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Practicing Care In A Broken World

In June 2024 Issue by Zach Wyner

I was upstairs in the bedroom/office having just begun a writing coaching session with my last online student of the day when I heard the doorbell ring. My son’s feet met the floor with a thud and pounded their way from the living room couch to the front door…

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The Age of Ageism

In June 2024 Issue by Amy Claire Massingale

I despise “isms” — racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. There are too many to count, unfortunately. I have never understood them, have never understood bigotry. But the one I guess that confuses and confounds me the most is ageism because it is the only one that touches us all — everyone ages.

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Where Is Paul Bunyan?

In May 2024 Issue by Christian David Loeffler

I stared at a room full of strangers, students, when my heart most recently shattered. The scattering of its pieces on the classroom floor can be attributed to the following four words: “Who is Paul Bunyan?”

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Life and Death on Cemetery Hill

In April 2024 Issue by Kirk Astroth

Alone, but not alone. Perched atop an exposed, wind-blown ridge in the Sonoran Desert a few miles north of the Mexican border in Arizona, the graveyard resembles a sepia tone image from the 1930s—slate gray sky, brown land.

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Tipping Points in Fiction

In March 2024 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

Ever since the publication in 2000 of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point – about tipping points in the world of business – the term has been used increasingly in a variety of settings. Sociologists speak of tipping points when a community has so many minority members that white flight begins. Climate experts speak of tipping points when climate change becomes irreversible. Physicians write of tipping points in determining when a disease becomes an epidemic. What I haven’t found yet is a full-length book on the issue of tipping points in fiction, a discussion which is sorely lacking, for tipping points are an essential element in any work of fiction.

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How to Write a Work of Magic Realism

In January 2024 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

As a preliminary matter, let me state that I do not believe in “rules” for writing fiction and certainly not for writing works of magic realism. The following essay will provide guidelines and nothing more. I will be describing what I have learned by writing short stories using magic realism and hopefully give you some ideas as to how to do the same.

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1600 Scientists: A Jeremiad

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Glenn Schiffman

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE LAST DECADE OF THE 20TH CENTURY, 1600 scientists, including 100 Nobel Laureates, signed a “letter to humanity” which concluded, “We the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.”

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Economy As Intimacy

In Essay Issue 11 by Eric Peter

During a previous artistic project of mine, I explored various one-person endeavours into positive change through dialogue against the backdrop of worldwide geopolitical issues. We would engage in a range of topics—from gender equality to environmental awareness—all with a focus on “the small-scale” and with forward-looking attitude. But afterwards, I was left thinking ideas/opinions on economics or finances were left unspoken.

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See Table 1

In Essay Issue 11 by Chris Espenshade

It is argued that it is time to classify the compulsive need to hoard military-grade weapons and ammunition as a mental health issue that would preclude the said hoarding (see Table 1).

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Kampuchea

In Essay Issue Nine by Tristan Durst

January in South Korea, without enough snow to close schools but just enough icy pavement to make walking treacherous, broke my spirit. For three weeks, the sun never cracked through the grey cement of the sky. I visited a tanning salon adjacent to the U.S. Army base in the hope that some vitamin D might break my foul mood. My co-worker Katie, from Wales, handled the frigid dishwater sky better …

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How to Be a Writer

In Essay Issue Nine by Anna Doran

If you want to be a writer, distinguish yourself as the last child in your first grade class to read. As a kid, you must reject every printed word that your parents dangle in front of your face and shrug your shoulders in response. Your parents will worry, and they’ll question whether your inability to read is related to your hearing loss.

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The Greatest Scientist of a Generation

In Essay Issue Eight by Scott Wilson

“The Greatest Scientist of of a Generation” is Scott Wilson’s satirical take on what is the serious problem, CCD, or colony collapse disorder. Scientists couldn’t agree on the source of honeybee deaths, a real problem because honeybees are the pollinators of fruits like blueberries, vegetables like broccoli, and nuts like almonds. Scientists, corporations, and the INTERNET are tagged here.

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And

In Essay Issue Eight by Sophia DuRose

Sophia DuRose says it loud and clear in her essay “And.” She refuses to be labeled, having learned a lesson of discrimination against her Jewish faith when she was a teenager. Rather than taking the opinions of others at face value, she writes that we must “create our own opinions of worthiness and self-assurance.” Taking a line from Maya Angelou as her axiom, Sophia DuRose will, “like the air,” rise.

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Why I Am a Writer

In Essay Issue Eight by Maya Roe

It’s a summer afternoon and Maya Roe can’t write. The “overdramatic and rambling” prose hitting the page isn’t working. So, she goes out intentionally looking and seeing and feeling. Nature is not symbolism or metaphor. It just is. Stream and Forest. Bees and Moss. Cattails and Blueberry trees. All of this an “inexplicable world” to love.

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Motherhood, Ambition

In Essay Issue Seven by Claire Robbins

Robbins didn’t know herself before she was a mother at twenty, but she was determined to know herself as an adult. This is her story about the tension between motherhood and ambition, and how she didn’t allow ambition to lose.

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To Love the Graveyard

In Essay Issue Seven by Emily Rae Roberts

What is there about a graveyard to love? Families who visit? Animals that find shelter? “The silence of a thousand talking graves”? Emily Roberts explores those stories behind the stones.

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Those Who Cannot Remember the Past

In Essay Issue Six by Sankar Chatterjee

After Sirajul Habib, an American youth and follower of Islam, sees displays of Nazi documents in Berlin, he wants to learn more about the Holocaust. In a later trip to Europe, he visits the Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Poland and is overcome by the enormity and scope of Nazi evil at Auschwitz I, the first site of the atrocities; and at Auschwitz II – Birkenau, where prisoners arrived in boxed rail cars.

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Arrival Day

In Essay Issue Six by Shastri Sookdeo

What is “Arrival Day”? Sookdeo writes about this public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago with a critical eye. Started in 1995 to celebrate 150 years of Indian arrival in Trinidad, the name was later changed to Indian Arrival Day. Does the “Indian” in the name ignore other ethnic groups if the country’s makeup “is reflected by colonization in every part”? The issue is more complex than at first glance.

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Just Places: Physical Spaces and the Stories They Tell about Justice, Terror, and Tragedy

In Essay Issue Six by David Will

An official NGO Observer at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, Will describes the exterior of the courthouse where the 911 conspirators are tried for capital crimes. Sitting on a dilapidated “out-of-service airstrip,” the low-slung building looks like a toolshed, but upon entering the building visitors witness “the world’s most sophisticated technology.” This space is not a symbol; it represents the physical implementation of justice. The question is: Can the Guantanamo military commissions offer a narrative “to reaffirm the country’s values and to offer closure”?

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Married Sleep

In Essay Issue Six by Hilary Nelson Jacobs

Tender and instructive, the narrative and descriptive essay “Married Sleep” offers the reader an inside look—with equanimity—at a wife and husband team who makes it through a daughter’s debilitating illness, a husband’s demanding work schedule, and a wife’s alcoholism and healing.