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 […]

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

Passages

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 […]

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. […]