Being Mixed-Race Series

Breathing Lessons

After a racialized exchange with a doctor at a walk-in clinic, the narrator of “Breathing Lessons” examines the way she has been perceived as a mixed-race person; one constantly barraged with the question of, “What are you?” False binaries are explored in this deeply personal meditation. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Shulamite Woman

“The Shulamite Woman” places the author’s personal experience growing up as a woman in a fundamentalist evangelical non-denominal Protestant church that enforced purity culture, and the lasting psychological and emotional trauma it caused, in juxtaposition with an alternative reading of the biblical book Song of Solomon. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Barbs on a Wire

The first time we three are together and Dad says, “Hey, Hon”, both our heads turn to him expectantly. Of course, he means her. I blush, embarrassed by the demotion. Confronting and exposing childhood sexual abuse—like walking a barbed wire. […]

Creative Nonfiction

800,000 Clenched Cervixes

Childbirth is often heralded as one of the most amazing and profound experiences a woman can have. But what happens when the birthing mother has been sexually abused? Lan Tran shares her experiences, shadowed by trauma, of birthing naturally and via C-section. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Tree is a Body

Disassociation. Panic. Looking back and freezing. Moving between nude art modeling, trauma, and becoming a tree. How do we ignore the way our body hurts when we don’t move it? How do we let other people look at our bodies? […]

Creative Nonfiction

On Suffering

The girl sweeping cedar chip insulation in the bitter cold of winter becomes a teenage girl drowning in the heavy metal that seeps through the wall between her room and her brother’s. While drunk at a house party, this malcontent teen confronts the man who stole her innocence. We leave the girl pondering her fate spelled out in a fortune-teller’s tarot cards. Will she alter her doomed journey? […]

Creative Nonfiction

in which a woman closes, then opens, a door

The piece considers the aftermath of trauma in the context of a woman revisiting her childhood. It weaves together personal narrative with a meditation on temporal displacement in La Jetée (1962), to consider how trauma creates temporal vertigo – and ties us to the past whilst simultaneously alienating us from it. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

When Jesus Meant More Than Me

A story of a young dyke in the early 1970s, in Tampa, FL, whose mother’s religious beliefs have led to her being disowned. Making a life and new family for herself, the protagonist desperately tries to live with the monumental loss and the events endured over her sexuality. Her efforts to find peace are overshadowed with her own debilitating issues with alcoholism, drugs and mental health. Issues, resulting from a childhood lost to her mother’s madness and religiosity. The story focuses on a particular night at the local gay bar when said mother arrives unannounced and demands an audience with her child, in a last-ditch effort to save her soul. A furious, yet heartbreaking. exchange, grown from all that’s been done, occurs in the bar’s parking lot. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Flood

Remembering the pakhlava her Armenian medzmama used to make, a granddaughter ponders the miracle of this bit of ancestral wisdom dipped in syrup enduring her own family flood. Pluck, a certain string of nucleic acid bases and the myth of Noah’s Ark collide in this stitched-together story of survival. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Crush

Jenny Ferguson discusses what it means to crush as a demi-sexual adult, and takes readers with her to a black-tie wedding in Malibu, CA, days before wildfires burned 96,949 acres. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Origin Story

“Origin Story” is a short memoir that spans from my birth in Iran to my present day living in Spain, focusing on key moments that shaped my understanding of my own status as an immigrant. My story is an evolution; from victimization and self-hatred, to fighting angrily and finally to acceptance. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Firsts

This piece explores the stereotypical “firsts” we romanticize—first kiss, first date, first time having sex—and how those firsts are distorted by the violence and threat of violence prevalent in rape culture. Rape culture then introduces young people, and especially young women, to new, terrifying firsts. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Space In Between

Food is tied to cultural identity, both of the land I left behind and of the land I found. I am outside the love of pumpkin pie, a common Canadian dessert, and I am outside the love of durian, a common Vietnamese delicacy. I exist in the space in between these two cultures as no amount of food, no matter its origins, may fulfill the ache deep within, the ache of otherness. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Hymns to the Lares

An adoptee returns to Brooklyn, to the setting of her father’s stories and her adoption, and tries to find identity and truth in worlds that exist only in her father’s memories, and in files she is not allowed to see.   […]

Creative Nonfiction

I Fear Men Like I Fear My Billy Goat

My mom and I stood alongside the fence line and watched my billy goat chase his mother around and around the pen, trying to mount her. “See that Cleo?” Mom tried to educate me. “That’s what men are like. All they want is sex.” I listened, but I would have to learn for myself. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Relics

We enshrine our relics in museums and churches or keep them safe in our homes, where the sight or touch of them brings back memories and associations. But how much does the authenticity of a relic matter? What if they have no real connection to what or who we remember? […]

Creative Nonfiction

Therapy Baby

This is a work of nonfiction about the relationship between a mother and daughter, both coping with aging and revealing secrets to one another. Some scenes delve into humanitarian efforts in prisons and assisted living, as well as other career paths. The subtext reveals the deeper pursuit of women’s rights. […]