The Ramshackle Garden of Affection

Two poets exchange letters about language, love, and basketball.

Published: May 25, 2020
Length: 27 minutes (6,828 words)

We Will Be Seen

Have you read Tressie McMillan Cottom’s book “Thick” yet? If not, that’s a mistake, but a mistake you can begin to rectify by reading this excellent, wide-ranging interview to understand just how sharp a thinker she is.

Published: Feb 1, 2020
Length: 29 minutes (7,308 words)

Pistol In A Drawer

“The pistol has always been my private affair, a kind of secret lover, more seductive for being clandestine and dangerous. We have this thing, the pistol and I, and I don’t want to betray that.”

Published: Dec 1, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,423 words)

The Cat Years

Christine Marshall considers cats and kittens, the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, and how writing has helped her to express and process her anger, resentment, and grief after a series of miscarriages.

Published: Jan 11, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,962 words)

Cop Diary

“The transformation from citizen to prisoner is terrible to behold, regardless of its justice. Unlike my sister the teacher or my brother the lawyer, I take prisoners, and to exercise that authority is to invoke a profound social trust.”

Published: Aug 30, 2019
Length: 33 minutes (8,419 words)

The Greeter

At age sixteen, the daughter of a wealthy Florida couple with chemical dependencies found herself facing her uncertain future, tangled in a web of trauma, self-harm, sexual objectification, and leaning on her tight relationships with other young women. This essay is part of the author’s forthcoming memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.

Published: Feb 23, 2019
Length: 20 minutes (5,238 words)

The Ghost of a Boy

After two breakups, a single mother starts building a sense of self that’s true to herself and not beholden to other people.

Published: Nov 26, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,112 words)

Some Thoughts On Mercy

The writer, who is black, on how his experience with racism and racial profiling has formed his identity in the U.S.:

“Among the more concrete ramifications of this corruption of the imagination is that when the police suspect a black man or boy of having a gun, he becomes murderable: Murderable despite having earned advanced degrees or bought a cute house or written a couple of books of poetry. Murderable whether he’s an unarmed adult or a child riding a bike in the opposite direction. Murderable in the doorways of our houses. Murderable as we come home from the store. Murderable as we lie facedown on the ground in a subway station. Murderable the day before our weddings. Murderable, probably, in our gardens.”

Author: Ross Gay
Published: Jul 1, 2013
Length: 19 minutes (4,919 words)