Beta

Personal essays

Lit Issue

Why my father can’t grow a beard

My father doesn’t dare grow a beard. Beards are suspicious, and beards paired with brown skin are worse—an easy way to get on the shortlist for passenger profiling. Border...

(voices) fiction

The Party Planners

Aunt Frances knows how to throw a party. Her small talk is riveting; her laugh, melodic; her deftness with seating charts, awe-inspiring. The table: crystal water jugs, candlesticks, candles,...

handcigarette copy

“Smoker”

I start smoking in Florida, under the deceptive glow of spring-break sun. The skin on our faces reddens and peels from careless exposure, but we are eager to forget...

Airports

Thirteen landings at Logan International

They come through the doors like drops of rain in a mounting thunderstorm—first a fast-walking, cell-phone-talking commuter, then a couple of baggy-eyed couples, dragging Rollaboards. Eventually, the downpour: grandmothers...

Essay

Camino

We start in Burgos but I really start in Madrid. I spend a honey afternoon in the Parque del Buen Retiro, waiting for Alex’s flight and drinking caña. This...

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.32.29 PM

Silicon

Out here in Silicon Valley we are busy taking things a little too far. I notice it first in downtown Sunnyvale, on the way to visit my dad at...

unnamed-1

Strange landing

Paris was sudden, the way all cities are sudden. Elsa, the flight attendant, took it as sign to serve a final cup of bitter coffee. The city looked like...

unnamed-2

Homecoming

In July, the mayor of my hometown, a rust-belt city in upstate New York, offered to shelter Central American immigrant children in a convent on the city’s North Side....

Lit Issue

Eastbound on the Third of July

I overheard you on the phone (everyone in our car did—I don’t know if you knew that). Things like: But you said, you said. Fourth of July, you said....

voices pic

Time lapse

Someday, once I’ve crystallized, I’ll look back through all my pictures and my nicknames and I will take delight in remembering forgotten bits of this, the transitional phase.

voices essay

Cutouts

I have a life-sized cutout of Lil’ Wayne. I like him. And I think he likes me. Those who have not met my cutout freeze when they see him...

Claire Thomas YH Staff

When we talk about Yale

Recently, I found myself looking through photos of the Yale class of 2013 commencement ceremony. They weren’t on Facebook, or in a friend’s iPhoto—they were on Yale’s official commencement...

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 5.25.12 PM

Sprechstimme

In October I found a word in my computer’s New Oxford American Dictionary that’s given me some clarity. It was—and very much still is—the strange word sprechstimme, “a style...

Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff

The deviled eggs

The first and only time my mother ever bought mayonnaise was when my brother and I got lice. We had just moved to St. Louis, where my brother joined...

Claire Thomas/YH Staff

Party guest, stage left

Crouching backstage, I held my breath, waiting for the orchestra to play our cue. I was used to dancing in high school auditoriums that smelled like sweat-stained props from...

Lit Issue

Brian

Back home, we call it “force.” four-say. That indomitable urge to keep the ball rolling, to stretch the limits of the night, to exhaust every social possibility at our disposal....

Sitting down with Alda Pontes

Sitting down with Alda Pontes

Alda Pontes, ES ’14, has been tutoring and mentoring for the last three years at the Manson Youth Correctional Institution as part of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project. Most...

Lit Issue

Good fences

Rosa often misses the sound of her own voice. She does not talk much these days, except for polite conversation with the checkout girl at the grocery store, or...

Julia Kittle-Kamp/YH Staff

Homesteaders

The lake is small, regular and the people who come visit it have usually gotten lost or are just passing through. But the lake has its secrets. In one...

Maude Tisch/YH Staff

Weeding and Reading

This past July, I worked in a bookshop in Paris; in August, I worked on an organic farm in the rural west, on the cusp of Bretagne. Neither job...