Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

My Dead Darlings

“My Dead Darlings” is a creative nonfiction essay that focuses on the author’s personal connection to Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Lisbon sisters from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. The characters are used as conduit through which to explore the experiences of teenage girls. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Landing

As the narrator encounters winter-stranded birds desperate for whatever food they can find, she considers a night in which she witnessed a girl desperate to reunite with her abusive boyfriend, as well as the narrator’s own desperate attachments to an abusive lover. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Time Dilation

This essay recounts a story of mutual discomfort between two teenagers. The speaker considers the events in retrospect in which he realizes the degree to which he made a person, to whom he was romantically interested, uncomfortable. The piece centers on communication breakdown, the failure of a friendship, misapprehension of others, the speaker’s journey to self awareness, and a healthier, yet still evolving, approach to intimacy and rejection. […]

Diaspora & Immigration Series

Are You Borg Now?

Themes of belonging, of isolation, of expressions of identity, and of the nuances between the African American and the African Immigrant experience arise from a conversation between the author and the author’s inner voice. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Searching

A poem about the author’s journey as a bisexual woman struggling with anxiety, told through very minimal Google searches that she (and many other queer people) have made in her life, along with some she hopes to make in the future. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

The World Behind the World

“The World Behind the World” grapples with the restaurant industry’s insularity and examines how that exclusivity embodies wider dynamics of power, race, and class. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Cold Coffee

“Cold Coffee” is a creative nonfiction piece by Helena Ducusin that depicts her experience growing up half-Filipino and half-white in an Americanized household. It describes her interactions with parents, comparisons made to her friends, and the hurtful reactions of strangers that hindered her search for identity as she grew older. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

My Mind, My Choice

This piece is about the author’s ongoing struggle with her decision to not press charges against her rapists. It also includes struggles she had with how her family and friends reacted to her victimhood and coping mechanisms. The author makes a subtle defense for her decision to cope. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Up for Grabs

The author recalls: “An older male friend told me once that if a woman was over 18, “she was up for grabs”.  I thought he was just being facetious: most men have a sense of decorum. An eye-opening incident, may have proved my friend’s point.” […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Social Clues

Sometimes shyness and loneliness go hand in hand. And sometimes loneliness is not so much about being alone, or isolated, but an inability to connect with others on a meaningful level. A feeling too raw and too embarrassing to be expressed except within the protective shell of a hermit crab essay. With thanks to Sara Ryan for her piece, “Body Puzzle,” which offered the perfect shell.level. A feeling too raw and too embarrassing to be expressed except within the protective shell of a hermit crab essay. With thanks to Sara Ryan for her piece, “Body Puzzle,” which offered the perfect shell. […]

Diaspora & Immigration Series

In Pandemic Times, A Migrant’s Notes on Home

This personal essay is about the ever-present feeling, as a migrant, of not belonging to any one place. It explores the author’s long line of migrant ancestors, reflecting on whether the accumulation of their experiences have made her feeling of unrooted-ness run even deeper. At the center of the piece is an exploration of the concept of “home,” what that means for migrants and how that can affect our sense of self. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Encounters with Māya

The short essay Encounters with Māya (Illusion) takes us on a journey through dreams, poems, and sacred texts to reflect on living as a human, awakening to ‘reality’, and staying connected to one another through hardship. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

There’s No Such Thing

The essay considers the experiences of being biracial in the late 1990s through the college application process. It ends with a reflection on the persistence of the idea that society does not allow for a “biracial” or “multiracial” category, and that those of us who are mixed-race must demand it. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

A Poor Puerto Rican Girl’s Bread

“A Poor Puerto Rican Girl’s Bread”, by Mydalis Vera was inspired by the structural social inequalities in the United States of America. Puerto Ricans have long been disenfranchised by policies that have robbed them of their land, ushered them into new concrete jungles, and created infinite ladders in the climb to socioeconomic freedom. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Out

“Like many, I learned a lot in college. I learned that I didn’t like sociology and that it was pretty easy to finish a minor. I learned that I matter and that toxic people aren’t worth my time. And slowly over the course of those years, I learned that I was bi.” […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

