Baking Through a Plague

“On one of her monthly brownie runs, my mom caught her first glimpse of the monster coming our way.”

Author: Alia Volz
Published: Jun 12, 2020
Length: 9 minutes (2,333 words)

You Are The Second Person

“You wondered out loud what writing “multiculturally” actually meant and what kind of black man would write the word “bro” in an email.”

Published: Jun 17, 2020
Length: 17 minutes (4,486 words)

On Travel Writing

Shelter in place has given The Best American Travel Writing series editor a lot of time to think about travel writing’s future, and whether pandemic will move travel writers’ focus closer to home.

Published: May 26, 2020
Length: 8 minutes (2,017 words)

Family Man

“I never knew my uncle. But it’s the absence of inquiry that feels most disquieting.”

Published: Apr 15, 2020
Length: 6 minutes (1,556 words)

Ordinary Insanity

America’s fetishization of reproductive risk is driving mothers mad. Excerpted from Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America
Published: Apr 7, 2020
Length: 16 minutes (4,128 words)

Push Play

“It is now mostly unclear why I thought it was a good idea to bring Dolly Parton’s Greatest Hits to school with me.”

Published: Apr 6, 2020
Length: 7 minutes (1,969 words)

Translation and the Family of Things

In this beautiful and poignant essay, the writer Crystal Hana Kim considers how translating her grandmother’s poems from Korean to English helped her appreciate the imprecision of language not as barrier to be transversed, but as an opportunity for new connection between herself, her mother, and her grandmother.

Published: Oct 29, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,202 words)

After the Storm

As Mary Heglar remembers Hurricane Katrina — which hit the day after the 50th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till — she considers how racism and climate change are inextricably linked.

Published: Oct 22, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,400 words)

Blood Oranges

“The pain was incandescent: a sticky, piercing heat that felt a knife’s edge from ecstasy; it sent spasm after spasm through my limbs as I clung to the hospital sheets, straining toward the ceiling, yearning for the sky beyond it. I was half-gone, floating up to the cosmos, desperate for the frigid vastness of space, for my body to shatter into pieces and just float undisturbed, finally, finally. Back on earth, I was tethered, spread, split decisively open. My daughter slid from me, indignant, slick and firm as a plum, and stopped wailing as soon as they nestled her on my chest.”

Published: Jul 24, 2019
Length: 12 minutes (3,218 words)


Getting lost while picking mushrooms in Lithuania is so common that it has its own word. The word also applies to stories that diverge into tangents, like the author’s father’s about the Vietnam War.

Author: Joel Mowdy
Published: Apr 24, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,170 words)