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August, November, January

“All I know is every day I don’t get in the woods I feel I’ve betrayed my own birth,” writes Thorpe Moeckel in his new book, Down by the Eno, Down by the Haw . “As if I owe my birth a thing, some gratitude.”

Keep Fast Hold of Your Parents

I laid my victim cards before Mary Jane, one by one, like I had a Tarot pack: “See this!” and ”See this!” and “See that!” Just as I got to the part about my mother, some egregious slight of hers I thought worthy of justifiable anger, Mary Jane stopped me. Mid-sentence. “Your job,” she said, “is to leave other people alone.” An excerpt from poet Spencer Reece ‘s memoir, The Little Entrance: Devotions.


“To lift and see my hands. To see my elbows in a headstand. There went the earth, pressed down. There I went, up from what was dragging me.” A new essay on surprise, yoga, shooting, and writing from Colette LaBouff.

An Arsenal of Sand

“Anger in our family was like the water: it had to go somewhere. Rise up, sink down, or burst everywhere at once.” An excerpt from Angela Palm‘s Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here.

Ghost in the Graveyard

“I put the shovel into the ground, stepped down, and turned the earth loose like he had shown me.” Dating an outdoorsy type gets strange in a short story by Tayler Heuston.

The Vise

“When he looked up, everyone was staring at him. There was no talking during dinner, just the impressive sound of many forks and knives being utilized at once.” After his father’s death and mother’s breakdown, a young boy is taken to stay with relatives in this excerpt from Lori Ostlund‘s debut novel, After the Parade.

Where Judges Walk

“They squeezed their mouths tight against wheeling cinders, moustaches gathering bits of ash. Letters to post, women to find. Laudanum, too. Pay stubs!—now that would soothe an ache.” Timber workers travel from the forest into town in this excerpt from Matthew Neill Null‘s debut novel, Honey from the Lion.

Farthing Street

“I lose words, become silent as a conservation of energy, stare at things as if they hold me upright,” writes essayist Trace Ramsey in this exploration of paternal postnatal depression and recovery. “Having a new child magnifies all of this to levels I never thought could exist.”

A Magic of Bags

“Sometimes, she was sure of it: she would create no family, no children, nothing but herself.” A teenage misfit makes her way in Harlem in “A Magic of Bags,” a story from Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s forthcoming collection, Blue Talk and Love.

The Long Life Hotel

“She felt an inkling—just the faintest tingle—then, of something gone wrong inside her; a small, vile thing, just beginning to grow.” A mother travels to Vietnam for a favorite son’s wedding in a story by Meaghan Mulholland.