Outta That Holler

“The rural poverty that created Dolly Parton.”

Source: Slate
Published: Oct 13, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,948 words)

The Weight of a Nickel

At Virginia Quarterly Review, Sarah Smarsh looks at the high price of the American Dream through the lens of her upbringing as a member of a working poor farm family in Kansas.

Source: VQR
Published: Oct 8, 2018
Length: 21 minutes (5,426 words)

Blood Brother

Sarah Smarsh writes about how rich drug companies buy plasma from the poor and working poor — literally feeding their wealth with one of the few renewable resources the poor have to sell — their blood.

Source: VQR
Published: Aug 31, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,883 words)

Dangerous Idiots: How the Liberal Media Elite Failed Working-Class Americans

Trump supporters are not the caricatures journalists depict –- and native Kansan Sarah Smarsh sets out to correct what newsrooms get wrong.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Oct 13, 2016
Length: 15 minutes (3,899 words)

The Case for More Female Cops

Nearly nine out of ten cops are men. Sarah Smarsh discusses the police force’s gender problem and a Wichita woman’s efforts inside the criminal justice system that failed her.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jul 26, 2016
Length: 19 minutes (4,886 words)

The First Person on Mars

“Evghenia Is on Mars” is a plot-rich fantasy Twitter account purportedly run by a female scientist delivering dispatches from Mars in 140-character bursts. In an unlikely but thoroughly wonderful essay, Smarsh uses Evghenia’s story as a jumping-off point to interrogate her own life, and the strange parallels in both their journeys.

Source: Vela Mag
Published: Oct 20, 2015
Length: 20 minutes (5,208 words)

The Shame of Poor Teeth in a Rich World

An essay about growing up poor in America, and the role of teeth as a class signifier.

Source: Aeon
Published: Oct 23, 2014
Length: 14 minutes (3,600 words)

Freedom Mandate

When the religious right co-opts the push to reinvigorate civics education, dubious legislation reveals the most powerful people in public schools: teachers.

Published: Sep 15, 2014
Length: 24 minutes (6,000 words)