Tongue Stuck

“To know a language you need more than grammar and vocabulary; a language gains its life from memories. It is woven from all the voices you ever knew, from the daily noise of the street, from the quiet melodies of the authors you read, from jokes and songs and curses. I did not know this language.”

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Oct 12, 2021
Length: 10 minutes (2,662 words)

Voices on Addiction: A Thief in the Night

Heather Stokes recounts what addiction has taken from her and her mother. To feed crack addictions, her bother and uncle stole not just possessions from the family house, they robbed them of personal safety and any chance at stability.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Feb 16, 2021
Length: 9 minutes (2,303 words)

Seaweed Soup (Miyuk Gook 미역국)

My mother told me seaweed has twenty-one different minerals. She sent me two kinds in a box. I put one in a teacup and added hot water. Sipped the wisdom of her. Used her to make broth. Broth is one step in the recipe.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Mar 10, 2020
Length: 18 minutes (4,639 words)

Within the Scope

The silence that protected one woman from the trauma of her abuser was now the silence she had to free herself from.
Source: The Rumpus
Published: Feb 18, 2020
Length: 13 minutes (3,354 words)

Day Trip

“On Sunday we drive to prison. I have packed snacks for the children. They have charged their phones. We start early, when the roads are empty. I used to cry on this drive. Now I don’t. I don’t seethe anymore, either. And I’ve stopped hoping. Everything that could go wrong already did. No more detours are possible around the scorched landscape of our life. All I can do is witness.”

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Aug 13, 2019
Length: 12 minutes (3,240 words)

Voices On Addiction: They Call It Spirits

As Connie Pertuz-Meza recalls her Papi’s struggles with alcoholism and the toll the shame of his addiction took on her, her sister, and her Mami, she comes to the realization that her sadness does not define her.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Apr 22, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,858 words)

The Attic

“Upon reflection now, I think the attic, to me, represented something of my feminine desire, perhaps contained it, let it incubate, simmer, and grow.”

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Jan 2, 2019
Length: 12 minutes (3,052 words)

Naked in Japan

When one woman visits a Japanese bathhouse, she confronts the way childhood surgery shaped her perceptions of nudity, her beauty, and herself as a woman.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Oct 16, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,342 words)

Passing as Privileged

A personal essay in which Narratively deputy editor Lilly Dancyger writes about dealing with people’s mistaken assumptions about the economics of her upbringing. A high-school dropout who later worked her way through college and graduate school, Dancyger grew up poor — the daughter of a single mother who was a recovering heroin addict. In New York City media circles, people tend to make comments indicating they assume she comes from privilege. Here, Dancyger sets the record straight.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Mar 5, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,639 words)

Rivers of Babylon: The Story of a Third-Trimester Abortion

A bracing essay on late-term abortion, and how American politics have made an impossibly difficult situation even more painful and dangerous for women.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Jan 30, 2018
Length: 27 minutes (6,905 words)