Synecdoche, Illinois

A history of how Peoria became a stand-in for the country surrounding it.

Published: Jul 22, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,000 words)

A World Built on Sand and Oil

“The inexorable proliferation of oil and sand on the global circuits of trade tells us about the shape-shifting ways of production, colonial forms of exploitation, and our reckless wrecking of the global environmental commons.”

Published: Mar 13, 2019
Length: 17 minutes (4,410 words)


Water, water everywhere in the new issue of Lapham’s Quarterly. Read the prelude.

Published: Jun 12, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,119 words)

Reach Out and Touch Faith

On venerating Uncle Vincent and the saints who can never be saints.

Published: Nov 8, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,151 words)

The Weather of the Place

Writer and editor Andrew Mitchell Davenport uses Jean Toomer’s Harlem Renaissance novel Cane to shed light on the ongoing reality of racial terror.

Published: Jul 12, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,616 words)

In Search of Fear

High-wire artist Philippe Petit reflects on a lifetime of fear — its sound, its body language, and how to eliminate the taste of fear from your mouth: “To fear in life is human. And difficult to avoid. And a rude awakening each time. If it seizes you, be proud of your fifteen minutes of fear.”

Published: Jun 13, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,950 words)

How to Cross a Field of Snow

While on a trip hunting for bison on the Canadian tundra, Robert Moor recounts the uncanny horror of the blank, white landscape. It’s a familiar feeling for him, similar to the terror felt by any artist facing the blank white page: “The creative abyss is a snowy field”

Published: Mar 22, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,000 words)

Brontosaurs Whistling in the Dark

Reflections on Angela Merkel’s and Germany’s attitude toward refugees, from a daughter of refugees who themselves fled Germany in the 1930.

Published: Jan 1, 2017
Length: 35 minutes (8,759 words)

By Reason of Insanity

The high-profile murder trial that led to America’s first successful insanity plea: It involved a congressman who shot a man he believed was having an affair with his wife.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: May 22, 2015
Length: 7 minutes (1,850 words)

The Nun’s Story

The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk was a bestselling book about sexual abuse in a convent, and it became one of the great literary frauds of the 19th century.

Published: Apr 17, 2015
Length: 7 minutes (1,760 words)