Beta

Personal essays

Photography Courtesy of Eugene Lim. Graphic by Claire Sheen

The Asian tourist

Flipping through my family’s photo albums, I encounter the usual snapshots: family portraits, birthday parties, playground trips. Some photos are a little more unusual. The landscape shifts; the tropical...

human_mage

Worlds of Warcraft

There’s no language for the joy of leaving one world temporarily for an imagined other. I was nine years old when my brother taught me how to play World...

Graphic by Claire Sheen

A chicken fell from the sky

Tennessee made for a good port of entry. His first winter was mild, but legitimated by snow; the autumn was crisp and warranted the purchase of an expensive pea...

Graphic by Natalie Schultz-Henry

The Egypt Thing

“M A L A K.” Say it at Starbucks and they’ll spell it wrong every time, introduce myself in a loud place with music and I’ll be a combination...

voicesSkull&Bones_JennieCallan

Skull and Boners

I am the sum of my achievements. This is what my schooling has taught me. I’ve had 17 years of elite education, from kindergarten to college, each chapter capped...

Voices essay by sophie mendelssohn -graphic by Chris Melamed

Say anything

Liam Mitchell,* the first boy I kissed, had eyes like Paul Newman’s, skin like Marilyn Monroe’s, and voluptuous brown curls that put Cher’s to shame. But when his lips...

Sophie Ruehr

Womb Crunch

When I was little, my parents told me that before I was born I was just a glimmer in their eyes. I took it literally. Before birth we hovered...

Vincent Mitchell

Stripped and furred

I would like to be able to turn a good phrase. My writing professor from last fall told me to read The Spanish Temper by V.S. Pritchett, and I’m...

this is how you bleed, article by Elaina Plott, graphic by claire goldsmith

This is how you bleed

We are never just wandering; we are always wanting something. It is not hard to want here. In a city like Moissac, in a country like France. At dusk...

fiction and poetry-05
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,...

fiction and poetry-06

A house and a home

On the third day in our new house, I unpacked my boxes of journals that catalogued eighteen years of life in Essex, Connecticut. Now stuck in Cleveland, Ohio, I...

Summer stills

During the summer, I try to take as many photos as possible. These were taken with my Nikon F100 on Black and White Epson film. Film photography is important...

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...

fiction and poetry-05

Survivor’s guilt

In the summer of 2011 the band Sugarland made their big break with the hit single “Stuck Like Glue.”  The lyrics, “You and me baby we’re stuck like glue,”...

East coast lens

These images were shot on a Yashica FX-103. The camera belonged to my dad in college, and he then passed it along to me. I really enjoyed shooting with...

Explaining

“This is Cheng Hoon Teng temple, one of the oldest temples in Southeast Asia – over three hundred years old! Observe the use of Feng Shui architectural principles…” Cameras...

fiction and poetry-06

Losing one’s shadow

Whether my eyes were open or closed I saw nothing. Although, it was something, it was blackness. The objects in the room were still there. They weren’t any less...

Food porn

This collection concerns the modern food industry, consumerism, and its sense of asphyxiation. It touches on the severity and subtle beauty of death. The work involves human interactions with...