Francisco Gonzalez photograph on Unsplash.
In the Spotlight


by Robin Gow in Creative Nonfiction 1

Robin Gow reflects on his relationship with his father when they used to play softball together. He recalls the only time he saw his father cry was watching Field of Dreams and explores how the themes of that movie apply to both of their lives. [...]


Mireya S. Vela, "With Snake."
Creative Nonfiction


When people are marginalized, their doctors are, too. A woman remembers her childhood and the decisions she and her family made. Grandmother didn’t like secrets. She said to me, “Secrets come from Satan.” I don’t […]

Edward Lear, "Agia Paraskevi, Epirus, Greece," graphite, pen and brown ink and watercolor, 1857, purchase, Brooke Russell Astor Bequest, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction


Each time I go back to Tirana, I see big changes, but I seek out the old parts of town, the narrow streets, talk to people who live there and people who are visiting, and […]

Odilon Redon, "It Was a Hand, Seemingly as Much of Flesh and Blood as My Own, plate 4 of 6," lithograph in black on ivory China paper laid down on white wove paper, 1896, The Stickney Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Power of Story

Stories are the foundation of our civilizations and our societies. Our legends and myths, our scientific discoveries and our explorations, can inform and influence us both individually and collectively. But what separates us also holds […]

Photograph by Chris Liverani in Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Blood Wine on a Full Moon

A reflection of Catholicism and Tarot/light occult beliefs; how they intertwine and connect despite being taught they were opposites, and how those teachings affected the writer as an adult. The moon had broken through, just […]

Gustave Courbet, "The Calm Sea," oil on canvas, 1869, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O Havemeyer, 1929, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Just One More Thing

Think about the hardest loss you’ve been through, perhaps a beloved parent, or even harder, a precious child. What if every horrible thing imaginable happened? What if you lost everything and nearly everyone? How would […]

Edgar Degas, "The Artist's Cousin, Probably Mrs. William Bell (Mathilde Musson, 1841-1878)," pastel on green woven paper, now darkened to brown, 1873, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Freed Women of a Certain Age

This piece narrates my journey as an older woman who attempts to resolve the financial, lifestyle, and professional realities of choosing to start an online freelance business. This is a deeply personal narrative that questions […]

Mansur, "Study of a Nilgai (Blue Bull)," Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, album leaf, ca. 1550, Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

Revel With Ghosts

Two months after losing our infant son, we were just starting to learn the language of signs. In Barcelona, a city whose ghosts seem to rise from the walls, our loss found a welcoming home. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Things That Save You

The personal essay is an exposé on loss and absence. Tolu Daniel explores how the most random events influence each other. It should rain. But for some reason the rain is shy and from my […]

George S. Harris & Sons, "Olive, from the Fruits series (N12) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands," commercial color lithograph, 1891, The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Girl from Patitiri

Slicing tuna skins pickling eyes in ouzo– comb of Kalamata olives; cubes of feta resembled plastic dice without any spots. The girl from Patitiri carried buckets of water on the back of a mule through […]

John Quincy Adams Ward, "Study for Treaty with Native Americans (from Sketchbook)," graphite on paper, ca. 1860, Gift of Edward R. Groves, 1985, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Indigenous People’s Day

In a red state like Missouri, their hero columbised this land but for us, indigenous emigrants of burnt sage and blown prayers, a shivering flame in the stomach and Dr. Silver Wolf’s drums outside the […]

William Michael Harnett, "The Artist's Letter Rack," oil on canvas, 1879, Morris K. Jesup Fund, 1966, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Embracing the Subjective

As memoir writers, we must enter the dark waters of memory where facts are few and remembered events are often unstable. But the subjective experience offers its own reality and can reveal the truths that […]

Hans Christian Andersen, "Two Pierrots Balancing on Swans and Two Dancers," cutout in blue paper mounted on an album sheet, 1820-75, Mary Martin Fund, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Men Teach Me to Shoot

A little girl yearns for Papa’s attention, yet feels regret the moment the pellet gun weighs in her hand. Some men are not to be trusted. She wants to be brave and to be seen […]

Paul Klee, "Baum und Architektur—Rhythmen (Tree and Architecture—Rhythms)," oil on paper, 1920, Gift of Benjamin and Lillian Hertzberg, National Gallery of Art.
Book Excerpts

Jujubes Represent Sugar

Jae Langton is just like the rest of his family, especially in his love of musicals. The biggest difference is that Jae is South Korean, while everyone else is white. Jae’s parents, Shelley and David, […]

Egypt, "Fragment of a Queen's Face," yellow jasper, Dynasty 18, New Kingdom, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 B.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Open Season

