The Fallout

Low-level nuclear waste, discarded from the experiments of World War II’s Manhattan Project, was dumped in two locations in the suburbs of St. Louis. Author Lacy M. Johnson chronicles the human costs of America’s nuclear arms race.

Published: Jul 10, 2017
Length: 43 minutes (10,943 words)

Nina Simone in Liberia

Katherina Grace Thomas weaves together a gripping account of the years Nina Simone found freedom from America’s racial strife in lush, pre-Civil War Liberia.

Published: Jun 19, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,003 words)

Notes from the Lower Level

Poet and memoirist Camille T. Dungy writes with captivating, lyrical detail about the incessant news cycle of black deaths, the psychic toll it has taken on her, and how her approach to daily life has been altered.

Published: Jun 16, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,563 words)

Doll in Shadow

Maria Browning reflects on the fact that while Alzheimer’s Disease has stolen her mother’s memory, it has also relieved her of the pain of her past — something that Browning is unable to forget.

Published: Mar 24, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,598 words)

On Impractical Urges

An essay excerpted from Robin Romm’s forthcoming anthology Double Bind: Women on Ambition in which The Twelve Tribes of Hattie novelist Ayana Mathis considers the writing ambitions she often hasn’t felt entitled to–even after Oprah Winfrey chose her book as an Oprah 2.0 pick.

Published: Apr 3, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,562 words)


After nearly thirty years building a life in Arizona, one man of Mexican descent takes refuge in a Phoenix church that’s part of the New Sanctuary Movement, which offers protection to undocumented migrants threatened by deportation. Quitting his job, not seeing his children, limited travel ─ this is what it looks like to live in fear of losing everything.

Published: Mar 6, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,632 words)

The Trash Heap Has Spoken

The power and danger of women who take up space.

Published: Feb 13, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,731 words)

Mother Science

Uterine transplants are frontier science, but they offer hope of possibility for trans women and others seeking parenthood.

Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,316 words)

The Feels of Love

Yes, kids are cruel and adolescence is challenging, but when we equate sexual assault with the standard teasing of adolescence, we normalize rape culture, and that is not normal. Madden’s story of rape and redemption is still too familiar to the many young woman who men routinely victimize. If America is going to progress as a culture, we must talk openly about our sexual traumas, the victimizers who commit these assaults, and remove the victims’ shame. In this essay, Madden does that her for herself, and for us of all, masterfully.

Published: Dec 12, 2016
Length: 24 minutes (6,063 words)

Is Infidelity A Search for Identity? On Coupling: An Inventory

On a friend’s porch, someone has left behind a deer skull, beautifully intact, antlers and all, inside a wood crate set up against the wall. I consider the dead skull, the solid antlers, which won’t age for ages, which won’t die. The hollow sockets where eyes once looked for grass, the empty caves where a nose once bent to dirt. This deer must have lived in the woods behind here, in the fir and madrone, on the hillside taking a bed for its children, laying down in nights cold and rainy like this one. It makes me think about the wild in us all, how it stays tight, how we manage it or don’t, how we are animal in our marrow, our depth, our desire for sex as natural as the instinct to build a home, to shelter, to protect.

Published: Oct 20, 2016
Length: 20 minutes (5,129 words)