Creative Nonfiction

Into Eros

Drawing on her experience of intimate partner abuse at 15, Zoë Brigley considers the possibility of sex after rape. Anne Carson’s assertion that Eros is “the biggest risk of your life” takes on a new meaning within legacies of trauma, and on a quest to rediscover desire and healing. […]

Being Latina/o/x Series

Episode 23: Traces of Home

Filmmaker Colette Ghunim on her first feature-length documentary: “Traces of Home tells the story of what happens when we as first-generation Americans go back to our roots to find out how where we come from shapes our identity. Through Traces of Home, I am telling my own personal story. I’m half Mexican and half Palestinian and both my parents were forced to leave their homes as children, and they both never returned since then. So through my film, we’re going back to Mexico and Palestine to try to find the original houses and to talk about why people are leaving and immigrating and why refugees are leaving as well, during a time when we need to hear it the most.” […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Shulamite Woman

“The Shulamite Woman” places the author’s personal experience growing up as a woman in a fundamentalist evangelical non-denominal Protestant church that enforced purity culture, and the lasting psychological and emotional trauma it caused, in juxtaposition with an alternative reading of the biblical book Song of Solomon. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Barbs on a Wire

The first time we three are together and Dad says, “Hey, Hon”, both our heads turn to him expectantly. Of course, he means her. I blush, embarrassed by the demotion. Confronting and exposing childhood sexual abuse—like walking a barbed wire. […]

Creative Nonfiction

800,000 Clenched Cervixes

Childbirth is often heralded as one of the most amazing and profound experiences a woman can have. But what happens when the birthing mother has been sexually abused? Lan Tran shares her experiences, shadowed by trauma, of birthing naturally and via C-section. […]

Creative Nonfiction

The Tree is a Body

Disassociation. Panic. Looking back and freezing. Moving between nude art modeling, trauma, and becoming a tree. How do we ignore the way our body hurts when we don’t move it? How do we let other people look at our bodies? […]

Creative Nonfiction

On Suffering

The girl sweeping cedar chip insulation in the bitter cold of winter becomes a teenage girl drowning in the heavy metal that seeps through the wall between her room and her brother’s. While drunk at a house party, this malcontent teen confronts the man who stole her innocence. We leave the girl pondering her fate spelled out in a fortune-teller’s tarot cards. Will she alter her doomed journey? […]

Creative Nonfiction

in which a woman closes, then opens, a door

The piece considers the aftermath of trauma in the context of a woman revisiting her childhood. It weaves together personal narrative with a meditation on temporal displacement in La Jetée (1962), to consider how trauma creates temporal vertigo – and ties us to the past whilst simultaneously alienating us from it. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Firsts

This piece explores the stereotypical “firsts” we romanticize—first kiss, first date, first time having sex—and how those firsts are distorted by the violence and threat of violence prevalent in rape culture. Rape culture then introduces young people, and especially young women, to new, terrifying firsts. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Hymns to the Lares

An adoptee returns to Brooklyn, to the setting of her father’s stories and her adoption, and tries to find identity and truth in worlds that exist only in her father’s memories, and in files she is not allowed to see.   […]

Creative Nonfiction

I Fear Men Like I Fear My Billy Goat

My mom and I stood alongside the fence line and watched my billy goat chase his mother around and around the pen, trying to mount her. “See that Cleo?” Mom tried to educate me. “That’s what men are like. All they want is sex.” I listened, but I would have to learn for myself. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Therapy Baby

This is a work of nonfiction about the relationship between a mother and daughter, both coping with aging and revealing secrets to one another. Some scenes delve into humanitarian efforts in prisons and assisted living, as well as other career paths. The subtext reveals the deeper pursuit of women’s rights. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Episode 9: Daughterhood

Four daughters lose and find their mothers, engage and disengage with them, learn and unlearn who these women are and who they were before they came along. These daughters, intentionally and unintentionally, look for meaning and identity in the women who gave them birth; because whether we like or barely tolerate them, whether they put us together fragment by careful fragment, or whether they undo us with the tug of an errant string, who they were tells us everything about who we will become. […]

Creative Nonfiction

Ten Dollars

The narrator of “Ten Dollars” goes out for a night of fun and dancing, but instead finds herself in a nightmare situation. Because she tries to defend her feminist principles at a club, she finds herself protecting her friend from physical danger—a danger that is, ironically, gendered in nature. […]

Creative Nonfiction

A Too Personal Retelling of the Modern Romance

May Bennet approaches a sadly familiar story (the aftermath of assault) nontraditionally to discuss how past traumas link and entangle, further complicating one’s life long after the events have transpired. This essay emphasizes how a history of trauma affects new relationships and how one might regain autonomy in the aftermath of abuse. […]

Creative Nonfiction

A Guide to Not Comparing Stalkers

A woman catches herself minimizing a dangerous situation in her past by measuring it against what happened to her friend. Giving herself permission to remember unlocks once-forgotten details and allows her to honor her friend’s bravery—and her own. […]