My Fathers and Hip-Hop Taught Me About Self-Care as A Black Man

“Embracing mortality, in this sense, is to prepare a way for my future children. If this cancer is hereditary, is it not also my responsibility to do everything within my humanly power to ensure, my children nor I, have to suffer?”

Source: Catapult
Published: Oct 9, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,093 words)

Why We Cross the Border in El Paso

A personal essay in which Mexican-American writer Victoria Blanco reflects on change over the years at the border between El Paso, Texas, and Cuidad, Juárez, as immigration patrolling has become increasingly restrictive, and how the Rio Grande, which lies between the two towns, has begun drying up as a result of climate change.

Source: Catapult
Published: Aug 30, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,856 words)

ハーフ (Hafu): On the Fetishization and Mistranslation of a Biracial Identity

In the last installment of her column, Mistranslate, writer Nina Coomes unpacks the origins and use of the term, ハーフ, or hafu — meaning half, in English — and considers how bicultural identity in Japan is both otherized and fetishized.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jul 16, 2018
Length: 10 minutes (2,624 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)

Missing Hope: A Trio of Miscarriages, and What Happened After

“I have been afraid most days of my life, which is what anxiety is, and the months of this pregnancy have been the most anxious of my life.”

Source: Catapult
Published: May 8, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,613 words)

Talent Isn’t Enough When You’re a Fat Ballerina

“What does it mean when your body is your art? Can a thicker brush not make just as beautiful strokes?”

Source: Catapult
Published: May 3, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,450 words)

Children of ‘The Cloud’ and Major Tom: Growing Up in the ’80s Under the German Sky

On the 70-year-long presence of American air bases in Germany, and how it has shaped the memory and sense of place of several generations of Germans.

Source: Catapult
Published: Apr 4, 2018
Length: 14 minutes (3,587 words)

The Space Between Us and the Ground Below Us, or: Why I Traveled to Japan

Gaijin find traveling in Japan both daunting and welcoming. Try traveling there black and gay, and yet, for some people, it’s America that feels more foreign.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jan 3, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,353 words)

My Editor Was Black

Debut author Naima Coster writes about her experience working with African American editor Morgan Parker on her first novel, Halsey Street, and also touches on the whiteness of publishing, and literary self-determination.

Source: Catapult
Published: Dec 11, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,359 words)

Why My Family Takes a Thanksgiving Vow of Silence

A personal essay in which Nina Coomes recalls her family’s tradition of extreme unplugging — no reading, talking, using digital devices — while taking silent retreats at a Catholic seminary each Thanksgiving.

Source: Catapult
Published: Nov 22, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,533 words)