The (Questionable) Safety of Home

The summer after her junior year of college, the author lived alone in a house of five, or she thought she did. This essay tells the story of discovering that somebody who did not belong in her house was there without her knowledge, and the lasting effect it has had on her sense of safety in her home. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Leveraging Love as Loyalty

This essay explores a few assumptions and real-world events about what we as children are taught to believe regarding the social concepts of family, fraternity, and fidelity. Formative experiences from the author’s childhood turn the home-spun concepts of familial love, brotherhood, and justice on their heads. After all is said and done however, there is love in the world—genuine love. None of us is perfect, but perhaps the critical period for human decency spans not weeks or months, but a lifetime. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

On Jefferson Street

A meditative piece on a brief encounter witnessed a few years ago on Albuquerque’s Jefferson Street on a winter afternoon: in the daily grind of just trying to get where we need to go – physically, figuratively, spiritually – we are faced with the realities of our circumstances. And when we connect as humans, it is oftentimes done so when we stop to really see each other, to pay witness to the brief, fleeting, often ignored struggles that become our everyday life. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Lesbian Y.A. Novel

“Lesbian Y.A. Novel” is a fragmented coming-to-terms with lesbian identity across hometown, high school, and college. Interspersed with anecdotes about lesbian bars from Artforum’s “Confessions On The Dance Floor: Reveries From The Gay Bar,” this essay contemplates what it means to be a lesbian in any space — warm or cold, closed off or open. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Screwdrivers

This story about LGBTQIA+ yearning and the hardships of navigating one’s boundaries — while also trying to be open to the experience of falling in love — explores how much we give of ourselves in order to get the most minuscule response, and then call that response affection because as LGBTQ+ people, we rarely know what healthy reciprocity is, especially when we’re young and still learning. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Love Me in Arabic

This essay is an attempt to explore the author’s relationship with the Arabic language and love. Although his relationship with his father is the centre of this exploration, this essay remains a love-letter to all of Nofel’s friends and former lovers and an invitation to a different linguistic experience of love. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Yellow Fever

“Yellow Fever” is a coming-of-age piece that explores the fetishization of young Asian and mixed-race women. It describes the frustration of being seen as an exotic prize and not as a woman with complex emotions or as a human having value beyond men’s sexual desires. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Backstrokes

In Backstrokes the author describes a reconnection with a cherished friend and kindred spirit from four decades ago. Their meet-up sparks a series of reflections in which she reassesses the value of usefulness as a lifelong priority. […]

BIPOC Music + Spoken Word Series

Episode 48 – BIPOC Musical Artists Showcase

Listen to our first musical compilation album, entitled Volume 1: Petrichor. The works contained in this volume—from mournful piano compositions, dazzling spoken word, spellbinding vocal layered-songs, to beautiful instrumentals—express the intricacies of being an artist of color in a too-often indifferent world. Artists: San Palo, Whitney & The Saying Goes, Stephanie Henry, Tony Tennyson, whenthecitysleeps, Chromic, Beezy Montaña, Mallika Vie, Annah Sidigu, Eki Shola, Samantha Pearl, and Jinnat. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 47 – The Nasiona’s Earth Day Manifesto

Julián Esteban Torres López lays out The Nasiona’s Earth Day Manifesto: “We are standing on a fault line. We’re at what can become a historic crossroad and turning point, or simply a return to the status quo … a status quo that will only continue to degrade our planet and the vast majority of its inhabitants. Our soil is ready for a new harvest. Our seeds need to be watered.” […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 46 – ‘You Look Like a Terrorist’ & Other Racial Traumas, Part 2

Julián Esteban Torres López speaks with Dr. Parisa Mehran, founder of Women of Color in English Language Teaching. They discuss passport privilege and the barriers for international students. They also speak about obstacles to legal immigration, why POC international students may not finish university, share their own experiences of the impact of being called terrorists, and much more. Musical Guests: Aroe Phoenix & Mallika Vie. […]