‘The Fatal Conscience’: Julia de Burgos, Puerto Rico’s Greatest Poet

Molly Crabapple retraces the life of the great twentieth century Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos amid the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Published: Apr 26, 2018
Length: 24 minutes (6,141 words)

‘Being Charlie’

“If sex had a defining feature in the 1990s, it was ubiquity.” Laura Marsh unravels the two-decade fallout of the way sex was perceived, reported on, and delighted in during the 90s, an era when pornstars, Sex and the City, Monica Lewinsky, Harvey Weinstein, dominated the news.

Published: Apr 1, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,400 words)

The Death and Life of a Great American Building

The historic buildings around New York’s Union Square are not protected by landmark status, and the rise of the city’s tech industry now threatens them.

Published: Mar 7, 2018
Length: 27 minutes (6,796 words)

God’s Own Music

A look at the English choral tradition, a form of music that has spread more widely that you’d imagine.

Published: Feb 22, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,013 words)

To Be, or Not to Be

A personal essay in which Russian emigre Masha Gessen ruminates on the culture’s tendency to privilege those who’ve suffered for a lack of choice — in becoming refugees, in picking their gender — and the choices (her own, and those of her parents and ancestors) that have impacted her life.

Published: Jan 29, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,037 words)

Portrait of the Artist as a Single Mom

In this personal essay, created with support from the non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Stephanie Land chronicles her struggle to support herself and her two daughters while attending college and trying to make a living as a writer.

Published: Dec 29, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,085 words)

The Afterlife of a Memoir

Novelist Aminatta Forna writes about the lingering effects, fourteen years later, of having written a memoir, The Devil That Danced on the Water, about the political hanging of her father in Sierra Leone.

Published: Nov 13, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,371 words)

A Presumption of Guilt

Bryan Stevenson examines the connection between the modern day death penalty and lynchings of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Published: Jul 13, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,467 words)

Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City’s Housing Crisis

Despite having the most progressive housing laws in the country, New York City is in the throes of a humanitarian emergency: a large-scale “displacement of populations” from their homes.

Published: Aug 17, 2017
Length: 34 minutes (8,669 words)

A Voice for the Voiceless

Poet Charles Simic celebrates the late Philip Levine, a working class writer from Jewish Detroit who spoke for the middle class and saw the extraordinary in ordinary life. It’s refreshing to talk about poetry instead of Trump sometimes.
Published: Jun 22, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,345 words)