Creative Nonfiction

Featured image for “A Run Home”

A Run Home
by Jennifer VanIwarden

It is important that you know that I am a very sensitive person. So much so I have worked really hard to not be. I have found it too difficult to feel all the world’s problems on top of my own. I have worked to build walls so as not to feel it all. Read more.

Featured image for “Oubliette”

by David Kennedy

New York City had never seen such dreadful weather. The rain poured on Sunday with such ferocity as to relieve wavering worshippers from attending services, for it suggested that the heavenly deity would rather that they stay at home. No sooner had night fallen, however, than a bitter cold set in, first freezing the remnants of the day’s precipitation upon the streets, then turning the rain into heavy snow. Read more.

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Carry On Baggage
by Erin Conway

The flight wasn’t long from Guatemala City to Dallas, two hours. It wasn’t long from Texas to Wisconsin either, two and a half hours more. Finding something to do for that timespan was nothing compared to the twenty-four plus hours it took to visit my brother and his family in Tel Aviv. Read more.

Featured image for “Climbing in Vain”

Climbing in Vain
by Stuart Baker Hawk

I was sitting in a poolside chair nursing some mixed concoction at Bally’s Las Vegas. Two days earlier, I stood atop Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Route, the same route first climbed by John Muir in 1873.
I had several more peaks to grab on my list. Denali in Alaska at 20,237 feet was next up, the highest peak in all fifty states. Read more.

Featured image for “The Man Can Dance”

The Man Can Dance
by Alyssa Katz

My father, George Katz, was drafted into the U.S. military in 1942. Life in the military began in Roosevelt Field, Long Island, where he received a physical examination. The exam revealed flat feet and a high IQ. Owing to the high IQ, he was not sent overseas for combat. Rather, he stayed on the mainland in the U.S. Army Air Corps (today the Air Force) working on airplanes. Read more.

Featured image for “Why We Should Synchronize With the Sea”

Why We Should Synchronize With the Sea
by Michael McQuillan

We can delve into pictures as we would with a text. This one shares insights. To find them I shed sneakers, drag toes through moist sand and breathe deeply. Eyes face the horizon. On a weekday there is no one else here. I drink in the air, sights and sounds, a healing balm for the chaos of our so-called civilized world. Read more.

Featured image for “Misfits of the Animal Kingdom: Butterflies”

Misfits of the Animal Kingdom: Butterflies
by Susan Abercrombie

Forewing: I acquired a fear of butterflies the same way I acquired a favoritism of the color blue. One day, I simply decided. I’d cringe when they flew near, drawing my arms close to my chest to reduce their chance of using me as a landing pad. I’d stare at pictures of them on Google, examining their paper-thin wings and furry faces. Read more.

Featured image for “The Sphinx”

The Sphinx
by David Kennedy

Paris could rightfully be said to be home to the diplomatic arts, but not all lay fully within its ken. Not every secret is pried open when men conduct their affairs with threats, intimidation, and hints of violence; for the more delicate questions of international intrigue, a softer touch is required. Read more.

Featured image for “The Lost Room and Everyday Objects”

The Lost Room and Everyday Objects
by Debbie Robson

Now that I have finished watching The Lost Room mini-series on catchup tv (actually catching up with a show first screened in 2006), I have a new respect for objects. You know, they are not as simple as they appear to be. They sit quietly minding their own business. But in an indefinable way, they do have lives of their own — as I will try to demonstrate. Read more.

Featured image for “His Crystallized Fingernails”

His Crystallized Fingernails
by Scott Vander Ploeg

Forced by family duty, cousin Greg and I sat with an older couple, from the good ole’ USA, in a music hall on the Champs Élyéese. I was taking a break from graduate school and imposing on my kin. My Greg-kin was working and living in Paris. Read more.

Featured image for “On A Dime”

On A Dime
by Melissa McKay

As my husband and I sped along the interstate, trying to keep up with the police car leading the way, I thought, This is some other family’s story, not ours. How the hell did we get here? We thought home was the one place we could relax and let our guard down. We thought wrong. Read more.

Featured image for “2020 Was the Year”

2020 Was the Year
by Joanne Jagoda

2020 was the year we will always remember but not with photos or mementos. It will be forever marked by pages left blank in photo albums and online collections which used to chronicle our most important life cycle events and the mundane ones as well. Read more.

Featured image for “Privilege on Parade”

Privilege on Parade
by Courtney Elizabeth Young

When my alarm sounds at 5:30 a.m., I am already awake. I lie staring at the ceiling, reaching over to pop the snooze button into silence. I have one hour to go running, then shower before you get here, before Liz wakes up and comes with us to the next round of appointments at the hospital. Read more.

