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

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

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.

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Rescue Me

Essay Issue Six by Kathryn Jones

These are the special tenants of Jones’ home: “A hound of calm character, lazy and laid-back”—this is Jack Jones—and a fierce “ten-pound terrier, black and white, with bulging eyes”—this is Dory. As the dogs age, Jones is cognizant of her own droopy eyelids and graying hair, but as long as she is alive they will add more dogs to their household.

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River Musings

Essay Issue Six by George Rothert

“River Musings” is not only about the reclamation of the Willamette River that flows through Portland and the development of Waterfront Park, Portland’s gathering space. It is also about the Hide Naito family that ran a successful importing business; relocated to Salt Lake City during the Japanese internment; and returned to Portland later to enlarge their business and enrich the city with their philanthropy.

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What I’m Really Like

Essay Issue Five by Yalei Wang

The word “mean” connotes “cruel,” “nasty,” or “malicious,” but Yalei Wang proposes a different way of looking at the word, and doesn’t apologize for “living life without getting caught in the weeds of emotion.”

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