Blending styles including personal memoir, creative nonfiction, and photography, “Open Season” lyrically explores what it means to be a woman in America. The vignettes present flashes of microaggressions that women suffer and internalize every day, […]

Winslow Homer, "Camp Fire," oil on canvas, 1880, Gift of Josephine Pomery Hendrick, in the name of Henry Keney Pomeroy, 1927, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

The Fire Extinguisher

When the motor on his boat catches fire eighty miles up a remote Alaska river, the speaker in “The Fire Extinguisher” is forced to see the experience through the eyes of an accompanying Swedish doctor. […]

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, "Peasant and Girl," color etching printed in black, red, and blue, 1921, Gift of Ruth Cole Kalnen, National Gallery of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

About Time

My father, born in Hungary in 1906, was often mistaken for my grandfather. Nowhere was the cultural divide between us more pronounced than on a trip to Budapest in 1969. We both let each other […]

Paul Klee, "Alter Dampfer (Old Steamboat)," oil transfer drawing and watercolor on laid paper, on Klee's original mount, 1922, Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art.

Detroit Gold

First came the scrappers, Slicing the drywall muscle for Detroit gold. Dissection of the vein, red conductors. They gutted the city, Broke her teeth, Boarded up her eyes. Then came the scavengers, looking to make […]

Frederick H. Evans, "In the Attics," Kelmscott Manor Photographs, 1896, Purchase, David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1968, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Broadway Avenue

East Canton, Ohio My grandmother’s house remains gray, remains past what might be recalled of it. A boy and a girl play Yahtzee! in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, and from the car I […]

South Netherlandish (?), "Glass Fragment," colorless glass, 16th century, Gift of George D. Pratt, 1930, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A Memoir

and we were dying a little every day fleshy leftovers on tilted sidewalks failing to leave an imprint even the sun seemed to weep and the shadows never quite faded even as day broke even […]

Egon Schiele, "Crouching Nude in Shoes and Black Stockings, Back View," watercolor, 1912, Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After Party

Her Pomeranian shot back and forth like the white lines cut out on the coffee table as she tucked bleached hair behind her ear and snorted from the rolled-up bill. She stripped at Blush, the […]

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, "Tadeus Langier, Zakopane," photograph, 1912-1913, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift, 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

Echoes of Tattered Tongues

Below are three poems from JOHN Z. GUZLOWSKI‘s critically-acclaimed book Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded, his book of poems and essays about his parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Make sure to read […]

William Leighton Leitch, "A Parkland View at Dusk," watercolor and graphite, ca. 1879, purchase, Didier Aaron Inc. Gift, 2003, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My Father in Wild Pants

Because the ’70s sang. Because of becauses he couldn’t explain from the sand trap at the 17th hole at Brookside, the doctors drinking bourbon and soda in the clubhouse. I know the photographs, only, what […]

Paul Klee, "Adam and Little Eve," watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper mounted on cardboard, 1921, The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Berry Patch

We eleven-year-old girls sat through the film in the cafeteria and watched a movie about pads and how you could menstruate at night lying down. We all worried about the blood that might go straight […]

Paul Gauguin, "The Siesta," oil on canvas, ca. 1892-1894, The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

To Helen, a Handbasket

“To Helen, a Handbasket” takes a commonplace object—a basket—and uses it as a device to trace the author’s grandmother’s life from her early existence as a dutiful farm wife filling picnic baskets to her final […]

Ding Fuzhi, "近代 丁輔之 雜果圖 冊頁 (Fruit)," album leaf and ink and color on paper, 1945, Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Book Excerpts

Sihanoukville by the Sea

In 1993, Spalding Gray’s monologue Swimming to Cambodia pulled us in. Within a year of watching it, my ex and I left Oregon to live in the beach town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We flew there […]

Maurice Brazil Prendergast, "Large Boston Public Garden Sketchbook: A nude woman with red hair," watercolor over pencil, bordered in pencil and watercolor, ca. 1895-1897, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Mediocre Existentialist

Appalachia is a heritage I both wanted to understand and to escape. A place filled with opioid abuse, the remnants of poverty and coal mining culture, and somehow also, the filthy rich. You slurred about […]

Henri-Edmond Cross, "Landscape with Stars," watercolor on white wove paper, ca. 1905-1908, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


  With flint and tinder to kindle, we spark a blaze red-yellow-blue as night bedims and outlays the starry convoy of the skies, urging a census of the countless; hours vanish posthaste till sun gilds the […]

Carleton E. Watkins, "Looking up Among the Sugar Pines - Calaveras Grover," photograph, ca. 1878, Gilman Collection, Gift of the Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We Are All Dead

don’t mind the dishes in the sink we died before we could clean them the trellis belongs to the ivy now its snaking fingers weaving through the holes we couldn’t stop the orange rust expanding […]

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