Photograph by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

The Notepad

I take pen and paper with me everywhere I go, even on a hike, where I walk and scrawl at the same time. I figure you never know what you might find. Today, a chance encounter with a loquacious tough guy sets up a skirmish of madscapes and loosened memories. […]

Vincent van Gogh, “Shoes,” oil on canvas, 1888, purchase, the Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1992, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Sad Stuff

When her lifelong best friend died suddenly, Taylor Feld found herself severed from her childhood. “Sad Stuff” celebrates that childhood and explores that friendship, before and after death. It’s about how grief transforms, disrupts, and warps. It’s about the levity we find amidst agony. It’s about love outliving. […]

Lovis Corinth, "Death Visits the Strucks," softground etching in black on Japan paper, 1921, National Gallery of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Human and Divine

In “Human and Divine,” human limitations collide with divine expectations as a young pastor-in-training botches the duty to comfort a grieving family and bumbles his way through a dying man’s last moments. […]

Umberto Boccioni, "Head Against the Light (The Artist's Sister)," ink on paper, 1912, bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

Diptych: Origins, Neurodivergence

A shock medical diagnosis. A child’s awareness of her otherness in the neurotypical world. In her two-panel essay, Deborah Elderhorst ponders the gaps that exist between one person’s perceptions and another’s lived experience, even within the closest of familial bonds. This is a mother’s heart-song to her daughter. […]

Photograph by Joel Fulgencio on Unsplash.
Columns

Perspective

Perspective is more than just a specific view of things, it is the parallel lines that spread outward in all directions but are all sourced from a singular experience. Memoir doesn’t just ask for the what, but also the why, even if that why can never be answered. […]

Gustav Klimt, "The Kiss," painting, 1907-1908, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere Museum.
Creative Nonfiction

Wedding Portrait

Centered around the televised royal nuptials between Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, “Wedding Portrait” tells a larger personal story in which racial boundaries are transgressed and questioned. Jennifer Bostwick Owens describes finding the courage to stand up to external censure and sketches a picture of building a life of evolving, ongoing love. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Artwalk, Corkscrew, Armchair

You’re at a friend’s art exhibition. The art walk at full swing, paintings are spilling out of doorways. But you are looking around questioning the festivity, wrestling with the value of all this work, and wondering about your own elusive art career, the course artists take, the meaning of it all. […]

"Rubbing of Apsarases (Dancers)," Cambodia, ink on paper, 20th century, gift of Mr. Jean Laur, Curator of Angkor, 1959, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

About Chains

In a letter to her daughter she put up for adoption, Holly Pelesky muddles through the emotional distance from her own mother who tried to leave her father once. An exploration of the tension between mothers and daughters; a reflection on how the choices we make wedge space between us. […]

Photograph by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Empathy in the Desert

Getting caught in a sandstorm in Death Valley makes for gritty contemplation. The aptly named National Park puzzles the author with its past secrets and possible previews of the future. Did a professional dancer really perform without an audience for decades in this desert? Will tougher conditions for all homo sapiens force more empathy from us? Join Tom Molanphy in this memorable tour of Death Valley National Park. […]

Photograph by Cristian Newman on Unsplash.
Columns

Authenticity in Memoir

What keeps us from being authentic in our writing? Fear, shame, and ego, to name a few reasons, but authenticity can create connection and help readers recognize themselves in even the strangest of stories. To elevate your memoir beyond reminiscing you must bring your most authentic self to the page. […]

Stéphan Valentin photograph on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Swallow

Framed by the four phases of swallowing, “Swallow” is a personal essay about my first drinking experience and its aftermath. It investigates adolescent friendship, explores mother-daughter relationships, and blurs the line between teenage rebellion and addiction. […]

Bruce Christianson, "Underwater Fashion shoot testing with Sophie in a brightly colored flowing dress swirling with reflections on the under-surface of the pool," photograph, Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Miscarriages of Social Justice

Kelly A. Dorgan recounts her two miscarriages, including one that lasts eight months. Gazing at these experiences through the lens of intersectional feminism, however, she gains improved sight. Born out of her failed pregnancies are her new eyes, eyes that better see the twisting shadows of privilege, inequalities, and oppression across the female body. […]

An auto-da-fé of the Spanish Inquisition: the burning of heretics in a market place. Wood engraving by H.D. Linton after Bocourt after T. Robert-Fleury. Wellcome Collection.
Book Excerpts

‘Shver tsu Zayn a Yid’

“Shver tsu Zayn a Yid” follows a young anthropologist discovering his own ethnic identity as a Jew. The process was made difficult—potentially dangerous at times—by ‘background’ anti-Semitism exacerbated by Israeli government abuse of Palestinians, and […]

@wild_away photograph of Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, Kaneohe, O'ahu, Hawai'i, United States, on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Return to Kaimuki

Julia Wright chases a man to another island in the hopes of getting married, but she leaves her two young sons behind. Her mother has cared for Julia’s illegitimate boys for a year when Julia […]

Vincent van Gogh, "Corridor in the Asylum," oil color and essence over black chalk on pink laid ("Ingres") paper, September 1889, Bequest of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1948, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Creative Nonfiction

I Saw It All

Beware of the spiritual journey. You may end up in a place that’s not so comforting. I discovered this hard truth at a meditation retreat in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Vipassana Meditation, the time-honored method […]

Francisco Gonzalez photograph on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Softball

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

Doctores

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 […]