Featured image for “The Fog”

The Fog
by Wayne Bizer

I couldn’t see. The night fog was thick, and I was driving too fast. My guts screamed at me to stop, but I was more frightened of slowing down, knowing that somewhere behind me they were racing to catch us.
I searched for the edge of the road, the line in the middle, anything that would keep me from going off into the dark forest. Read more.

Featured image for “What Inspired My Social Justice Journey”

What Inspired My Social Justice Journey
by Michael McQuillan

“I want them to see this,” Mom cries, her body booming through as she hits Dad with a lamp. He, no angel, drags her by the hair from the car where I coil arms around my sister at another violent time. These episodes ignite lifelong trauma. I am now sixty-eight. Read more.

Featured image for “What Sarah Said”

What Sarah Said
by Rachel Andrews

As a child, I was strange. I put myself to bed early, drank from coffee mugs instead of bottles, and avoided eye contact at all costs. I hardly played with toys—or other kids for that matter—and spent hours in my room, staring at the wall. I counted my steps in increments of eight. I created sentences out of license plate letters. Read more.

Featured image for “Glass Houses”

Glass Houses
by Carol Ann Wilson

I first saw Hong Kong from the air, late into the night. It was February 6, 1997. As our plane descended into the vast constellation of varicolored lights, it seemed as if we were landing in a box of sparkling jewels, layers and layers of them. The contrast of dark night and myriad lights further heightened my sense of adventure, adding to the city’s already bold allure. Read more.

Featured image for “Baptism”

by Joanna Grisham

Instead of confessing my sins at church, I found salvation in my bedroom. Like my father, I wasn’t a fan of altar calls or public confessions, though some kids reveled in the extra attention they got from adults when they participated in the praise and worship service. I felt like an imposter, and the attention made me uneasy. I felt closer to God when I was away from everyone else, alone in the woods or in my tree house. Read more.

Featured image for “Full”

by Natalie Kim

The way that this forty-something-year-old blonde wearing turquoise cat-eye glasses thwapped my stomach – you’d think she was picking out watermelon. Her pinkish, Anglo-Saxon phalanges bounced off of my ballooned belly. I lay atop the medical exam table, under the singe of fluorescent lights, thinking about the belly I wanted back, the belly I had only a few hours before. A belly that melted into the interstices of my ribcage. Read more.

Featured image for “Carmen and the Boys”

Carmen and the Boys
by Andrew Sarewitz

If you walk the West End on Commercial Street in Provincetown, inevitably you’ll pass Joe’s Coffee and Café. Early morning, there’s a line out the side door for takeout and inside, the structure that had originally been designed as a bank, has seating throughout. Outside, in front, are a number of wrought iron tables painted wet-black, some under blue umbrellas for shade. Read more.

Featured image for “Hadaka No Tsukiai: A Natural Communion”

Hadaka No Tsukiai: A Natural Communion
by Robin Lash

While I stared in awe at a huge spider sitting atop a thick, ropy, sparkling cobweb, light filtering down through Meiji Jingu’s forested path, Annie, back in our rented apartment, was fuming, wondering where the hell I was.
My sister and I had chosen to travel to Japan for ten days, neither of us knowing the language. Read more.

Featured image for “Charting the Distance”

Charting the Distance
by Matthew King

In the dead of winter I deliver my child to a residential treatment center for substance use. It’s over three hours from home, through a winding mountain pass. J is fourteen. I adopted him when he was eleven. Before this, our longest separation was a four-night summer camp stint but even then, he called each evening. Here, he cannot call for one week. I cannot visit for ten days. Read more.

Featured image for “Small Town Story: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you”

Small Town Story: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you
by Meaghan Katrak

They say the good thing about small towns is everybody knows you. They say the bad thing about small towns is everybody knows you. You’ve felt the weight of both of these truths in your life, in your small town. It’s true, however, that as a very young Mum there was a certain protection, a certain safety in being known, of your family being known. Of being ‘someone’ in this place. Read more.

Featured image for “I Told My Lover to Sleep With His Ex”

I Told My Lover to Sleep With His Ex
by Mary Maresca

Our first in-the-flesh meeting literally blew that chemistry test to smithereens.
Parading online dating sites since my husband’s separation was a fascinating hobby of hope, which I entertained sporadically. This cyberspace, relationship, and reality series rarely seemed to meet my expectations. Having endured my fair share of disappointments, I was seeking a hibernation of sorts. Read more.