Cambridge People

Grace was walking home from a work dinner when she saw the listing. The apartment she had been renting for the last three years had just been put up for sale and now, in the window of one of the …

Laura van den Berg is the author of two story collections and the novels Find Me (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) and The Third Hotel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018), which was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She is the recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, and a PEN/O. Henry Award, and a two-time finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her third collection of stories, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is forthcoming this summer from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Almost an Airman

That satisfied public radio monotone draped me, a droning net, middlebrow and thickly self-congratulatory. I steered the Volkswagen over the culvert, splashed into the creek. It was rain-swollen, fast. I waded out and tried to hail a cab. None came, …

Ben Segal is the author of Pool Party Trap Loop (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2015), co-author of The Wes Letters (Outpost 19, 2014), and co-editor of The Official Catalog of the Library of Potential Literature (Lit Pub Books, 2011). His short fiction has been published by Tin House, The Collagist, Tarpaulin Sky, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Playing Minimalism: Arvo Pärt, Sacred Sound, and Several Different Keyboards

Matthew Schwager is a designer and writer living in Bozeman, Montana.

Octopus

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Oceanic (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). She was recently named a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow. Her writing appears in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. Her book of illustrated nature essays is forthcoming with Milkweed Editions. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

On My Therapist, Late in This Life

I’ve come to believe, after having written some myself, that every book worth half of what it’s printed on is about the true and vulgar ruination of a life. Tolstoy told me so and so did my therapist, a tall, …

Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai‘i, and grew up on the North Shore of O‘ahu and in Los Angeles. His most recent books are The Mirror Diary: Selected Essays (University of Michigan Press, 2017) and Coral Road: Poems (Knopf, 2013). Currently, he’s at work on two books, The Ocean of Clouds (poems) and The Perfect Sound: An Autobiography in Stereo (nonfiction). He teaches at the University of Oregon, where he is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences.

Paddle

Row! 

My first word.

My mother heard me say it in our brick house with blue shutters in Jacksonville, Florida. She had sung me the nursery rhyme many times, pretending to paddle a boat with her arms. Four pine …

Greg Wrenn is the author of Centaur (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), which Terrance Hayes awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in The New Republic, the Kenyon Review, New England Review, The American Scholar, the American Poetry Review, AGNI, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, he is an assistant professor of English at James Madison University. An Advanced PADI Nitrox diver as well, he has been exploring coral reefs around the world for more than twenty-five years. “Paddle” is taken from Wrenn’s current project, an eco-memoir about using nature to heal from trauma.

on Census by Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball’s 2018 novel Census at first seems determined to use the title’s subject—an official count of the citizens throughout an unnamed land—as mere background. Ball’s nameless narrator works as a census taker, but feels little urgency about the task, …

Shannon Reed is the author of the forthcoming Why Did I Get a B? And Other Mysteries We’re Discussing in the Faculty Lounge (forthcoming from Simon & Schuster, June 2020). A lecturer in the creative-writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, her work is frequently published online at The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and she has contributed to the Paris Review, the Washington Post, LitHub, and Guernica, among others.

on Loves You by Sarah Gambito

Opposite the title page of Sarah Gambito’s third book, Loves You, is printed a black-and-white photo, circa 1985, I ’d guess. Eight people, mostly women, are perched on seats or stand around in a living room, balancing plates of …

Tamiko Beyer is the author of Last Days (2021) and We Come Elemental (2013), both from Alice James Books, and two chapbooks of poems. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, Idaho Review, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Hyphen, Dusie, and elsewhere, and she publishes a monthly newsletter, Starlight & Strategy. She has received awards, fellowships, and residencies from PEN America, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, VONA, and the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, among other organizations. A social justice communications writer and strategist, she spends her days writing truth to power.

on Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays by Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison has established herself as one of the most eloquent contemporary writers of the personal essay. Make It Scream, Make It Burn, her latest book, investigates the ethical difficulties of the relationship between writer and subject. While Jamison’s …

Maya Krishnan is a fellow of All Souls College and a D.Phil student in philosophy at the University of Oxford. Her work in philosophy focuses on metaphysics, theology, and Immanuel Kant.