A Long Hot Walk to the Mormon Promised Land

In 1997, a sexually-frustrated teenager and 600 of his peers recreated the three-month Mormon trek through the wilderness: “Our caravans’ ‘provisions’ were just the heavy mounds of North Face bags full of acne creams and hair gels and body sprays.”

Published: May 7, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,700 words)

The Great High School Imposter

Artur Samarin was a 19-year-old Ukrainian college student when he visited the U.S. via a summer exchange program and met an American couple willing to adopt him so he could stay indefinitely. There was a catch: Samarin would need to change his name to Asher Potts and enroll in school as a 14-year-old high school student.

Source: GQ
Published: May 1, 2018
Length: 27 minutes (6,788 words)

The Prisoners Who Care for the Dying and Get Another Chance at Life

How some inmates serving life sentences in prison work 10-15 hours a day, seven days a week so that terminally ill fellow prisoners do not have to die alone.

Published: May 16, 2018
Length: 15 minutes (3,841 words)

The Blood Ritual That Lives on YouTube

A controversial cyber-pagan ceremony conjurs issues of self-empowerment, solidarity, and heaven on earth.

Source: Gizmodo
Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,194 words)

Leaving Herland

In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1915 novel Herland, women create a utopia without men and start to reproduce asexually. As the #MeToo Movement gathered steam, this novel led journalist Nora Caplan-Bricker to examine other feminist utopias and the limitations of binary ideology. As Caplan-Bricker puts it, “envisioning a world without sexual harassment—without its many tendrils invading every corner of our lives—is not a simple act of imagination.”

Source: The Point
Published: May 1, 2018
Length: 26 minutes (6,578 words)

Andouni: The Shared and Unshared Songs of Armenian Exile

“I don’t know if it was true or not, but it was part of the story.”

Published: May 11, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,052 words)

Driven to Despair

Doug Schifter waged a one-man campaign to stop Uber from putting his fellow black-car drivers out of business. Then he decided to take his own life.

Published: May 16, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,188 words)

What’s That Smell You’re Reading?

Words are not always what hold book lovers captive: old book smell is real.

Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,326 words)

“Parrot Isn’t Hungry”: On Family, Food, Fasting, and Ramadan

Living many states away from her parents and much of her extended family during the holy month of Ramadan, writer Gulnaz Saiyed remembers the food and flavors of home.

Source: Catapult
Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,864 words)

Why I Still Fast During Ramadan

The poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib on the rituals of his faith that have, for him, fallen away, and those that have endured.

Source: BuzzFeed
Published: May 15, 2018
Length: 8 minutes (2,082 words)