Creative Nonfiction

Backyard Eden

What is our responsibility to nature? How do you be true to yourself, your neighbors, your city? What can happen when you turn your brain from consumer toward producer? One man gives it a try and finds more than bargained for in an attempted backyard Eden. […]

Being Latina/o/x Series

Episode 15: Memoir as a Political Act

How can memoir be a political act? When living under oppressive systems, the simple act of standing up and sharing personal stories that go against the mainstream is a political act. Mireya S. Vela and Julián Esteban Torres López meditate on this issue. Vela speaks from the perspective of an author, while Torres López forwards his experience as a publisher. They both explore inequities and injustice and use memoir to challenge, expose, and defiantly try to break down systems of oppression. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Episode 9: Daughterhood

Four daughters lose and find their mothers, engage and disengage with them, learn and unlearn who these women are and who they were before they came along. These daughters, intentionally and unintentionally, look for meaning and identity in the women who gave them birth; because whether we like or barely tolerate them, whether they put us together fragment by careful fragment, or whether they undo us with the tug of an errant string, who they were tells us everything about who we will become. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Ten Dollars

The narrator of “Ten Dollars” goes out for a night of fun and dancing, but instead finds herself in a nightmare situation. Because she tries to defend her feminist principles at a club, she finds herself protecting her friend from physical danger—a danger that is, ironically, gendered in nature. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Love Notes

A woman infuses her scrawled notes and day-to-day jottings with tenderness. Small words on slips of paper capture moments of youthful passion, maternal devotion, and enduring romance—love notes, the unfinished story of a woman’s life. […]

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

Episode 7: Motherhood

Motherhood has often been considered a pinnacle of wisdom and serenity, a sort of joining together of all those parts of ourselves in lesser focus. But in truth, motherhood opens more doors than it closes. It is an endless series of complications and ambiguities that are put into sharper relief by the arrival of a daughter. What emerges from the following four stories is this precise push and pull, pondered through the lens of devotion and loss, of privilege and resentment, of injustice and forgiveness. […]

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. […]

Ep. 2: Mireya S. Vela's Vestiges of Courage
Interviews

Episode 2: Mireya S. Vela’s Vestiges of Courage

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? Mireya S. Vela is that woman. In this long-form interview, we discuss her art, creative nonfiction, social justice, motherhood, womanhood, being marginalized in the United States, and her new book, Vestiges of Courage: Collected Essays, which we, The Nasiona, are happy to be publishing in April of 2019.Vestiges of Courage is a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Raised between two cultures and two languages, Vela discusses how the systems in her family and in society worked to create an abusive environment that felt crushing, confusing, and hopeless. She delineates her experience of living through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This book is much more than a collection of experiences, though. Ms. Vela wants to know how and why abuse thrived in her family. She digs deep to understand why these things happened and how she survived. […]

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. […]

Photograph by Nathan Walker on Unsplash.
Columns

Confronting Our Creative Fears

Our best work as writers often begins as fear and self-doubt. While it feels like failure, it is actually the call to collaborate with our inner creative forces. The challenge is not to avoid these insecurities but to embrace them and by doing so unlock our own potential. […]

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. […]

Blog

The Nasiona Literary Prize Winners

With our literary contests, we look to identify and celebrate some of the best original, unpublished creative nonfiction and nonfiction poetry out there.

_The Nasiona Flash Creative Nonfiction Prize, 2019: Hannah Huff, “Finding Jean Palmer”

_The Nasiona Nonfiction Poetry Prize, 2019: Bunkong Tuon, “A Guide to Parenting” […]

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. […]