Creative Nonfiction

Made of Mirrors

“Made of Mirrors” is the memoir of a young girl and her body. After years of dancing in a room made of mirrors, countless lessons on the theology of modesty, and the birth of her niece, she unlearns and relearns that her body is worth loving. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Sandal

“The Sandal” begins with the discovery of a wounded cat stranded in the middle of a dark road. The narrator’s feelings of helplessness trigger a memory of witnessing child abuse on a city street and feeling similarly incapable of intervening. This story explores the tension between gendered powerlessness and agency. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Obituary

“Obituary“ is the story of a woman learning a pastor she once admired died several months ago. As she reads various eulogies in parish newsletters, her inner eye presents her with flashbacks to times when she was close to him, revealing the true nature of their relationship. […]

Creative Nonfiction

A Lack of Serendipity

Part memoir and part computer science lecture, this essay explores how what we think of as inconsequential and what we think of as meaningful interact in a range of experiences, from looking for new music recommendations on Spotify to making sense of a romantic relationship. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Parting Gift

A childhood best friend, Jesus Freaks, and a dead mother play roles in this story of breached friendship and the pain that mutability and misguided righteousness can bring to a relationship. […]

Creative Nonfiction

On Addiction

On Addiction is a snapshot of alcoholism from a child’s perspective. It explores the duality of addiction and the duality of loving someone who is an addict. It is also, and perhaps most importantly, a statement of what it feels like to endure abuse from the person whose role it is to care for you. […]

Odilon Redon, "Is There Not an Invisible World?" lithograph with chine appliqué, 1887, The Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan.
Creative Nonfiction

Anything but That

“Anything but That” begins with an uncomfortable incident caused by her husband’s early dementia. She reminds us that things are not always what they seem. When he forgets her son’s birth story, Paris retells it so that we will know how Courage sets the table for Love. […]

Photograph by Tony Hernandez on Unsplash.
Creative Nonfiction

Filling in Dark Tunnels

An exploration of the concept and effect of death from a perspective of a girl who, in spite of having grown up in Mexico, had to censor any confrontations with the end of life—her own and her family’s. At the same time, it is a celebration of death within our lives. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Provincial Gods

Deep inside an ancient ruin, writes E. J. Myers, “I came face to face with a deity, and the meeting did not go well.” What does it mean to confront a lost culture’s image of divinity? And in that confrontation, what is the source of the resulting mysterium tremendum? […]

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. […]