Meeting My Third Family

An only child — and the daughter of two only children who died young — Margot Livesey grew up knowing none of her other relatives and adopting a nearby family as her own. Recently, though, DNA testing led her to take a trip to Australia, where she met relatives from her mother’s side, and learned a secret about her maternal grandmother’s parentage. In this moving personal essay, she muses about the differences between adopted family and those to whom we are connected by blood, and finding fragments of ourselves in those who share our genes.

Source: Catapult
Published: Oct 8, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,840 words)

I Went to Wyoming to Get My MFA and It Gave My Life Back to Me

Her tech job gave her security and stability, but she craved the creativity, stimulation, and literary connection that would make her whole.

Source: Catapult
Published: Aug 22, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,690 words)

On Eve’s Temptation and the Monsters We Make of Hungry Women

In this first piece in a series about women in the Bible and social constructions of feminine power, Nina Li Coomes examines the story of the Garden of Eden: “I first began to think of Eve as a woman punished for hunger in college. At the time, I was a recovering Atheist relapsing into her own disordered eating patterns. One evening, I struck upon this epiphany while staring intensely through the crosshatch glass of my apartment’s oven, willing the verdant kabocha squash (lower calorie count than sweet potatoes) I’d placed there to roast faster.”

Source: Catapult
Published: Jul 15, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,725 words)

The Summer I Became a Thief

When Sari Botton wasn’t receiving what she needed from her divorced parents, she took things into her own hands. She took coins from her annoying stepbrother’s money jar.

Source: Catapult
Published: Apr 30, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,740 words)

Turning Our Garden’s Bounty Into Community

In this moving installment of her Catapult column Backyard Politics, Christine H. Lee discovers equilibrium in sharing her farm’s bounty and in the beauty of simple, impromptu barter arrangements.

Source: Catapult
Published: Mar 5, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,451 words)

What Is Common, What Is Rare: Why Extraordinary Events Cannot Eclipse Everyday Racism

In this braided personal essay, Patrice Gropo compellingly draws together narrative threads about the solar eclipse in August, 2017, and how it, in ways eclipsed the white nationalist march on Charlottesville 10 days before; and the way in which a white writer effectively eclipsed her by publishing plagiarized portions of an essay she’d read at aloud at a conference.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,799 words)

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)