How to Name a City

“[Miami] is a profoundly American city – a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth…” —Barack Obama   You waver in the face of the word journey. This could mean more loss, but all the not-belonging has metabolized into longing, so you… More

The Girls We Love

Alaina Symanovich I stretched out on my stomach, burying a pillow beneath my ribcage so my small breasts wouldn’t grind into the mattress. At thirteen, what I lacked in mammary tissue, I made up for in soreness: chafing under my sports bra, wincing beneath the blast of the showerhead, yelping when I bungled catching a… More

God Hates Ventriloquists

Morgan Hughes I will put aside, at least for the moment, the eternal debate, which some might correctly suggest is unwinnable, regarding the existence of God—particularly that much-depicted God with the white beard, the flowing robe; that cloud-dwelling father figure, that great and powerful authority who some might say sounds a little like the Wizard… More

Poetry & Smoke: A Manifesto

Elaine Sexton I am for a poetry that makes nothing happen. I’m for a poetry that is too young to date, but too old to overlook. I’m for a poetry that wants to paint. I was thinking of those huge paintings by Francis Bacon at the Metropolitan last summer. There must have been about fifty… More

Caminito

…the sign on the corner building read, beside which a street light arched like a back and two tangueros strode across the cover of the leather-bound journal that was to be my first purchase in Buenos Aires. “Little road or journey,” it signifies, though the flight to South America is not diminutive. Distance is not… More

The Human Face

Of course, my shrink was two tables over watching me through the whole dinner. Not that he meant to. In fact, he probably was trying to avoid looking at me, as I was him. I did feel a bit like putting on a show, though, so I laughed often and tried to contribute as much… More

CNF Talks to the Feds

I have just begun listening to PodLit, a podcast sponsored by Creative Nonfiction. In Issue #10, editor Lee Gutkind interviews Amy Stolls, NEA Literature Program Officer. Literature is the only NEA discipline to give individual grants. The other individual fellowships—in dance and music, and the performing arts—were cut in 1995 by Congress. Literature remained, according… More