alboher | Gogol Was a Realist 2016-02-10T23:17:19+00:00

Dean Thomas Ellis | Miradouro

"Imagine the marriage lasting, the lilies blooming in the black vase for years..." -Kim Addonizio, Tell Me It is Saturday afternoon in Lisbon, and I've stumbled upon bliss. Or whatever passes for it on a [...]

Dean Thomas Ellis | Miradouro 2017-05-05T22:36:02+00:00

Dalia Staponkutė | A Negative

To the town where I live I’ve got many names and a tangled history, which occupies my centre as a giant Hephaestus of rough glass shards masterfully joined together. The massive sculpture-mount bears a modern [...]

Dalia Staponkutė | A Negative 2017-05-05T22:36:30+00:00

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