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)

Nugrybauti

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)

Life and Death in West Virginia

“I’m in a haunted place, in my home and in my body.”

Published: Apr 5, 2019
Length: 20 minutes (5,203 words)

Here We Abandon All Destinations

“For a school of drag to have liberated itself from binary rigidity is no small thing. The variety and fluidity here hint at larger trends within the art form, and have implications that reverberate beyond the drag world, too.”

Published: Mar 28, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,267 words)

Raising Really Good Hell for People Who Cannot

The only thing better than an interview with writer, scholar, and Twitter luminary Tressie McMillan Cottom is an interview with McMillan Cottom where the interviewer is Roxane Gay.

Published: Mar 20, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,810 words)

What Remains

As she recalls a trip to Peru, the body of a mummified girl sacrificed for the safety of the Incans over 500 years ago, and the frustrating neurological condition that steals her memory and strength, Jacqueline Alnes mines the topography of female identity and the stereotypes that erode our self image.

Published: Feb 21, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,935 words)

White Witchery

“When I choose, anoint, and burn a candle with my prayers scratched into the wax, when I make my prayers material, I convince myself that I can grab onto a power that will carry me through this life.”

Published: Feb 14, 2019
Length: 14 minutes (3,697 words)

Ballots and Bloodshed: The Militarization of Local Politics in South Africa

With roots in apartheid-era conflict, waves of violence among municipal officials in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s second largest province, threaten the nation’s democracy.

Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,417 words)